Gaugeswap 2013

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Project by Hammerthumb posted 07-01-2013 05:04 PM 1951 views 18 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is the marking gauge I made for Jeff. Below is the letter I included in the package. I wanted to try to make something a little different than the rest of the participants. Little did I know, everone made something a little different for this swap. What a great bunch of tools has come out of this event! I hope the letter explains the gauge well enough. Enjoy!


Here is the marking gauge that I made for you. I hope you enjoy it. The gauge is made of Ipe (very dense wood) with a couple of maple racing stripes on the beam. It has an Ipe turned knob to tighten the beam. It also has an 01 steel cutter. I struggled with the design as I wanted to make a gauge that was slightly unusual but very effective. My first design was with a mortise for the beam but found that the material I chose is not very conducive to mortises. I spent more time sharpening chisels than actually chopping. The Ipe would fold over the edge of the chisel after a couple of blows. I figured that the material was just too hard, so instead of changing the material I changed the design. I actually like this design better.
If you remove the adjustment knob and beam, you will see a brass bar embedded into the gauge body. It is ½” x 1/2” x 3-1/4” long. If you look carefully when assembled, the beam does not sit on the gauge body, but rests upon the brass bar. The brass bar rides inside the channel cut into the beam. This should eliminate any wear to the gauge body when used. The other advantage this has is the fit of the brass inside the channel virtually eliminates any side to side movement of the beam. I used the gauge on a few test pieces and found that when adjusting and tightening, the knob will not change the position of where you set the gauge. The movement of the beam is slick and easy to adjust. I also embedded a piece of brass on the face as a wear plate although I think the toughness of the Ipe will not show wear for many years. But it looks cool also! I really like this design and have started another to keep in my shop.
The business end of the beam features a relief in the end that fits a 3/8” x 1/16” blade. The blade is held in place with an 8-32 brass screw that treads into a piece of 3/8” round brass stock that was drilled, tapped, and glued into the end of the beam. The gauge has been finished since mid May but I was not satisfied with the blade. I finally found some 01 steel and shaped the new blade and heat treated it. It works much better than the first blade I made and am glad I did not ship it prior to making this change.
Finally, I finished the gauge with a bath of Danish oil and then 2 coats of wax. This is the way I like to finish hand tools as the finish is easy to repair and maintain.

I hope you don’t mind that I stamped the bottom of the gauge with HT for HammerThumb. At least you will always be able to remember where it came from.

Good luck and happy wood working.


-- Paul, Las Vegas

17 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

16821 posts in 1654 days

#1 posted 07-01-2013 05:49 PM

an excellent gauge Paul. I really like the design.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View JayT's profile


3881 posts in 1298 days

#2 posted 07-01-2013 05:52 PM

Beautiful job, Hammerthumb. I can’t believe you had the patience to do all that fine work with ipe.

-- "My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." Abraham Lincoln

View ShaneA's profile (online now)


5833 posts in 1685 days

#3 posted 07-01-2013 05:52 PM

Clean looking gauge. Very well done sir.

View JSilverman's profile


88 posts in 1700 days

#4 posted 07-01-2013 06:44 PM

nice gauge. I really like the brass for the beam idea.

View Mauricio's profile


7077 posts in 2238 days

#5 posted 07-01-2013 06:52 PM

Excellent gauge HT!

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

View Sanding2day's profile


1000 posts in 933 days

#6 posted 07-01-2013 07:29 PM

Great looking gauge!! Love the wood selection and brass rails etc. Thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View Hammerthumb's profile


2109 posts in 1062 days

#7 posted 07-01-2013 07:45 PM

What? Nobody commented on the maple racing stripes? Thanks guys for the kind words. I really liked this project and all of the fine work it turned out.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View bondogaposis's profile


3447 posts in 1438 days

#8 posted 07-01-2013 09:00 PM

This a really nice gauge, very clean lines wonderful design. Love it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CL810's profile


3049 posts in 2075 days

#9 posted 07-01-2013 09:00 PM

Most excellent work HT. And I do like the maple trim,er, racing strips!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View GenerationWW's profile


521 posts in 1336 days

#10 posted 07-01-2013 10:31 PM

Fancy! it looks great.

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ for free!

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5540 posts in 1379 days

#11 posted 07-01-2013 11:18 PM

Very classy design in an understated way! Excellent use of brass in a minimal manner, but just the right amount to provide needed wear protection in all the right places. Overall, an impressive build, especially the use of Ipe.

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

View Woodbridge's profile


3293 posts in 1505 days

#12 posted 07-02-2013 01:22 AM

nice looking gauge.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Jeff82780's profile


196 posts in 2081 days

#13 posted 07-02-2013 02:01 PM

I am one lucky person!

View Hammerthumb's profile


2109 posts in 1062 days

#14 posted 07-03-2013 12:30 AM

Thanks guys. And thanks Clayton for the comment on the racing stripes!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View terryR's profile


4811 posts in 1395 days

#15 posted 07-03-2013 11:55 PM

Nice design and awesome workmanship, Paul.

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

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