Antique Marking Guage

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Project by BillG posted 01-17-2010 05:14 PM 2612 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently acquired a few new, old tools. They were a gift of a friend of mine whose grandfather was a cabinet maker. They sat in his basement for many years and he finally decided that they would be more useful in my hands that continuing to decay in his basement. They were in fairly rough condition, but mostly salvageable. The first two pieces I chose to rehabilitate were the marking gauge and a #3 Stanley Bailey hand plane, (circa 1910-1919).

While somewhat rusty, the plane is complete with the exception of the horn on the tote having broken off. I’ll be looking for another tote, but the plane will be useable as is when refinished. I am not specifically a collector, so the work I do to refurbish these tools will put them in working order rather than for display puroses.

The marking guage is particularly nice and was in quite good condition, but deffinitely used. I lightly sanded it and place a light coat of BLO on it. There was a tag attached to this tool that was placed there by my friends grandfather in the early sixties. It stated that the tool was a solid ebony marking guage used for marking door mortises when doors where made by hand. It also stated that it was made in Scotland over sixty years ago. I am sure there are nicer guages than this one, but I have never seen one. If anyone knows any more about this guage I would like to hear about it.

Thanks, Bill G

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

14 comments so far

View senomozi's profile


60 posts in 3635 days

#1 posted 01-17-2010 05:30 PM

That looks like a nice tool. I saw one on eBay that is quite similar but the seller does not provide any info that would help you determine where yours comes from:

-- Senomozi - Gatineau, Canada

View Woodwrecker's profile


4228 posts in 4054 days

#2 posted 01-17-2010 05:39 PM

If that old gauge could talk Bill, I bet it would thank you & your friend for getting out of that basement and back in to the game.
Nice clean up job!

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 3883 days

#3 posted 01-17-2010 06:14 PM

If a collector was talking, they would say you just knocked half the value off of it. Having said that, I have one just like it that I cleaned up and use around the shop. There’s something nice about using beautiful old hand tools.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 4201 days

#4 posted 01-17-2010 06:24 PM

Very nice tool. It looks like it has great potential as a usable antique rather than a dust collector. I will ask “Dalbergian” to take a look as he is located in Edinburg and also makes fine tools.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4564 days

#5 posted 01-17-2010 06:33 PM

What a beautiful gauge..good for you. I like the fact you have fixed it up to put to use.


View Maclegno's profile


224 posts in 3541 days

#6 posted 01-17-2010 07:10 PM

Nice to see such skill and effort spent on making a simple thing beautiful, not much of this today. (great to see it was made in Scotland; like me)

-- Maclegno,Scotsman in Italy

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4069 days

#7 posted 01-17-2010 07:32 PM

Nice find.
Beautiful marking gauge.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View stefang's profile


16716 posts in 3813 days

#8 posted 01-17-2010 08:30 PM

Personally I would rather see this fine marking gauge living the life intended for it rather than just spending it’s time in a zoo being ogled. It will still outlast quite a few more generations of real woodworkers. Nice that you intend to use it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View a1Jim's profile


117711 posts in 4056 days

#9 posted 01-17-2010 10:41 PM

Hey Mike I think your right I hate to see those monkeys setting around using marking gauges. LOL
Sorry friend I couldnt resist.
This is a fine looking marking gauge and seriously I prefer to see good tools in use too.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3594 days

#10 posted 01-17-2010 11:10 PM

a great reuse you lucky man
now make some great project with it


View BillG's profile


82 posts in 4029 days

#11 posted 01-17-2010 11:27 PM

senomozi – You are right about the Ebay marking guage. I think the one on Ebay is missing the second pin and the short piece of brass on the business end. Undoubtedly made by the same people. Mine has the name “Clark” on the oval block. I am sure it is ebony, it is quite heavy for its size.

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3587 days

#12 posted 01-17-2010 11:28 PM

oooo nice!

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3563 days

#13 posted 01-17-2010 11:36 PM

I have one similar with the same emblem. I got it with a bunch of oddities at auction. Mines a bit simpler. I haven’t cleaned mine up. Seeing yours I am motivated to go drag it out and clean it up. nice looking tool.

Here’s a pic of mine if it were cleaned and purty.
marking gauge

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3511 posts in 3588 days

#14 posted 04-21-2010 04:40 AM

Hmmm…make/buy decision. I could make one for the price of the ebony, knife steel and brass…but would/could I make that precious inlay around the screw? Nope.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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