Marking gauge from scrap oak.

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).

IMAG2864Since I’m left handed (I know, call out the writing police) I made it opposite the way he did…IMAG2865But 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!

 

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About Steven M. Vaught

A native son of Delaware, now living in Illinois, Steven is a writer, family historian, amateur astronomer, sometimes-gardener, woodworker, father to three wonderful children, husband to a wonderful wife, and caretaker of one cheeky vizsla.
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