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How To Make A Siding Gauge [Step By Step Guide]?

Are you working on a siding installation project, and you prefer to make your own siding gauge to guide you on the installation? Do you want to know how to make your siding gauge? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question and have the answer for you!

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Here are the steps you can follow to make your own siding gauge:

  1. Get a flat metal strip and bend it at an eighth of an inch at the tip.
  2. Measure the thickness of the siding.
  3. Make another fold at the same tip going in the same direction. The width of this fold should match the thickness of the siding. The two folds should make a hook shape.
  4. Measure the reveal of the siding when you install it.
  5. Deduct the measurement of the reveal from the total width of the siding.
  6. Cut a piece of siding.
  7. Drill a hole in the metal for the piece of siding.
  8. Drill a countersink.
  9. Measure from the inside of the hook to the top of the piece of siding. The distance between the two should be equal to the hidden width.
  10. Screw the piece of siding to the metal, ensuring that you preserve the hidden from the top of the siding to the hook. The hook is on one side of the metal strip, while the piece of siding is on the other side.
  11. Cut a small piece of the metal strip.
  12. Screw the metal strip to the piece of siding. A small part of the metal strip should protrude to help hold whatever you place on the siding.

Let’s discuss the steps of making a siding gauge and how to use one in the succeeding sections. Learn about another method for making your siding gauge below.

Carpenter using gauge to install fibrous cement siding, How To Make A Siding Gauge [Step By Step Guide]?

Installing A Siding Gauge

Generally, installing a siding always starts at the bottom. When installing siding, it is essential that the second siding overlaps the first. This is to create a weather-resistant layer.

The overlapping row of siding covers the horizontal gap between the siding. This prevents rainwater from getting through the siding layer and the external wall.

Moreover, the overlapping pattern covers the nails that fasten the preceding layer of siding. This is adequate protection against rainwater that can get through the hole made by the nail. Additionally, protecting the nails helps prevent corrosion.

Therefore, the trick is installing layer after layer of siding with a consistent size of reveal and overlap.

This is where a siding gauge comes in.

A siding gauge ensures consistency across all layers of the siding. Moreover, it makes it easier to install siding by serving as a third hand that holds the siding in place while you nail it in place.

There are many commercially made siding gauges in the market. However, if you only use it once, are you willing to spend that money?

Entrance to a house with side light and gray front door decorated with wreath

How Do You Make A Hook-On Siding Gauge?

This is the type of siding gauge that we made in the summarized instructions above. We have the complete instructions below.

Creating The Hook Side

  1. Get a thin metal strip that is at least an inch wide. It should be longer than the width of the siding.
  2. Measure an eighth of an inch from the tip of the metal strip and mark it.
  3. Measure the thickness of the siding.
  4. Mark a length equal to the thickness of the siding after the quarter-inch mark.
  5. Place the tip of the metal strip in a vise up to the eighth-inch mark.
  6. Bend the metal strip along the eighth-inch mark. Tap the edge with a hammer to make it a square.
  7. Use a square tool to ensure that the fold's edge is square.
  8. Get scrap wood at least a quarter of an inch in length with a width equivalent to the width of the siding. Place the wood scrap into the corner of the first fold.
  9. Place the metal strip and a scrap of wood on the vise. A scrap of wood protects the first fold from the vise.
  10. Fold along the second mark going in the same direction. This makes the hook shape on the metal strip.

K & S metal strip is available on Amazon.

See this 7-inch speed square available on Amazon.

