Marking tools for Rick M.

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Project by Hammerthumb posted 04-01-2013 07:15 PM 4768 views 10 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are tools that I made for Rick M. for the “Measuring & Marking Tool Swap”. Here is the letter that I sent with the tools.


Just a little note to go with your new marking tools. I have provided a couple of items that I normally use for marking dovetails. To start, I made you a 6 to 1 dovetail layout tool. I also made a marking knife. I also made a marking gauge with both pin and wheel accessories.

Marking gauge – You can change the style of gauge by removing the pin and turning the shaft so the wheel is the marking tool. If you remove the wheel for replacement, please be aware that there is some micro shim washers at the head side of the screw to prevent wheel wobble. I made the cutting wheel with metal from a card scrapper. The pin side is made from a dremel bit shaft so replacement should not be a problem. The mechanism to hold the shaft will require only about 1/3 of a turn for full loose or full tight. Please do not overtighten. I made the mechanism so the contact point to the shaft is with a piece of brass that is just under ½” diameter to minimize marks on the shaft and to provide greater holding power. A very light tightening should hold well. Judging from your picture, you look like a pretty big guy, so I made the gauge slightly larger than the one I use. Hope it fits your hand well.

Marking Knife – As we were instructed to make these for under $20 expenditure, I decided that I would make all items from things I had in my shop. I used brass screws for the pins so the pins don’t exactly look round. I made the cutting edge with an old jointer blade and made the length for dovetailing materials up to about 1-1/2” thick. I did not turn this on my lathe as I have found that round marking knives tend to roll off the bench causing another ½ hour at the sharpening station (speaking from experience). I put the angle of the blade to the angel I prefer, but you can change that if you like. I did not come up with a good method for protecting the blade, but made a small piece of wood that the blade slips into for shipment.

Dovetail Angle Gauge – I made this twice as the brass plate came off the first one. I had used epoxy, but switched to urethane adhesive (Gorilla glue) for the second one, as I know the urethane will hold. The blade part is made with another piece of the card scraper I used to make the marking gauge cutting wheel. Again, forgive the out of round brass pins as I again used brass screws. I made the angle 6 to 1 as this is the angel I use most.

The wood I used is a non-descript rosewood I’ve had laying around for a few years. It looks similar to walnut after finishing. I sent a few pieces with the tools so you can see what it looks like unfinished. If you want to add more pieces to this set, send me a PM. and I will send you out a piece or 2 of leftover material. I finished the pieces by applying Danish oil for color. I then spit coated with amber shellac. I did light grain filling with pumice. I then bodied up with a very light amber shellac finish. It was finished by applying a heavy coat of Behlans paste wax and sanding the wax into the shellac with 1500 grit wet/dry paper. After wiping down and drying for a day, I applied a light coat of wax, and buffed it out. I like the feel of the wood when finished this way and hope you do also.

I had shaped and drilled the wood part of the marking gauge prior to applying the brass plate, and shaped the brass plate to the wood contours after it was applied. As I had the experience with the angle gauge plate coming off, I have been worried the brass on the marking gauge would come off as it was applied with epoxy also. It seems that it is stuck pretty well, but if it comes off please let me know so I can get it fixed for you.

Hope you can use these and wish you happy woodworking.

Best regards,


It has been requested that I do a blog on the marking guage and I will, but need to complete a couple of other projects first. Hope everyone enjoyed the swap as I know I did. If anyone has any questions about this project, send me a PM and I will be happy to reply.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

17 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3252 days

#1 posted 04-01-2013 07:30 PM

All I got to say is Rick, You lucky DOG you!

Beautiful tools Paul!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View mariva57's profile


666 posts in 3249 days

#2 posted 04-01-2013 07:36 PM

Tools of great value.

-- The common man thinks. The wise man is silent. The stupid man discusses.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4102 days

#3 posted 04-01-2013 08:07 PM



-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View bko's profile


118 posts in 4262 days

#4 posted 04-01-2013 08:19 PM

These are beautiful! Very nicely done!


View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3437 days

#5 posted 04-01-2013 08:58 PM


-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View Gary's profile


1511 posts in 5569 days

#6 posted 04-01-2013 09:51 PM

Spectacularly gorgeous tools.

-- Gary, Florida

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3843 days

#7 posted 04-01-2013 10:58 PM

Very nice, the marking gauge is really cool.

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3625 days

#8 posted 04-01-2013 11:07 PM

I am very lucky, they are top quality tools.

-- Rick M,

View a1Jim's profile


118258 posts in 4822 days

#9 posted 04-01-2013 11:29 PM

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8293 posts in 4598 days

#10 posted 04-02-2013 12:29 AM

Sweet! Nice work!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5127 days

#11 posted 04-02-2013 01:08 AM

Very fine workmanship.
I am humbled.
Looking forward to a blog.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3784 days

#12 posted 04-02-2013 01:15 AM

That is amazing. Heirloom quality tools.

-- I never finish anyth

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10408 posts in 3654 days

#13 posted 04-02-2013 01:37 AM

Nice, fantastic what can be built with some creativity and time.. Great work.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View scarpenter002's profile


619 posts in 5150 days

#14 posted 04-02-2013 09:30 AM

Great job Paul. What a friend Rick has.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott in Texas

View keithk1's profile


26 posts in 3209 days

#15 posted 04-04-2013 01:54 AM

Very nice work

-- Indecision may or may not be my problem -Keith

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