Marking Gauge

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Project by HighRockWoodworking posted 11-19-2012 03:19 PM 2954 views 19 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I love using marking gauges but have never been completely satisfied with the selections on the market. My Veritas is great for certain applications by the fence is not wide enough when I need an accurate line more than a couple of inches away from the shoulder. I also have an old style wooden marking gauge but it has pins instead of a knife edge, so it tends to tear the wood rather then cut it. So when looking around for a new marking gauge, I realized that a lot had features and looks that I liked but non met all of what I was looking for. So I decided to make my own and why not…I am a woodworker.

For the wood I went with Wenge for a few reasons. It is stable, strong, beautiful, and…..well I had enough scraps left from my last project. There is really nothing extraordinary about the shape, I just wanted a wide fence and a stock long enough to give me a good hand hold and plenty of reach.

I am not a fan of brass or standard thumb screws so for the lock screw I found a knurled head screw that works great. To resist wear from tightening the lock screw I used a metal threaded insert in the fence to house the lock screw. The insert has threads inside and out, I used a little glue on the outer threads to lock them into the fence. I was also concerned that the metal locking screw would damage the wood in the stock so I inlayed a stainless steel strip into the top of the stock. I used the same stainless steel inlay on the bottom of the fence also.

The blade was ground from the same stainless steel stock and morticed into the bottom of the stock with a set screw tapped into the end of the stock to tighten the blade down. I may modify this later by adding an insert in the end also to reduce wear. The marking gauge was finished with two coats of shellac, I could have put more but it’s tool and just not necessary.

Over all I am really happy with the design. I am going to make a few more of different sizes, a smaller scaled version would be great for small parts.

-- Chris Adkins,

13 comments so far

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 3844 days

#1 posted 11-19-2012 03:24 PM

Excellant marking gauge Chris. I like the wide fence.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View a1Jim's profile


117234 posts in 3723 days

#2 posted 11-19-2012 03:30 PM

A beautiful marking gauge Chris

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2200 days

#3 posted 11-19-2012 03:34 PM

i like it

-- Joel

View Ben Haberer's profile

Ben Haberer

26 posts in 2194 days

#4 posted 11-19-2012 03:36 PM

looks really good Chris! I might have to make one of these, I really need a good one and I love the wide fence on yours!

-- Ben - Dallas, GA

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3334 days

#5 posted 11-19-2012 04:28 PM

A real beauty! Nice work.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View HighRockWoodworking's profile


182 posts in 3125 days

#6 posted 11-19-2012 07:50 PM

Thanks guys, I appreciate the comments. The wide fence is a plus and it works great.

-- Chris Adkins,

View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 2838 days

#7 posted 11-19-2012 08:56 PM

very nice look, classic design with a personal touch

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 2549 days

#8 posted 11-20-2012 12:36 AM

Excellent work, thanks for sharing. I want to make a marking gauge with inlaid metal as you have, but the idea of simply gluing the metal in seems somewhat nontraditional to me, which I’d like to avoid just out of personal taste. What method did you use for your tool Chris?

Does anyone know what the traditional connection method is for tools like this?

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View bladedust's profile


209 posts in 2412 days

#9 posted 11-20-2012 02:19 AM

Very, very nice.

-- ok, is it cut once measure twice, cut twice measure once???? I know....I'll just keep cutting until it's long enough.

View Mip's profile


453 posts in 2224 days

#10 posted 11-20-2012 03:07 AM

Good idea using stainless steel instead of brass. Should wear better, too. I never thought of that. Vakman, I think the traditional way to join metal to wood in a gauge like this is to use a dovetail joint and drill some holes to screw it together. I have seen some on the market using this method. Either that, or use some really hard wood that wears well.

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 2549 days

#11 posted 11-20-2012 03:53 AM

Thanks Mip

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3261 days

#12 posted 11-20-2012 06:11 AM

looking good :-)
thanks for sharing

View HighRockWoodworking's profile


182 posts in 3125 days

#13 posted 11-20-2012 12:41 PM

Vakman, like MIP said a sliding dovetail is ideal. The stainless stock I used is not completely square on the corners but rather it is rounded over slightly. I cut the grove slightly undersized and then used my a chisel to back bevel the grove just a little. It is very slight but I think it will be enough to hold and it hides the rounded over corners. You could also use stainless rods to secure through instead of screws but would have to counter bore and brad the ends of the rod to hold in place. I chose to add a little gorilla glue to ensure they didn’t slip.

Thanks again for all the comments.

-- Chris Adkins,

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