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Marking Gauge Swap

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Project by Don Broussard posted 06-30-2013 09:47 PM 938 views 2 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the marking gauge I made for the LJ Marking Gauge Tool Swap for fellow LJ JayT. This is my first time in an LJ Tool Swap, so my gauge is functional, but not as polished as the other fantastic tools made by other participants. The wood is purple heart, and it comes from my brother’s service in the US Army in Afghanistan. The wood was in the dumpster after having been used under outriggers on heavy machinery. He brought a couple of pieces back with him once his deployment was over.

I laminated a few pieces together, cross grained, for the fence. Since I used the captive wedge design, I included a 6 degree space in the laminations so it would be smooth. The practice gauge I made had an irregular face made via chiseling and filing, and I didn’t want my “real” gauge to have irregularities. I made the beam similarly with purple heart laminations. I sized the beam via hand planing, trying to avoid splintering. After the beam was sized, I marked the mortise in the fence, cut the bulk of the material out with a Forstner bit, then finished the mortise with hand chisels and/or filing.

I made two blades out of one jig saw blade, filing one to a point, and the other as a fingernail shape. The third blade was a full-length jigsaw blade shaped to a point. The blade is also held via a small wedge in the beam, also with a 6 degree angle. No finish applied to the gauge or wedges—only Johnson’s Paste Wax was used.

In the south Louisiana tradition of “lagniappe”, I included a spare purple heart wedge each for the beam wedge and the blade wedge.

I know I mentioned this in previous posts, but if you get a chance to participate in future LJ swaps, please seriously consider doing so. I found this marking gauge swap a great opportunity to challenge myself to try new skills. It was neat personalizing the gauge for JayT, and I am glad he found it useful.

EDIT: Thanks to JayT for providing the finished pictures. I forgot to take photos before I boxed it up and mailed it!

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





17 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1222 days


#1 posted 06-30-2013 09:53 PM

Purple heart from a dumpster. It doesn’t get much better than that. It looks great. I agree the swaps are a lot of fun.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View whitebeast88's profile

whitebeast88

3524 posts in 844 days


#2 posted 06-30-2013 09:58 PM

very nice i’m sure jayt will be proud to have it.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Mosquito's profile (online now)

Mosquito

4685 posts in 946 days


#3 posted 06-30-2013 10:03 PM

Like the story behind the purple heart. Nice assortment of spare cutters and wedges too :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View terryR's profile

terryR

3111 posts in 962 days


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

I like it a lot, DonB! The story on the wood is great.

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

View JayT's profile

JayT

2272 posts in 865 days


#5 posted 06-30-2013 10:54 PM

whitebeast, I am. Don can be modest about “polish”, but the gauge works great—easy to set and nice and square. It has already been used quite a bit on my workbench build. The backstory on the wood just makes it more special. I mean, how many other gauges have been halfway around the world with the US Army?

Don in reply to your post on the tool swap thread, yes the wedge is in deep to lock the fence. I think the humidity difference from Louisiana to Kansas had quite a bit to do with that, as it fit more centered when I first opened it.

-- "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 bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1005 days


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

Really nice gauge Dan, great story on the purple heart. Think about it, South America, Afghanistan, Louisiana, Kansas. Where hasn’t that wood been?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4595 posts in 946 days


#7 posted 07-01-2013 12:20 AM

Nice job—looks good!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View waho6o9's profile (online now)

waho6o9

4921 posts in 1231 days


#8 posted 07-01-2013 12:31 AM

Nice work Don!

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10866 posts in 1344 days


#9 posted 07-01-2013 12:32 AM

I loved the fact that you used wood with a story/history.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

1981 posts in 906 days


#10 posted 07-01-2013 12:37 AM

@Bondo—I didn’t think about that! JayT’s marking gauge has more passport stamps than I do!

@JayT—I’ll make a couple of extra beam wedges for you. Do you need the blade wedges too? I’ll toss a couple of them in the package for you.

All—Thanks for the compliments. It was fun to participate in the swap. After seeing the projects posted, I feel like a man among giants!

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

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5302 posts in 1252 days


#11 posted 07-01-2013 12:42 AM

Looks good, plus a great story. What more could there be?

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6819 posts in 1806 days


#12 posted 07-01-2013 01:47 AM

Great gauge Don! Great idea on laminating in both directions to make the mortises.

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

View eddie's profile

eddie

7316 posts in 1268 days


#13 posted 07-01-2013 12:47 PM

great looking purple heart gauge and story , got to try the swap sounds like fun

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

1287 posts in 629 days


#14 posted 07-01-2013 10:51 PM

Difficult wood to work. You did a fantastic job!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View Dave's profile

Dave

11168 posts in 1494 days


#15 posted 07-05-2013 12:01 PM

Don lots of little parts and pieces there. Looking good and PURPLE.
Nice work my friend, it should serve well for many years to come.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

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