Mike & Mads cutting gauge (blog) #2: Making the cutting gauge II (Tutorial)

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Blog entry by mafe posted 03-12-2011 08:39 PM 10518 reads 16 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Making the cutting gauge I (Tutorial) Part 2 of Mike & Mads cutting gauge (blog) series Part 3: Manual (not really needed) »

Mike & Mads cutting gauge (blog)
A gift to a wonderful friend.

This is the second part, so for you who step in here, please go back to the beginning:

So off we go – part to!
Are you ready Mike?

Here is the updated sketch book drawing, so you remember where we were, and where we are going (it’s not always possible for me to do just that).

Figuring out where the rod for the knurled bolt shall be.
I choose a little up front, since you would have a nice grip on the gauge head, and also plenty of material for strengths.

Then marking it, also on the bar. (And not in the bar…).

Finding the router bit needed. I used a 6mm straight cut.
(Another wine box).

Test routing.

Now the real stuff.

Using the stop, and going both directions.

Both I said…

The first one went really smooth.
And then it went all wrong in the second go, it was probably Mike making trouble, or perhaps me not respecting the tool, so I should have made the cuts deeper and deeper, and not just in one… Laziness is not for free… And like this I broke two bits… Learning by doing I guess.

So I decided to do the second gauge by hand (then I did not need to go and buy new bits for now).
Here drilling the hole for the saw.

Now time to saw ahead, I used my jewelers saw.

File and sand to fit.

Now I glue in the threaded rods in the ends, as always with epoxy.

And marking for the rod that must go in the head of the gauge.

And making a guide hole with the awl.

Drilling the hole for the rod, not all the way through.

Threading the gauge head with a tap.

And action! (perhaps a little long but this we can deal with).

A washer and then the knob, knurled thing or whatever it is called, then a mark for the lengths.
I was first thinking to use the two coins in the left of the picture for washers, but decided only the best was good enough for Mike, so I used some brass washers.

And CUT!

SO – quite naughty yes, I think so!
M&M in the young years, this is going in a good direction.

Epoxy time!!!

Make sure they come in straight.

And one step closer.
All this happened during several days while I was working on the bucket, not just in a glimpse as it looks.

Now marking center for the blade holder bolt.

And for the security brass rod that I will put all the way through the threaded bolt, so it will never be able to work its way out. Yes this little detail is not just fancy Mike it has a purpose.

Now the square brass pieces are glued in place, so I can work more on them later.
Yes you guessed right – epoxy… and again the fast one.

And a little wedge to hold it in place.

Drilling for the ‘hold’ rod, so deep that it goes through the threaded rod, and secure this.

Put glue in the hole, it can help to heat up the epoxy, but only if you use the slow version, the 90 sec. will dry before you know it.

And glued.
Notice the rough finish on the gauge heads.

Making a test thread with my brand new tap holder, a wonderful little tool, but the little size makes you also more easy go off center (all have a price)...

Drilling for the thread in the blade holder, I should have done this in the drill press since they did not become all straight free hand, but this is what we call charm when handmade.
Mike you are allowed to call me lazy, but only you!
The truth is the switch on my drill press died, so I had to.

Making the thread.

And an extra hole for details.

Now some extra gluing, since the wood cracked when I made this detail drilling…
Yes I should have stayed to the plan, I should have mounted some wood on the sides while drilling and so, but I am so human… And the epoxy is stronger than the wood so no worrying Mike.

Here we are at last. We have a tool.

And here!

Now the top goes of the rod.

Like this!

So here they are ready to use, Mike & Mads on the wild.

Here the details, and how the blade comes out, and you can see the purpose of the detail hole in the end of the bar.
I think this is a quite cool solution I came up with; ok I’m big headed now sorry, just became happy for a second there, I do get carried away.

But we will not stop there!
Time for some make over, the beauty and the beast…

Better yes?

Now polish.
It is on purpose I did not flatten the bed of the gauge head rabbet since I wanted there to be friction for a tight hold.

Raw linseed oil, compound, bees wax, polish, Carnauba wax, bees wax – the big MaFe tour.

And my makes mark the heart are beaten in.

What deepness in that wood!

Now one more detail.
I made the gauge so it could be used in the back end with a pencil or an awl in the hole also, in this way the gauge is actually a three in one.
To complete this I wanted to make some fine little awls, special for the gauges.
They were made of HSS steel drill bits; that I sanded while spinning so they became pointed.

Like this.

Then cut a piece of wood for handles. (The same as for the gauge).

Up on the lathe (This was the day Napoleon came and made his little brass mallet).

I cut of the drill bit with a Dremmel tool and glue with: …..

