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Marking Gauge

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Project by bookworm posted 07-20-2009 04:37 PM 1731 views 4 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a modest little project, but I’m pretty happy with it. It is a marking gauge made of white oak that had been sitting in my Dad’s barn loft for about four years. The design is from Dean Jansa’s December 2006 article in Popular Woodworking. The design has been called a “French Gauge” by some. I call it handy. It is still early days yet, but so far I prefer it head and shoulders above my clunky Crown marking gauges. It feels very nice in the hand. I thought the wedge action might be less precise than the typical thumbscrew arrangement you find in the store models, but that wasn’t the case. By first pushing the wedge in place with your thumb then tapping the wedge firm against a hard surface it locks down nice and secure. After this I may have to make a cutting gauge in this design. This project has also taught me my mortising skills need practice. :-) The last picture shows the individual parts with a single coat of shellac. The other images are the natural wood. Not a fancy tool but useful and just what I needed.

-- "I asked my wife if I look dorky in the video below where I'm planing that long piece of wood. Her reply: "It's all dorky."" - Mitch Roberson from his blog Furnitude





15 comments so far

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

724 posts in 2498 days


#1 posted 07-20-2009 07:13 PM

Very cool. Very dorky, but that is who we are and proud of it. What did you use as a cutter?

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View bookworm's profile

bookworm

39 posts in 1986 days


#2 posted 07-20-2009 07:45 PM

Rob, I used a cut down 5/64ths drill bit. I rough ground on a grinder then finished using diamond stones. The cutter leaves a nice, clean line; more of a cut than a scratch because the pin is ground to a knife like profile. Yet another reason I like it. :-)

Thanks,

Doug

-- "I asked my wife if I look dorky in the video below where I'm planing that long piece of wood. Her reply: "It's all dorky."" - Mitch Roberson from his blog Furnitude

View DavidFisher's profile

DavidFisher

70 posts in 2362 days


#3 posted 07-20-2009 07:58 PM

That’s one of those projects I want to build but I never get to. Very neat.

View bookworm's profile

bookworm

39 posts in 1986 days


#4 posted 07-20-2009 08:05 PM

David your comment pretty much describes every one of my projects anymore. Some how this one fell through the cracks.

Thanks,

Doug

-- "I asked my wife if I look dorky in the video below where I'm planing that long piece of wood. Her reply: "It's all dorky."" - Mitch Roberson from his blog Furnitude

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2314 days


#5 posted 07-20-2009 08:35 PM

very nice! I like the fact that it’s all wood construction.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112152 posts in 2242 days


#6 posted 07-20-2009 09:37 PM

Hey Doug
that’s one off your list well done

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View bookworm's profile

bookworm

39 posts in 1986 days


#7 posted 07-20-2009 10:56 PM

Thanks, Purplev. I find that very appealing as well.

Thanks, Jim, but there still is no end in sight. :-P

-- "I asked my wife if I look dorky in the video below where I'm planing that long piece of wood. Her reply: "It's all dorky."" - Mitch Roberson from his blog Furnitude

View douglbe's profile

douglbe

358 posts in 2626 days


#8 posted 07-21-2009 01:58 AM

Same here, some thing I want to make, but just don’t seem to get around to it. Now I know it works. Thanks for your post.

-- Doug, Reed City, Michigan

View cmonSTART's profile

cmonSTART

12 posts in 2102 days


#9 posted 07-24-2009 04:34 AM

Excellent! I really need to make one of those.

View Pimzedd's profile

Pimzedd

450 posts in 2469 days


#10 posted 07-25-2009 08:18 PM

Doug,

I assume the mortise through the head is cut at an angle to match the wedge?

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View bookworm's profile

bookworm

39 posts in 1986 days


#11 posted 07-26-2009 03:55 AM

Bill,

Yes, you are essentially correct. But what happened for me was I cut the mortise and had to fine tune the wedge to fit. Solid tap on the bench and it locks down very tight, so I have no complaints.

I have heard an easier way to do this is to bore an angled hole and use an appropriate sized dowel as the wedge instead of making a square mortise. Somewhere I read (Roy Underhill’s books, maybe???) that making the dowel flat on one side made it easier and faster to fit the wedge in those situations, but I’ve never tried it myself. However, I didn’t find making the mortise by hand all that time consuming (and I’m a rookie mortiser).

Hope this answers your question.

Doug

-- "I asked my wife if I look dorky in the video below where I'm planing that long piece of wood. Her reply: "It's all dorky."" - Mitch Roberson from his blog Furnitude

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3066 days


#12 posted 07-26-2009 04:04 AM

Doug: Looks simple to make and a useful tool. Great job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View bookworm's profile

bookworm

39 posts in 1986 days


#13 posted 07-27-2009 03:35 AM

Thanks, Karson. I recommend trying to make one to anybody, novice or expert. I haven’t been able to look at marking gauges the same way since.

-- "I asked my wife if I look dorky in the video below where I'm planing that long piece of wood. Her reply: "It's all dorky."" - Mitch Roberson from his blog Furnitude

View Jamie's profile

Jamie

172 posts in 1926 days


#14 posted 07-29-2009 12:02 AM

I’ll be puting this one on my to do list.

-- "Preach the gospel always. If necessary use words" -St Francis of Assisi

View Woodfix's profile

Woodfix

323 posts in 1965 days


#15 posted 03-31-2010 01:31 PM

Very nicely done. Keep up the good work.

-- Living is a constant gamble, life is about working the odds in your favour

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