Dogwood Marking Gauge Accents

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Project by JD77 posted 12-01-2019 04:53 AM 800 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been wanting to try making a full feature marking gauge and finally gave it a crack now that the Christmas presents are pretty well finished. I definitely learned a few things and if I did it again I would end up making the parts in a different order.

The project started with a couple of old brass plumbing parts, a few scraps of dogwood, and a salvaged stainless rod from a printer. I began by turning a brass 1/2” x 3/8” female coupling. My carbide scraper had no issues with it and I followed up with a few files to clean it up. Of course that also means I had nothing to hold it by to tighten threaded connections, so this should have been much later in the process.

Because the printer rod was metric it wasn’t going to fit nicely in any holes I would be able to drill, so I opted for two 3/8” compression fittings with ferrules that I notched to allow them the squeeze tighter on the rod. I tightened the 1/2” threads into the coupling with lock-tight, then rounded the hex faces on the lathe. I flattened the face of a stainless washer and attached a piece of dogwood to the back. The wood was given a bell-shape on the lathe, with a rubbed wax finish. I pressed the compression nut into the wood backing so that I can adjust the tightness of the front ferrule by twisting the whole front. I have a rubber ring that is squeezed between the coupling face and the wood which prevents accidental adjustments.

The 3/8” NPT fitting also needed a wooden grip fitted, but rather than press-fit, I simply epoxied the hex faces into an oversized hole, then I turned the whole fitting. This worked much better than the press-fit, but I also don’t think it really matters. I haven’t made a grip for the lower ferrule nut, but I may if I find it hard to use.

To make it work, I just roughly set the depth by tightening the bottom ferrule, and then I can fine-tune the depth by turning the whole front, coupling and all. The 3/8” x 18 TPI threads give me almost 1/4 of travel for the fine adjust. The last feature is that the hole in the washer face is large enough for the cutter to be completely recessed so that it can stand up on the workbench.

2 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6836 posts in 1590 days

#1 posted 12-01-2019 01:56 PM

Learned a bunch along the way and shared it. Plus got a nice marking gauge out of the deal. Win!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View mafe's profile


12928 posts in 4097 days

#2 posted 12-01-2019 05:05 PM

Really impressive work, really impressed with your thinking.
Best thoughts,

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

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