Encountered Awkwardly Shaped Surface – Retracing for Project

We might have taken part in some type of remodeling, home, wood, or art project before. It might be something we’ve done for some time or perhaps it is just a one time thing to improve the look of something. Maybe the area was damaged and needed some fixing or maybe you just wanted a brand new look. While working on the project though, we might have encountered some awkwardly shaped surfaces.

In the project, you might need to retrace a particular area. However, the surface may be a complex design. There may be curves, points, jagged lines, rounded lines, you name it. This may be difficult when trying to cut something to fit that area. You might just wing it and try to eyeball the outline of the surface. If lucky, you might get it right after the first cut. Now that would take some real skill to do!

For the vast majority of us though, it will take MANY tries. Even then, it still might not come out as exact as we wanted. This can be a frustrating experience. You might wonder if there are tools that can help with such occurrences. In fact, there is such a tool that exist!

Tool to Help with Retracing Difficult Surfaces

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For such sophisticated projects, you might want to purchase something like the Contour Gauge Profile Tool. This tool will help you retrace complex outlines of various surfaces with high accuracy. With such a tool, you will not need to go through so many trial-and-error attempts to guess and cut. You will just need to retrace once and cut something that will fit the first time.

Here is a video of what the tool is all about:


When tracing the outline with the Contour gauging tool, make sure you avoid using thinner drawing tools like a pencil. The tool has a limited amount of “teeth” to capture the outline of surfaces. The teeth are thin enough that it will capture a great amount of detail. However, there is still a limit to how much they can capture. If the teeth is any thinner, the tool itself might not be durable enough.

Knowing that, by using a thin pencil, you might end up tracing a jagged zigzag line as opposed to a straight line. To avoid that, it would be good to use a thicker drawing utensil like a marker. It still might not be perfectly straight but is still better than a thin pencil. A straighter line is still easy to cut than a “stair-case” looking line.


We might be those who have done remodeling, home, wood, or art projects before. Whether we may have done it for some time or have only done it a few, we still rely on tools to help make our lives easier. This Contour Gauge Profile tool is just one of them. It helps us significantly by allowing us to trace various complex surfaces with such high precision.

This will ultimately prevent us from have to go through many trial-and-error attempts to retrace such difficult surfaces. In fact, you just need to retrace ONCE and then cut away!

Knowing there are such tools available for you, you might just take part in more projects. It can be quite a fun experience! Hope you enjoy this tool as much as I did!

Are you on the go and need to do a quick emergency fixing project? Be sure to click here and learn about tools you can carry with you at all times to help with that.

Did you enjoy this article? Have you tried using this product before? Please leave a comment below!

10 thoughts on “Encountered Awkwardly Shaped Surface – Retracing for Project”

  1. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your informative article. I have many times tried to cut round objects for floor tiles and it has always looked a bit jaggy following a slight difference between the “actual” shape and the shape I had drawn so seeing this tool makes me wish I had it when I was working on the tiles! 

    At least I know now what sort of tool to use. It makes a lot of sense and looks real simple to use. I will be adding this to my tool kit soon defintiely.


    • Hello there, Robs! I remember those days when I too tried to trace a complex surface by eyeballing it. Took forever. And then this tool was designed which made things much easier for me. Glad to hear that you also see the advantages of using it.

  2. I had to through away my pencil after using a a profile gauge or contour gauge for the first time. Well, not through it away, but take it out of my basement and give it to my son for school. Now I love recording the cross-sectional shape of a surface. I imagined what my dad would have done with a tool like this.

    • Hello there, Abel! It can be a little tricky to use this tool the first time around. But after a few practice sessions, it can be quite fun. Definitely wish this tool was available a while back!

  3. I think that there’s never been a better time for learning these types of skills due to the restrictions that most people have had due to the corona virus pandemic that has affected us all worldwide. So it’s good too see more and more of these sites being creted. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve bookmarked it and will be looking forward to your future posts.

    • Hello there! I agree with you that with the pandemic, there’s no better time than now to develop some skills in various areas. Thank you for bookmarking my website!

  4. I saw an infomercial on the Sake Contour Gaging tool and I remember thinking it was absolutely genius. However, I never got one and I think it would definitely come in handy. I’m glad I came across your post because it reminded me that I wanted to get one. They are so common sense and smart and definitely make fitting irregular-shaped pieces together.

    • Hello there, Al! I am happy to hear that my post reminded you to get the Sake Contour Gauging tool. I have done that many times before as well where I see a good product I wanted to get but something comes up to distract me from remembering to get it.

  5. wow, to be honest, I have never actually heard of the product before; are they available in stores like home depot?  It’s a really interesting concept.  I almost ALWAYS end up free-handing some part of my project and can end up screwing things up massively so I might be open to try this guy..hoping it saves me an awful lot of trial and error time.

    • Hello there, Rene! This product could potentially be found in stores like home depot. I haven’t found it myself though but I also haven’t actively searched for it. Hope this tool will save you from having to keep on going through trial and error in free-handing in your projects.


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