quick marking gauge

  • Advertise with us
Project by AaronK posted 08-10-2011 11:36 PM 3864 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
quick marking gauge
quick marking gauge No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
Zoom Pictures

Made from cherry with a 1/2” poplar dowel and metal bolt. I thought I needed one, and didn’t think it had to be fancy. The hole is drilled out with a forstner bit to keep the sides as smooth as possible. The bolt hole was drilled out, then I just ran the screw threads through a bunch of times with wax to tap the threads. The cutter is a nail that I filed flat on one side and angled on the other. The bolt is maybe a 1/4-20 type, and I ground the head down to make it easier to turn by hand. Finish is oil and wax.

All in all it works very well. The bolt leaves little divots in the poplar if I am not careful, so I may change it to plastic, or use an oak dowel, or both.

8 comments so far

View acducey's profile


65 posts in 3659 days

#1 posted 08-11-2011 12:36 AM

If it works OK, then you just saved some money for something you need worse! I’m all for shop-made tools whenever possible; right now I’m working on a saw-sharpening vice out of hardwood scraps that will save $120 or so.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26398 posts in 4259 days

#2 posted 08-11-2011 12:41 AM

That’s all you need. Necessity is the mother of invention! You have a working tool now!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4349 days

#3 posted 08-11-2011 02:06 AM

Looks real nice Aaron, just make sure that nail is sharp. You should take a piece of wood and chisel out space for that bolt to sit tightly in, then epoxy it and you have a comfortable grip to tighten with :)

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4618 days

#4 posted 08-11-2011 02:21 AM

eric – thanks! it’s sharp enough for me to be scared of it now :-) if i find it gets dull, i think i’ll just heat treat the nail. using a nail as a blade is so much less fuss than a wide blade. It’s really easy to turn about 5ยบ so that it pull the fence to the work as you scribe the line.

I originally thought of making a knob like youre describing, but at this point it’s so lubed up that it’s super easy to turn.

This is such a small project that I wasn’t even sure I should post it. But i did to show folks who are just starting out like me that it’s really simple to make your own tools and that it can be done with minimal effort.

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4842 days

#5 posted 08-11-2011 03:26 AM

Doesn’t have to look like a million dollars to work correctly ! Great job on this one : )

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

View Transition's profile


340 posts in 3697 days

#6 posted 08-11-2011 03:31 AM

In shop tools I typically choose form over function. I really admire some of the beautiful work others put into their tools, but I’m usually more anxious to get at my projects. Not that a tool can’t be a project… Oh, now I’m all messed up!

Anyway, good job.

-- Andrew, Orange County, CA -

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 4213 days

#7 posted 08-11-2011 07:50 AM

That works. There aren’t many tools more simple than a marking gauge and you have the basics. One small oversight is, that if you use it much, the sharpened nail is not going to remain sharp because the metal is pretty soft. Do just a touch of research on heat treating and hardening metal aind you could have that nail hardened enough to hold an edge sufficiently. Then you will really have something. Easier yet, go buy a cheap scribe with a hardened tip and rob the tip from it and you have an instant hardened pin to use for the scribe part.


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

View Bill729's profile


241 posts in 4236 days

#8 posted 08-11-2011 08:36 AM

Nice job! I’m sure it will be very satisfying to use!

I need one too, and I just got an idea! : )


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics