Marking Gauge

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Project by Mattyboy posted 08-20-2015 05:03 PM 2343 views 10 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got the idea for this type of marking gauge from Richard Maguire of “The English Woodworker”. The beam is locked in place with a wedge, so the stock has two mortises – one for the beam and an angled one for the wedge. The main mortise was first drilled with brace and 13/16″ bit, then chiseled to the gauged lines. The angled mortise was a little tricky, but careful marking and chiseling made it OK.

This thing is a beast – I probably made it a little larger than they are typically made. I just didn’t know any better. The beam is 7/8″ square and about 9″ long. The stock is 1 1/8″ thick, 4″ tall and about 3″ wide. The wedge is 5/16″ thick, approx 1/2″ wide and 3 1/2″ long.

I used an ordinary nail (don’t know what kind) for the pin. I cut off the head, chucked it into a drill and sharpened it on sandpaper and diamond stones. I don’t know if this helped or hurt (don’t know the properties of steel used for mails), but I heat treated the nail to harden it.

Finished with three coats of shellac, each rubbed with steel wool after drying. The stock was given a coat of wax so that it will slide well on a board. The wedge locks the beam quite solidly in the stock.

Not sure what wood it is – got it from dismantling a chair that was destined for the landfill. Comments and critiques are encouraged.

-- Matt, Northern CA

5 comments so far

View macdo's profile


29 posts in 2954 days

#1 posted 08-20-2015 05:41 PM

Nice! I always wanted to build one…have to make some time..

View Buche's profile


71 posts in 3961 days

#2 posted 08-20-2015 07:58 PM

Nice! Beech maybe?

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1355 posts in 2725 days

#3 posted 08-21-2015 08:09 AM

Looks like it will get a lot of pleasant use. Looks a lot liek beech to me

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View calisdad's profile


334 posts in 2521 days

#4 posted 08-21-2015 03:26 PM

Very nice.

Thanks for laying out the pieces- makes it very clear.

-- Groveland, CA.

View Bermuda_Les's profile


162 posts in 2241 days

#5 posted 08-21-2015 05:15 PM

I’ve always wanted to make one of these too… you have inspired me!

-- Making sawdust in Bermuda. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it!

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