How to Use a Butt Gauge

a hand opening a door
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  • Beginner
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What You'll Need
Butt gauge
What You'll Need
Butt gauge

A butt gauge is an invaluable tool when hanging doors in a new jamb. This gauge is a measuring tool that will ensure that the hinges are perfect every time. Using one is a simple task with a few instructions.

Step 1: Mark Out Hinge

The butt gauge is placed on the door jamb as a regular square would be placed. Line up the flange with the edge of the door and mark the position with an awl. Set the width of the hinge and mark this with the awl. You will have three straight lines following the butt gauge.

Step 2: Set Hinge Recess

Once the marks are made you can mark the hinge setback. This is the recessed area where the hinge will be when it is closed. It is usually about 1/4 inch in depth and will need to be cut out with a flat chisel.

Step 3: Mark Hinge on Door

After the door jamb has been taken care of, you can then do the same procedure to the actual door. Use the butt gauge in the same manner with the same measurements.

Step 4: Swagged Hinges

There is a small extension on the side of the butt gauge that can be employed in the event of a swagged hinge. The gauge can be set to take into account the offset of this type of hinge.