Dovetail Marking Gauge

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Project by Div posted 05-24-2010 10:41 PM 10178 views 35 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I enjoy cutting dovetails by hand and I enjoy making my own tools. This little gauge was fun to make. I hack sawed the brass shape from 1/8” stock and cleaned it up with a file. I riveted it to a hardwood guide block with two copper nails. The one end has a 1:5 slope, suitable for softwoods, while the other end is 1:8 for hardwoods. I have now dreamt up the Mark II version but still have to make the time to do it….

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

15 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4935 days

#1 posted 05-24-2010 10:55 PM

Beautiful job on this :)

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Mike's profile


391 posts in 4864 days

#2 posted 05-24-2010 11:19 PM

When can I expect mine in the mail???? lol

Nice job a pretty.

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View dakremer's profile


2771 posts in 4339 days

#3 posted 05-24-2010 11:38 PM

seeing how i’ve never cut or used a dovetail joint, I don’t think I fully appreciate this! haha… But the tool looks awesome, and it looks really well made!! great job

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View velo_tom's profile


123 posts in 4263 days

#4 posted 05-25-2010 12:08 AM

I was lazy and bought mine. I have to admit that yours sure looks nicer. Beautiful job and some nice craftsmanship. I’m sure it adds an extra dimension of satisfaction to making the joints with hand tools too.

-- There's no such thing as mistakes, just design changes.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4774 days

#5 posted 05-25-2010 01:35 AM

A very nice tool! ...and your photography is excellant!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 4306 days

#6 posted 05-25-2010 01:38 AM

That is a really beautiful dovetail marker. I think I hear Bridge City calling. Anyway, very nicely done. One question, where do you get your brass from? I can’t seem to find a local supplier that carries anything that thick unless I purchase way more than I will ever use. Are there any online suppliers where you can order small quantities of brass sheet, rod and bar stock that could be used for making tools?

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


118259 posts in 4824 days

#7 posted 05-25-2010 02:38 AM

well done a great tool


View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 4177 days

#8 posted 05-25-2010 02:39 AM

When Can I buy one

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4280 days

#9 posted 05-25-2010 06:01 AM


Congrats on the “by hand”. Same with me. Somtimes the “Piece” your making just seems to need to be “Made By Hand”. I think it keeps our Skills Honed Up also.

That is a Beautiful piece of Equipment! Saves a lot of time, deadly accurate, and will last a Lifetime.



-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


22432 posts in 4923 days

#10 posted 05-25-2010 08:15 AM

Nice tool!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4187 days

#11 posted 05-25-2010 10:55 PM

Thanks for all the comments.
@ docholladay: Wish I could help you but I live thousands of miles from you in South Africa. No good giving you my supplier!
@thatwoodworkingguy: As soon as I receive the deposit!
@mike: Send a cheque!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View mafe's profile


13350 posts in 4336 days

#12 posted 05-26-2010 01:20 AM

Beautiful tool.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4920 days

#13 posted 05-26-2010 01:53 AM

Beautiful tool!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4362 days

#14 posted 06-12-2010 05:44 PM

good looking dovetail marker
you have made there Div
thank´s for sharing


View BigTiny's profile


1721 posts in 4135 days

#15 posted 07-09-2010 10:45 AM

Nice job Div.
For the Mark II might I suggest including a second brass piece to draw the straight ends of the dovetails so you don’t have to swith to the trysquare to finish marking them?

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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