Fleet of marking gauges (2013 Tool Swap)

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Project by JayT posted 06-30-2013 05:07 PM 2362 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

Don W

15045 posts in 1225 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


5306 posts in 1256 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


4943 posts in 1235 days

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

Good idea JayT.

They look great.

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


2529 posts in 1009 days

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

A really nice squadron of gauges.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View BigRedKnothead's profile


5016 posts in 640 days

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

Pretty cool man.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View Tugboater78's profile


1032 posts in 850 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


182 posts in 1652 days

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


View terryR's profile (online now)


3115 posts in 966 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


202 posts in 933 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


2280 posts in 869 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


6820 posts in 1809 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


4846 posts in 1281 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

1996 posts in 909 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


4697 posts in 950 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


1288 posts in 633 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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