One can never have too many tools. Well…maybe. But when you are still basically starting out, like I am, you still find a need for random things that would make life easier in the shop every now and then (more often than I’d like, actually).
A marking gauge is just one of those things. Working on the big (for me) dovetails on the secret project that will be revealed in a few weeks, got me thinking how much easier it would be to just use a marking gauge and scribe equal lines. No more guesswork and fidgeting with pencils and balancing wood on end. Not to mention I could have used one on a number of different projects so far.
After a hand plane accident (no, I wasn’t hurt but the plane will never recover…it has gone to the workshop in the sky…but that’s another post) I found myself at a standstill on the project until I could get a replacement. Not being able to just snap my fingers like Q and have one appear in front of me in a flash, I have to do some research and clear finances. This time, I will NOT go for the low end, made in India model.
That’s when I happened across the Logan Cabinet Shoppe website. Bob Rozaieski made a wonderful video on how to make a marking gauge. I chose option 2, which uses a dowel to secure the marking arm. Otherwise I tried to stick to his instructions with the exception of my available wood. I used 3/4″ oak glued together to make the fence, then ripped a 3/4″ square strip for the arm. The dowel is 3/8″ oak.
I won’t bore you with the details (just watch Bob’s video and you’ll see pretty much what I did…not as nicely though).
Since I’m left handed (I know, call out the writing police) I made it opposite the way he did…But I tested it out and it works like a charm! I’m quite pleased with myself, actually. The fit of the square arm isn’t perfect but it’s the best mortise I’ve ever made. The pin is just a finishing nail, ground to a flat sided point on the belt sander and tapped through the arm. Nothing fancy but it works!
Thanks for a great much-needed project, Bob!