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Wenge marking gauge

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Project by shampeon posted 369 days ago 1321 views 7 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A while back I made a prototype of a kinshiru-style marking gauge out of birch.

Came out pretty well, but there were some things I wanted to improve when I started to make my gauge for the marking gauge swap.

I started with some quarter-sawn wenge.

Astute readers will note that both of my gauges have the more steeply curved section of the body on the opposite side compared to traditional Japanese marking gauges. This was on purpose. To me, it’s more natural to keep your wrist straight and let your fingers follow the curve. If the curve is in front, you’re bending your wrist when grasping the gauge.

Anyway. After mortising the hole, I drilled a hole at a 45 degree angle for the adjustment screw, and tapped the wood. Wenge is hard enough to just tap the wood, but I also squeezed some thin CA glue to toughen up the threads.

The brass adjustment screw presses onto a piece of threaded rod that is attached to an L-shaped brass pressure plate in the mortise hole. This keeps the brass pressure plate captive in the mortise hole, but allows for movement to lock in the wenge beam.

The 45 degree adjustment screw and pressure plate lock the beam tightly in the corner of the mortise, much tighter than if the beam were tightened into just the bottom of the mortise.

The blade is an old, worn Stanley 45 cutter that I reshaped into a curved edge and sharpened. It’s held vertical in a small dado I cut with a chisel, and held tight with a brass screw. I tapped the end of the beam for the screw.

The finish is a mixture of BLO and shellac. It kept the nice chocolate brown grain in the wenge visible.

I used my old Millers Falls stamp set to put my initials on the knurled adjustment screw head. The brass pressure plate also has my initials and the date stamped into it.

My recipient, Marcus, let me know that he’s been using it. I’m pretty pleased with the result.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."





22 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

14580 posts in 1163 days


#1 posted 369 days ago

excellent!!

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

View terryR's profile

terryR

2963 posts in 903 days


#2 posted 369 days ago

Ian, that’s beautiful! Very clean and finished-looking.

The captive brass at a 45 degree angle is a great design!

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

View Marcus's profile

Marcus

1040 posts in 615 days


#3 posted 369 days ago

Definitely a nice addition to the shop, thanks Ian!

And Ian is selling himself short about the adjustment/lock screw. His method for locking the beam down is pretty ingenious and really makes for a solid tool.

View JayT's profile

JayT

2073 posts in 806 days


#4 posted 369 days ago

Nice tweaks to a classic design. Love that tight grain on the fence section.

Great job, shamp!

-- "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 Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

1119 posts in 570 days


#5 posted 369 days ago

I love the locking mechanism. Bet it works real well!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

3875 posts in 1046 days


#6 posted 369 days ago

Ian, can’t figure out how you attached the threaded rod to the brass angle? Magic ???

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1255 posts in 778 days


#7 posted 369 days ago

Kevin: I drilled a 45 degree hole in the edge of the pressure plate and tapped it for the threaded rod, which is a size smaller than the adjusting screw hole. I then filed a slot for a screwdriver on both ends of the threaded rod. I used a jeweler’s screwdriver through the body hole to thread the rod into the hole and out of the way of the beam.

Like this:

Getting the pressure plate to be captive in the mortise was probably the biggest challenge.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Don W's profile

Don W

14580 posts in 1163 days


#8 posted 369 days ago

wouldn’t a flat spot on the corner do about the same?

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

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1255 posts in 778 days


#9 posted 369 days ago

Don: it wouldn’t keep the brass pressure plate in the mortise. The pressure plate could pop out when you’re adjusting the length of the beam. So the threaded rod serves two purposes: the contact point for the adjustment screw and to keep the pressure plate captive.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1747 days


#10 posted 369 days ago

Very sexy gauge, I love that the pressure is applied at 45 degrees, that’s key. The brass pressure plate mechanism is brilliant!

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

14580 posts in 1163 days


#11 posted 369 days ago

that makes sense!

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

View Marcus's profile

Marcus

1040 posts in 615 days


#12 posted 369 days ago

See, I told you he wasnt giving himself enough credit about the pressure screw setup. Definitely a little thinking out of the box.

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

3875 posts in 1046 days


#13 posted 369 days ago

Ian, quite masterful. Thanks for disclosing your secret process.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5242 posts in 1193 days


#14 posted 369 days ago

Nice job on this one.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2432 posts in 946 days


#15 posted 369 days ago

Really nice, great work.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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