Gadgets for Woodworking Mastery

When it comes to gadgets for woodworking, we often focus on the big-name tools like table saws and routers. Nonetheless, there are some lesser-known gadgets for woodworkers that can significantly enhance your craft. In this article, I’ll introduce you to three obscure but incredibly useful gadgets for woodworking; consequently, they might just become your new favorites.

Doweling Jigs

Precision Joinery Made Easy

Doweling jigs are often unsung heroes in the world of woodworking. Remarkably, they excel at creating strong and precise joints, making them indispensable for woodworkers who favor joinery methods that don’t involve screws or nails.

I bought the doweling jig pictured below to build a coffee table. It proved useful for multiple operations for this build and several other projects to follow. At the time I used it to create the dowel holes to align my boards for the top glue-up and to build the frame as shown.

Doweling Jig Basics:

A doweling jig helps you create perfectly aligned holes for dowels, which act as strong, reliable connectors between two pieces of wood in woodworking. The result? Clean and sturdy joints that can withstand the test of time.

Using Doweling Jigs:

Using a doweling jig is straightforward. You simply clamp it onto your workpieces, adjust the jig to the desired position, and drill holes. Then, assemble using an adhesive like Tite Bond Three. you can achieve a well-aligned and snug fit. Doweling jigs are ideal for constructing cabinets, bookshelves, and other furniture pieces where precision matters in woodworking.

Cabinet Hardware Jig

The Perfect Knob and Pull Installation Tool Among Gadgets for Woodworking

Installing cabinet knobs or pulls or drilling holes and positioning hinges can be challenging if you’ve ever attempted to achieve perfect alignment. This is where the cabinet hardware jig comes to the rescue as one of the essential gadgets for woodworking.

Pictured below is one of the simpler hinge positioning jigs I purchased for a recent shaker cabinet door build. It worked out just fine. Depending on your project there many different style jigs to choose from.

Cabinet Hardware Jigs Demystified:

Cabinet hardware jigs simplify the installation of knobs and pulls on cabinets, drawers, and doors in woodworking. They ensure even spacing and perfect alignment of your hardware every time, giving your projects a polished and professional appearance.

How to Use a Cabinet Hardware Jig:

Using one of these gadgets for woodworkers is a breeze. You attach it to your cabinet or drawer, set the desired spacing, and drill the holes. No more measuring and remeasuring to get everything just right. Cabinet hardware jigs save you time and eliminate the frustration of unevenly placed hardware.

Contour Gauge

Capturing Intricate Shapes with Contour Gauges

Woodworking often involves replicating intricate shapes and contours. This is where the contour gauge steps in as a remarkable and often overlooked gadget for woodworkers. There are many styles and gauges to choose from.

I was in a pinch, so I bought a gauge similar to the one pictured above when I tiled my kitchen floor. It served the purpose at the time. The little wires falling out or getting bent presented a drawback. Next time I’d consider some other styles.

Understanding the Contour Gauge:

A contour gauge consists of a row of metal or plastic pins that can conform to the shape of an object. When pressed against a contour or profile, it captures the shape accurately in woodworking.

Applications of Contour Gauges:

Imagine you need to replicate a curved edge on a piece of wood for a custom project. A contour gauge can be pressed against the curve, and then you can transfer that shape directly onto your workpiece. This gadget for woodworking is invaluable for creating templates, duplicating irregular shapes, and ensuring a precise fit for your woodworking projects.


While woodworking is often associated with traditional tools, these obscure yet invaluable gadgets for woodworkers can take your projects to the next level. Doweling jigs, cabinet hardware jigs, and contour gauges may not be the most famous tools in the woodworking world, but they are undoubtedly the unsung heroes that can make your woodworking journey smoother and more enjoyable.


Why do I need a doweling jig when I can use screws or nails for joinery in woodworking?

Doweling jigs create stronger and more precise joints, eliminating the need for visible screws or nails in woodworking. They offer a cleaner and more professional finish.

Can you use a cabinet hardware jig for different types of cabinet hardware in woodworking?

Yes, most cabinet hardware jigs are versatile and can accommodate different types of knobs and pulls in woodworking. Be sure to check the jig’s compatibility with your hardware.

What types of projects benefit the most from using a contour gauge in woodworking?

Contour gauges are particularly useful for projects that involve replicating irregular shapes, such as molding, trim, or custom woodworking with unique contours. They ensure a precise fit and accurate reproduction of complex profiles in woodworking.

Jim Graf

I started with ZERO tools a few years back. I've learned a lot and built skills and confidence to do most any project. With this site, I'd like to share and empower others to take up woodworking and build their skill level and confidence, too. Anyone can do this!

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