Bar Gauge From A Rifle Cleaning Rod

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Project by TechRedneck posted 03-20-2013 09:18 PM 4072 views 23 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bar Gauge From A Rifle Cleaning Rod
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I was making some small boxes and had the dado routed for the bottom. Using a tape measure I did the usual add and subtract, cut the bottom, routed a groove and it was too small.

I looked on line for some bar gauges and they were a little pricey and I needed to finish the project so I looked around the shop to make one of my own. I found an old .22 cal gun cleaning rod that had three screw on sections. I also had a spare knob and nut and a full workshop of tools so I decided to make one.

If you do not have a rod, you can pick up an inexpensive one at any sporting goods store. The fact that it breaks down is a big plus because it will work on small boxes and large drawers, just screw in an extension. I keep them all together as shown in the picture above.

This is a picture of it being used to capture the exact dimension of the length of board needed for the bottom in order to fit into the dado cut in the box when it is fully assembled. Do the same for the width on the second cut.

Once the knob is tightened down, this can transfer to the table saw for an exact cut.

Here is a shot cutting on the SCMS, I used a small board butted up against the edge then transferred the other edge to the board and scribed a line to cut.

To make the block, I clamped two small blocks of wood together and taped them together, marked the center and two equidistant holes on each side of center just smaller than the diameter of the rod. Drill straight down right between the blocks making a groove in both to sandwich the rods. Then drill a horizontal hole for the knob and a counter sink for the nut.

Round the edges off with a sander to a little round point, not too sharp tho.

Plan your cuts of the rod carefully, you want some long sections and short ones. I ended up with four sections that can handle large drawers and boxes (screwed together) or short for smaller work.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

13 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

20180 posts in 3809 days

#1 posted 03-20-2013 09:43 PM

Nice idea Mike.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Campzeke's profile


66 posts in 3174 days

#2 posted 03-21-2013 12:32 AM

Very clever. Good job! Thanks for sharing.

-- Campzeke, Tampa, FL

View jackthelab's profile


313 posts in 3934 days

#3 posted 03-21-2013 01:34 AM

Great idea – looks like it will work just fine.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View KOVA's profile


1362 posts in 3620 days

#4 posted 03-21-2013 05:15 AM



View Bill_N's profile


238 posts in 3520 days

#5 posted 03-21-2013 07:09 AM

Now that’s thinking

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 4221 days

#6 posted 03-21-2013 09:10 AM

Good use of materilas to come up with a handy shop tool. Well done

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View ptofimpact's profile


393 posts in 3558 days

#7 posted 03-21-2013 12:02 PM

Excellent Idea, thanks for sharing, I know I have several old 22 cleaning rods, as well as on old 12 gauge shotgun rod, which is more stout if desired.

-- Pete in NC

View ScottKaye's profile


802 posts in 3194 days

#8 posted 03-21-2013 12:06 PM

Gotta love woodworkers and their ingenuity! great job. This is now on my to do list!

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View eztrigger's profile


162 posts in 3169 days

#9 posted 03-21-2013 12:24 PM

good thinking, I’ll have to dig out my old cleaning kit now

-- "Some get spiritual 'cause they see the light, and some 'cause they feel the heat." --Ray Wiley Hubbard

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3295 days

#10 posted 03-21-2013 05:20 PM

cool idea

-- Joel

View Diggerjacks's profile (online now)


2330 posts in 4380 days

#11 posted 03-21-2013 05:47 PM

Hello mike

A very useful jig

In my favorite ( for the future with a lot others !!)

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4393 days

#12 posted 03-21-2013 09:00 PM

Great idea!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View MTMan2's profile


47 posts in 3933 days

#13 posted 03-21-2013 09:04 PM

Now I know what to do with all those snapped fishing rod tips, too. Good idea. Thanks for sharing.

-- - The most recognized name in all of recorded history was worn by a woodworker.

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