Marking Gauge... Almost

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Project by NateX posted 01-18-2012 04:41 AM 2590 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I received Tool-Making Projects for Joinery and Woodworking: A Yankee Craftsman's Practical Methods by Steve A Olesin for Christmas this year (I would have linked to the authors site but he died in 2006). I read the introduction and took a look at the first project, a marking gauge! I was intrigued that it was a reproduction of an American colonial era tool. The assembly was pretty straight forward and I figured it was a good place to start, I was looking at buying one of these anyway. I had some paduk and hard maple laying around from previous projects that would fit the bill nicely.

Making it went pretty smoothly and I pressed some recently restored hand planes into service. I did change a couple things in the design. I angled the upper slot which receives the sliding toggle and matched the angle on the toggle. I also made the beam much longer to make the tool more versatile. I cut the blade from an old saw blade, filed, ground, and beveled it.

Everything seemed pretty good at first, but as i slid the toggle more and more, I had to push it further and further in. Now there is not a lot left to slide if it deforms any more. The beam has a tiny bit of left/ right play which kinda makes it useless as a precision marking gauge. This problem is magnified when the beam is slid out the full 18 inches.

So what I have is a serviceable marking gauge that doubles a t-square. Not too bad. I cut enough parts to make 2 of these things. I might modify what I did a bit more on the next iteration.

All in all: a great use for some old scraps. The next project in the book is a dual beam marking gauge using knurled knobs, the sliding toggle is nice, but metal is better :)

5 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4638 days

#1 posted 01-18-2012 05:14 AM

Very nice marking gauge well done.


View dubsaloon's profile


623 posts in 3855 days

#2 posted 01-18-2012 06:16 AM

That looks so nice. Mine are not so nice. Gives me an idea to make a simpler version. Great Project.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View NateX's profile


98 posts in 4058 days

#3 posted 01-18-2012 06:20 AM

Thanks for the compliments!

It was fun to build something for the shop besides a router jig.

View Ken90712's profile


17984 posts in 4250 days

#4 posted 01-18-2012 11:13 AM

Great tool, very rewarding making your own! Well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View StumpyNubs's profile


7851 posts in 3862 days

#5 posted 01-19-2012 12:16 AM

Maybe that’s what I need to build my giant tool cabinet! Thanks for posting!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The greatest woodworking show since the invention of wood is now online!)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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