|Project by paratrooper34||posted 798 days ago||2872 views||20 times favorited||22 comments|
Hi All! I recently made a panel marking gauge and am posting the results of that work. I am going to start a couple of projects that have some wide boards and I needed a way to make layout lines when I rip these boards down. Of course, a panel marking gauge is perfect for those tasks. I looked around on Ebay and such to try to find one and even took a look at the LN model. But everything was a little more than I wanted to spend, so I decided to just make my own. The gauge I made uses a knife blade marker at the end of the beam held in place by a small brass wedge. The beam is secured at the marking distance by the use of a brass knob with a threaded piece of brass rod which presses against the beam to lock it in place. It is capable of marking widths up to 22 inches.
It is simple construction and I made this with two pieces out of the scrap bin. I had a long off cut from a board I ripped and a block from an end cut from the same hard maple board. I looked at other gauges and kind of winged a shape that I thought looks like the traditional ones I saw. A couple of weeks ago I picked up four sizes of french curve devices and put one of them to work to get the shape of the fence laid out. I used my small bandsaw to cut the shape out of the block. Once I got the shape roughed out, I drilled the hole on the top to accept the locking knob. I then cut out the space for the beam which I did by drilling a hole close to the finished size and then trimming it out with chisels to the exact size. I put a rabbett at the bottom to help the gauge register with the edges of boards, a feature that not all of them have. I used my rabbet block plane for that. The last process in the fence preparation was tapping the hole I made for the locking knob. I used an SAE 3/8” tap to cut the threads and it worked very nicely. Once I had all that stuff done, I filed and sanded it smooth to make it ready for finish.
Sorry about the picture quality, the sun was shining in the window bigtime!
This is cutting the rabbet at the bottom of the face of the fence.
The finished fence after all prep work completed.
The beam was a simple piece made from the off cut as mentioned above. All I had to do was rip it smaller and square it up. I ripped it with the bandsaw again and squared it up with the jointer plane. I finished dialing it in with a smoother taking very light cuts. I was going to make the beam with a knife blade on one side and a hole on the other side for a pencil, the way LN makes theirs. But I decided against it. As I use the gauge, I will decide if the need for a pencil is warranted to install one. So I made the mortice on one end to accept the blade and a brass wedge to hold the blade in place.
The micrometer was used to ensure I had the beam the same size on all four sides.
I drilled a hole to remove most of the waste in the beam’s mortice.
I used a mortice chisel to clean up the mortice.
The finished mortice. Because this is wedged, one side is angled to match the angle of the brass wedge. Figuring that out was as easy as lining the wedge up to the 90 degree side and transferring the angle. Hold the chisel at that angle to square it up.
I used my miter vise to bevel the ends of the beam. I measured an 1/8” down on each face of the beam and shaved it down with a block plane to get them squared up. This is the first time I used the miter vise, I really like how it works. I will definitely use it more.
This shows the wedge after if it was cut off the brass blank. This came from a 5/16” brass blank that I cut off on the bandsaw with a metal cutting blade. I filed it to get its final shape and polished it on my buffer.
The blade was simple also. I took a jigsaw blade and cut it to length using a cutoff wheel on my Dremel tool. I then ground the teeth off with a bench grinder. Once I had the basic blank done, I put a spear point bevel on one end and rounded the other over, again on the bench grinder.
Here is the jigsaw blade after it had the teeth removed.
Here is the spearpoint bevel.
And the rounded over end.
After I got the blade shaped, I took the black finish off by running the blade on the my diamond plate. I honed the back of the tip and the bevels to get it sharp.
I didn’t get any pictures of the making the locking knob. It was pretty easy to make. I have a 3/8” brass blank that I cut a hole hole out of with a 3/4” hole saw. I then tapped it for 3/8” SAE threads. To clean it up, I used a piece of 3/8” threaded rod, used two 3/8” nuts to lock the knob onto the threaded rod, and chucked it in my drill. I used files to do the rough smoothing and then moved on to sandpaper. I went up to 1000 grit. I then threaded a piece of 3/8” brass rod and cut it at the length I wanted. to mate the knob and brass bolt, I threaded the bolt into the knob with about a 1/4” extended over what would become the top of the knob. I used a steel hammer and peened the brass bolt into the top of the knob. I then filed it flat, sanded it and polished it up at the buffer. This is not the best way to attach these two pieces as you can see there is an imperfection on the top of the knob where the threads fall away when filed, sanded and buffed. Well, no big deal, this is a working tool, not a runway model. You can see that in the detailed pics below.
All in all, a nice little project that yielded a tool I will be able to pass on to the grandchildren.