Adding The Siding Holder

A small joinery clamp used for gluing planks. Accessories for carpenters on the workshop table

  1. Measure a scrap of wood that has the same thickness as the siding.
  2. Trim a scrap of wood so that it has the same width as the metal strip.
  3. Measure the reveal of your siding. Deduct the width of the reveal from the total width of the siding. Take note of this measurement.
    • This will be the hidden width.
    • Install the nails within the area of the hidden width.
  1. Measure a length equal to the hidden length starting from the bottom of the hook part of the metal strip. Mark the length on the other side of the metal strip.
  2. Cut a piece of a metal strip.
  3. Position the metal over the wood, then place the two on the metal strip. The top of the piece of wood should align with the mark at the opposite end of the metal strip.
  4. Clamp the three together.
  5. Drill a hole through the piece of metal, the wood, and the strip of metal.
  6. Drill a countersink on the opposite end of the hole.
  7. Measure an eighth of an inch from the hole going down the small piece of metal length.
  8. Drill another hole at that mark.
  9. Connect the two holes by cutting the metal between the holes.
  10. Use a flathead bolt to secure the three. Use a wingnut to secure the bolt.
  11. Apply a strip of felt tape on the inside of the hook.
  12. Repeat the same steps above to make a second hook-on siding gauge.

TEKTON iron C-clamp is available on Amazon.

View stainless steel hex flat head cap bolts on Amazon.

RuiLing 20 Pack Wing Nuts are available on Amazon.

This self-adhesive, polyester felt tape is on Amazon.

How Do You Use A Hook-On Siding Guage?

  1. Install the first row of siding on your wall.
  2. Hang the two siding gauges a foot and a half to two feet from the two ends of the siding.
  3. Position the next row by hanging it on the siding gauge.
  4. Loosen the wingnut to slide the piece of metal upward. This will prevent the siding from falling off the siding gauge.
  5. Align the siding and nail both ends into place.
  6. Slide the siding gauges close to the center.
  7. Release the small metal plate.
  8. Pull the siding slightly outward.
  9. Push the siding gauge upward to unhook it, then pull it out.
  10. Do the same to release the second siding gauge.
  11. Apply nails along the upper length of the siding.
  12. Repeat the same steps. Hang the siding gauge on the uppermost layer of the siding to install the next layer.

How Do You Build A Clamp-On Siding Gauge?

Man installing fibrous cement siding using siding gauges

  1. Get a piece of metal that is at least two inches wide. Its length should be at least eight inches long.
  2. Cut a piece of wood that is at least a foot long.
  3. Cut another piece of wood that is squarish. Its thickness should be close to the thickness of the siding.
  4. Position the wood vertically on your work table.
  5. Measure from the top of the wood going down an equivalent of the hidden width.
  6. Place the square wood on the vertical wood, aligning its top with the bottom of the hidden width.
  7. Position the metal strip horizontally across the vertical length of the wood. The two would make a cross-like shape together. Move the metal plate until it slightly overhangs by half an inch over the top of the square wood.
  8. Drill two holes through the three. Drill a countersink on the metal plate.
  9. Use a flathead bolt to fasten the three.
  10. Secure the bolt with a wingnut.
  11. Follow the same steps to make a second siding gauge.

Using A Clamp-On Siding Gauge

Gluing wood. Detail of two plastic spring clamps joining two pieces of wood

  1. Install the first row of the siding.
  2. Insert the metal plate of the siding gauge at the bottom of the first row of the siding near the end of the siding’s length.
  3. Use two metal clips or spring clamps to secure both ends of the metal plate at the bottom of the siding.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 to install the second siding near the other end of the siding.
  5. Place the next siding over the siding gauge and align it to the first siding.
  6. Install nails along the upper edge of the siding.
  7. Uninstall the two siding gauges. Transfer them to the next row of siding and repeat the process until you complete installing the siding.

See these 6-inch spring clamps available on Amazon.

To Finish

Carpenter using gauge to install fibrous cement siding

Commercially made siding gauges can be expensive for a tool you’d use only once. Fortunately, making your own siding gauge is easy from scrap materials that you already have in your workshop. Good luck with your project!

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related articles below:

How To Install Hardie Siding On A House [Step By Step Guide]?

Can You Paint Vinyl And Metal Siding To Look Like Wood?