Friday, December 03, 2010

Marking Gauge

This marking gauge came out of my backyard. I started with a small Maple log, split it in half, hewed it to a rough board with my axe, then set it aside for a month. I brought it downstairs, planed it square and smoothed it out. I wanted a project to use my new mortise chisels on, so I decided to make this marking gauge based on the one that I saw on the page "Woodworking In Vietnam". Turns out this is also a classical French design, which I learned on some other woodworking page somewhere out there.

I wasn't sure whether I wanted a pin or a knife, so I made both out of a couple of small finish nails. I tried them out on a piece of scrap and decided I prefer the knife.

The jaws on my bit brace can't close tight enough to grab the tiny drill bit I needed to drill the pilot hole for the knife, so I tried using some pine jaws in the brace. Not enough friction, so I dug up the pin vise, which worked like a charm.

The finished gauge works well enough for me. The beam isn't perfectly square to the fence, but it does the job. I'm putting on a few coats of Formby's "Tung Oil Finish" to finish it up, and I'll call it done.

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