This is it! A miniature awl for the gauge.

And this is how it all ended up.

I made also a little dedicated box of recycle materials for Mikes gauge, filled it up with shavings that I did on the bucket project, and wrote him a letter, and off to Norway it went.
(Yes I was a little nervous when I went to the post office, imagine it was lost in the mail, but it arrived, and this is why I blog it now, the Mike & Mads cutting gauge has reached its final home, and the twin is hanging on my workshop wall).

Here a little clip from a letter to him:

‘Dear Mike you have brought me plenty of wonderful smiles, precious moments and even a wooden bucket made by my own hands.
It is a token of our friendship for now, my thank you for the bucket tour and my respect for you as the person and a father you are. Keep doing your best, this is what I respect and like about you’.

And after a how the little box was done: Soon.

Hope this blog can be to some inspiration, for me it is was so much a pleasure to make these Mike & Mads cutting gauges,

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

18 comments so far

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2638 days

#1 posted 03-12-2011 09:04 PM

Thanks again for thecontinued tutorial.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3115 days

#2 posted 03-12-2011 09:15 PM

we knew you was cooking on something and that you said you was making Mike a little gift
I thought it was two different things and was nervewrecking over the first one as usual
but you realy cought me before I even had my first mug of coffee today

so i had to bring out a specielbox from the shelf as you can see

and only have to say this to you both over the very well made blogs and the thought´s behind the gift

take care

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3288 days

#3 posted 03-12-2011 09:28 PM

nice dam i’m gonna have you make me a nice set tools instead of buying them. LOL ;)

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3070 days

#4 posted 03-12-2011 10:48 PM

Beautiful & a wonderful gift Mads

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View patron's profile


13604 posts in 3341 days

#5 posted 03-12-2011 11:36 PM

a true renaissance gift
from the heart

well done

and richly decerved

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View PaBull's profile


956 posts in 3665 days

#6 posted 03-13-2011 01:50 AM

Very nice, it got me all choked up here. You are truly a very nice caring fellow. (but I knew that already)

In addition to doing such a nice gift, the gift keeps on giving again, we all got a nice tutorial out of the deal.

Thanks for the post.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View rdlaurance's profile


367 posts in 3346 days

#7 posted 03-13-2011 09:36 AM

Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! Great blog Mads!

-- Rick, south Sweden

View Schwieb's profile


1857 posts in 3461 days

#8 posted 03-13-2011 04:58 PM

Very special!!

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View MShort's profile


1789 posts in 3418 days

#9 posted 03-13-2011 07:08 PM

Outstanding blog !!! I will have to try make one. Thanks for the detail and the inspiration.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2693 days

#10 posted 03-14-2011 12:50 AM

Thanks for the detailed step-by, Mads…no excuses now :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3744 days

#11 posted 03-14-2011 03:17 PM

Now this is a step by step blog. This is a very nice gift, but then the one’s that you personally make are always more special anyway. Thanks for sharing this.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3334 days

#12 posted 03-14-2011 03:27 PM

Great tutorial Mads. Even though I am the very lucky recipient of thiz fine gauge I might still want to make one using your blog to guide me. I can’t think of a more useful gift to a woodworker. Now that you are done with this, I will be posting my blog on the subject very shortly.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View swirt's profile


2737 posts in 2971 days

#13 posted 03-14-2011 04:25 PM

Wow! I couldn’t stop and post on the first blog, I had to get here and continue one to the ending. Incredible. I have seen a lot of handmade cutting/marking gauges, but this one has has some incredibly thoughtful features on it. As always, very impressive and a great read with wonderful photos. I know it takes a lot of time to do these stories, so thanks for all the extra effort you put into sharing them with us.

-- Galootish log blog,

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2776 days

#14 posted 03-15-2011 01:34 PM

Very, very nice.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3089 days

#15 posted 03-17-2011 12:11 AM

Hi all,
Mike, I’m so happy to hear you got hooked watching the process (I wrote a long message for you in part one).
David, merci, merci.
Swirt, so happy you enjoy my blog. I was thinking of you in Paris because I saw a old foot powered lathe, will blog about it when I have the energy.
Tim, ;-) go make one.
Bertha, it can only be to slow, enjoy the process.
Mshort, I will look forward to see you go on the gauge.
Ken, so are you, in a wonderful way my friend.
Rick, big smile to you.
Pb, my smile is as large as your heart right now.
David, I eat your words like candy.
Trevor, ;-)
Ike, I laugh. Stop dreaming and walk into your work shop.
Dennis, I thank you for your kindness, yes a special man as Mike needs a special gift.
Saddletramp, thank you!
To all of you, thank you for the wonderful comments,
best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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