Oddball Marking Gauge for the Swap

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Project by RGtools posted 06-30-2013 02:07 PM 14679 views 5 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had a blast designing and executing this tool. These swaps are are good way to make you gear up to do good work. For this swap I thought the durability of purpleheart would be a boon…it was, once the infernal thing was done.

I have issues making a perfect “showpiece” tool…I can never bring myself to do it. It’s a solid working tool though. A few features I put into it:

The threads of both screws are tapped directly into the purpleheart which is dense tough stuff, and should be able to take the abuse.

The stem gets tighter in its mortise when the blade is closer to the body, this is intended to prevent the stem slipping quickly and knocking the blade into the body.

The blade comes from Lie Nielsen Tool-Works; it’s a panel gauge blade. I had to file the eye for the screw to fit through it though, and auger bit file and a chainsaw file do a fine job here. Keep it sharp and you will be able to make either very light marks that can be cleared away with a smoothing plane, or deep marks with will be visible for years to come.

I nixed the idea of a brass wear strip, purpleheart is probably harder anyway.

The angled mortise should help the tool age gracefully, as pressure from the screw should force alignment.

The tool is, as you can see, very asymmetrical. This is for a few reasons.
o I have a hard time making a showpiece tool (the wires in my brain must be crossed).
o It’s favored for a right hander.
o The stem was made by hand and is a little “off” as far as the angled bottom, having an asymmetrical head should help remind you of the orientation of the stem.

I tried to give the tool a bit more length than the average gauge without upsetting the balance of the tool. This is a real asset on drawer and small box work, where many gauges fall just a touch short.

I just hope it’s enjoyed.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

21 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5031 days

#1 posted 06-30-2013 02:18 PM

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 4129 days

#2 posted 06-30-2013 02:19 PM

A fine example of the “K.I.S.S.” build method! Sometimes less is more. Function trumps form ALWAYS!!!
Looks like a keeper to me!!!
Great job.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Don W's profile

Don W

20381 posts in 4022 days

#3 posted 06-30-2013 02:20 PM

Excellent Ryan. Love the drawing!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


9194 posts in 4031 days

#4 posted 06-30-2013 02:22 PM

Mighty fine gauge RG!

View GMatheson's profile


478 posts in 4423 days

#5 posted 06-30-2013 02:26 PM

Great gauge Ryan. I like the purpleheart. It’s my go to wood for re-soling my wood body planes. This should take the use and abuse for at least a few generations

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada

View Brit's profile


8508 posts in 4297 days

#6 posted 06-30-2013 02:49 PM

How could it not be enjoyed Ryan. Nice work.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View bondogaposis's profile


6183 posts in 3805 days

#7 posted 06-30-2013 02:53 PM

Really nice gauge!

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4053 days

#8 posted 06-30-2013 02:54 PM

Well done Ryan.

View stan3443's profile


301 posts in 3730 days

#9 posted 06-30-2013 03:04 PM

good looking gauge ,but i’m partial to purple

-- If your not supposed to have hair on your face......why does it grow their

View AnthonyReed's profile


10196 posts in 3894 days

#10 posted 06-30-2013 03:47 PM

Nicely done Ryan.

-- ~Tony

View 489tad's profile


4153 posts in 4466 days

#11 posted 06-30-2013 04:52 PM

Well done. Beautiful wood.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View JayT's profile


6455 posts in 3665 days

#12 posted 06-30-2013 05:35 PM

Very nice, Ryan.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Jeff82780's profile


204 posts in 4449 days

#13 posted 06-30-2013 06:30 PM


View terryR's profile


7732 posts in 3763 days

#14 posted 06-30-2013 08:41 PM

That is very nice, Ryan. I love the shape of the bottom of the beam.
The included sketch, in color, is priceless!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 4294 days

#15 posted 06-30-2013 09:53 PM

Purple heart is stunning.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

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