Walnut Marking Gauge

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Project by Tom posted 04-23-2019 07:44 PM 426 views 4 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted a simple marking gauge that could be worked with one hand. The captured wedge lends itself to one handed setting instead of adjusting a thumb screw. I like the pin type gauge for using along the grain on longer boards to mark for sawing down my stock.

I found the basic design by Dean Jansa on the internet. I adjusted a few of the dimensions to suit my needs. I also adapted the design to have a rounded underside on the beam because I thought that style would be easier to use in some instances. The pin is made from an old drill bit that I ground off and then ground it to a point.

I used hand tools for this simple project. To be honest, I spent a lot of time just getting the block of wood to be as perfectly square as I could get it. It really helps to have a good square piece when laying out the mortises for the beam and the wedge. I chopped out the wedge mortise with a 1/4” chisel. I drilled out the beam mortise with a 5/8” auger and squared the top side. To round the top, I used a wide chisel to cut away the waste and then I smoothed it with rasp and file. I rounded the beam with a smooth plane and sand paper. The wedge was mostly shaped with a chisel and rasp/file.

I finished it with amber shellac and wax. It works really well and it is easy to set and see where you are marking with the rounded beam bottom. It’s really a great design with the captured wedge.

-- Tom

6 comments so far

View woodcox's profile


2286 posts in 2374 days

#1 posted 04-23-2019 10:28 PM

That’s a fine gauge, Tom. I like the lobe on wedge. I received a wedged gauge in a tool swap that uses a small dowel. I’ve lost and had to remake the dowel once so far.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View mahdee's profile


4286 posts in 2129 days

#2 posted 04-24-2019 12:37 AM

Lots of work you put on that and it came out just right. Looks great.


View swirt's profile


3873 posts in 3333 days

#3 posted 04-24-2019 01:21 AM

Great looking gauge. Nice work.

-- Galootish log blog,

View TWegs's profile


60 posts in 977 days

#4 posted 04-24-2019 02:49 PM

Nice looking gauge. This has been on my bucket list for a while. Love the ability to lock it in with one hand. Also love the traditional woodworking approach. It looks like we’re both disciples of Paul Sellers.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

358 posts in 1654 days

#5 posted 04-24-2019 05:39 PM

Well done! It’s now on my to do list. Can the marking pin be adjusted and replaced?
If so how? By tapping it out?

-- James E McIntyre

View Tom's profile


56 posts in 253 days

#6 posted 04-24-2019 06:09 PM

The pin is just held by a tight fit It can be removed and adjusted or replaced.

-- Tom

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