Fleet of marking gauges (2013 Tool Swap)

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Project by JayT posted 06-30-2013 05:07 PM 2579 views 10 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made a whole fighter wing of marking gauges when constructing the ones for the tool swap. The design is loosely based on David Barron's mini marking gauge. I did email David before using the design and he graciously gave permission to do so. The thing I like most is that it is very compact (about 3 inches each dimension) and fits easily in one hand. Woods used included curly bubinga, bloodwood, macacauba, pear and mineral streaked silver maple. The pear and maple were salvaged from my smoking wood pile and most of the rest was scrap from other projects.

The second picture is the two that were sent to shampeon as part of the swap. You can see that there are two different blade designs. One is made from a heavy bimetal recip blade. The harder cobalt steel is still at the tip, so it should stay sharp for a long time—if not, it can be resharpened several times. The other blade is ground from a pipe tubing cutter replacement wheel and has four cutting points so when one gets dull, the blade can be rotated to a sharp one.

The last pics are close-ups of the gauges. The two with maple fences and the brass wear strips in pic 3 were test runs for the swap design. Those two, as well as the maple and bubinga one in the last photo were kept in my shop for use—they either had design flaws or an error in building so that I wouldn’t feel right giving them to someone else. The remaining gauges have been or are going to be given out as thank you gifts to woodworkers that do demonstrations in the stores where I work.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

22 comments so far

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

15541 posts in 1316 days

#1 posted 06-30-2013 05:10 PM

holy cow!!! Talk about a production line. Very nicely done.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View ShaneA's profile (online now)


5450 posts in 1347 days

#2 posted 06-30-2013 05:12 PM

Nice family there. They kind of remind me of airplanes sitting there all together like that.

View waho6o9's profile


5288 posts in 1325 days

#3 posted 06-30-2013 05:14 PM

Good idea JayT.

They look great.

View bondogaposis's profile


2749 posts in 1099 days

#4 posted 06-30-2013 05:40 PM

A really nice squadron of gauges.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View BigRedKnothead's profile


5810 posts in 730 days

#5 posted 06-30-2013 05:41 PM

Pretty cool man.

-- Red-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Tugboater78's profile


1230 posts in 940 days

#6 posted 06-30-2013 06:13 PM

very nice, all the nice gauges im seeing makes me wish i had joined in

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

View Jeff82780's profile


186 posts in 1743 days

#7 posted 06-30-2013 06:34 PM


View terryR's profile


3491 posts in 1057 days

#8 posted 06-30-2013 08:31 PM

Yep, they do resemble airplanes in the group shot!

Nice work, JayT. I personally like a small gauge since it fits in the hand so nicely.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View stan3443's profile


210 posts in 1024 days

#9 posted 06-30-2013 09:15 PM

very nice group

-- If your not supposed to have hair on your face......why does it grow their

View JayT's profile (online now)


2625 posts in 959 days

#10 posted 07-01-2013 12:13 AM

Thanks guys.

A few more pics for reference and comparison.

Disassembled to show the parts. The brass machine screw threads are tapped right into the fence section, while the blade screw is threaded into an aluminum insert that was glued into the beam with PU glue. One of the ways I challenged myself was to build the gauge using parts and pieces all purchased at the local hardware store.

Size comparison. Shown next to the traditional gauge I received from Don Broussard and a typical 8in try square.

And finally, how it fits in the hand for easy use.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View Mauricio's profile


6902 posts in 1900 days

#11 posted 07-01-2013 01:37 AM

very nice!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View lysdexic's profile


4892 posts in 1371 days

#12 posted 07-01-2013 10:53 AM

Very well done JayT

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2136 posts in 1000 days

#13 posted 07-01-2013 03:24 PM

I wish sometimes that the LJ site had a “Like” button. I’m running out of superlatives to write in the comments on all these superb postings of marking gauges. Spectacular, JayT!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Mosquito's profile (online now)


5177 posts in 1041 days

#14 posted 07-01-2013 03:53 PM

Excellent Jay, I may have to make some similar to these at some point. I like the idea of having a few smaller gauges around

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist -

View Hammerthumb's profile


1497 posts in 723 days

#15 posted 07-01-2013 10:58 PM

Take the blades off and put some propellers on those. You could do dogfight simulations! Great work. I like the size.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

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