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Dovetail marking gauge

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 01-25-2020 06:42 PM 869 views 2 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few months back, Lost Art Press featured a dovetail marking system from The Solution At Hand. I thought it was pretty neat and asked some of my swap buddies if anyone could help me by CNCing the brass piece which is almost all of the work. John McClure offered to help, so I sent him a few pieces of brass. He promptly broke a handful of bits on his CNC, but eventually figured everything out and sent me back a few cut brass plates. Thanks, John!

The angles on the brass are 1:4 (or pretty near 14°︎) since that’s what I use for most of my dovetails.

Today I got the rest of the hardware and wood to finish these off. I had some ebony that I bought for another project and ended up not using, so I cut a piece 1/2” by 1” by about 3.5” long. Sanded it up, drilled a couple holes, chiseled recesses for square nuts, and put the parts together (though I’ll replace the gun screws I’m currently using with nicer thumbscrews at some point). It’s a handy little gauge, and since I don’t have a real shop at the moment, it was nice to knock out a small project and get something done.

I’m planning to leave both the brass and the ebony unfinished for now. I might shellac the brass on the next one I build, but I suspect that won’t look very good once it starts getting scuffed from use.

-- Dave - Santa Fe





29 comments so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

6941 posts in 1343 days


#1 posted 01-25-2020 06:53 PM

teamwork at its finest :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4857 posts in 1205 days


#2 posted 01-25-2020 06:58 PM

Here is where the enterprising owner of a CNC machine jumps in, and says I could make those for members for XXX apiece.

Nice job Dave. A slide ruler for 14* DTs as wide or thin as you like.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4556 posts in 1213 days


#3 posted 01-25-2020 07:04 PM

I thought about that, SteveN, but wouldn’t feel right monopolizing John’s CNC like that. ;-)

Agreed, Tony. Especially with no shop, having buddies who’ll help out makes a huge difference.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

818 posts in 178 days


#4 posted 01-25-2020 10:29 PM

You will have that shop soon, Dave:})

Not sure which will last longer, the brass, or the ebony?

Why shellac brass? Why not just wax it? And the ebony too.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: If you tell the truth, you dont have to remember anything (S. Clemens) Edit: Now where is that darn pencil/ tape measure!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4556 posts in 1213 days


#5 posted 01-25-2020 10:35 PM

Shellac? To keep corrosion away. Wax will work, too. Or just let it pick up a patina. I’ll likely just let it age for now.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View swirt's profile

swirt

4709 posts in 3602 days


#6 posted 01-26-2020 02:22 AM

Looks like a great re-creation of a nice gauge.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4556 posts in 1213 days


#7 posted 01-26-2020 02:49 AM

Thanks, swirt!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

1293 posts in 1688 days


#8 posted 01-26-2020 03:13 AM

Duplicate!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

1293 posts in 1688 days


#9 posted 01-26-2020 03:14 AM

We are seeing a lot of ‘teamwork’ amongst us lately! Great project Dave!
I’m working with Grant on a combination sign project! Let’s keep this cooperative effort going!!!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

9034 posts in 2674 days


#10 posted 01-26-2020 03:16 AM

Great to see friends helping out friends when they can. That was a good idea Dave.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4556 posts in 1213 days


#11 posted 01-26-2020 12:52 PM

Yeah, Mike. Especially as I’m still in the middle of getting a shop built, cooperating with others is a huge help. I’m getting some help from AZDave on my main swap item too.

Thanks, Dave. Would like to see you in a swap again one of these days.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

4276 posts in 2608 days


#12 posted 01-26-2020 01:44 PM

Nice Dave. It’s great when lumberjocks work together. You know something good will come out of it.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

3799 posts in 3739 days


#13 posted 01-26-2020 06:54 PM

Nice teamwork, nice tool and congrats on a Top 3!

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

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

3481 posts in 2979 days


#14 posted 01-26-2020 06:57 PM

I was envisioning something like the bow-tie version. Just goes to show there are always more ways than one to make something. Nice work on the brass John, and great idea Dave.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4556 posts in 1213 days


#15 posted 01-26-2020 08:03 PM

Thanks, Jeff, Steven, and Earl.

Earl, I’ve got a little bowtie version, but this one has the nice feature of being able to set the width with the sliding crossbar, and then you align it on the center notch, rather than having to figure out all the individual widths and spacings. It’s a different way of laying out the dovetails, and I think it fits my brain better than the bowtie does.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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