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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.

Gallery

Comments

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19,716 Posts
Very nice work
 

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18,411 Posts
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.
 

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18,692 Posts
Excellent Ryan. Love the drawing!
 

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377 Posts
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
 

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7,192 Posts
How could it not be enjoyed Ryan. Nice work.
 

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200 Posts
good looking gauge ,but i'm partial to purple
 

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2,161 Posts
Well done. Beautiful wood.
 

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5,965 Posts
Very nice, Ryan.
 

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7,180 Posts
That is very nice, Ryan. I love the shape of the bottom of the beam.
The included sketch, in color, is priceless!
 

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10,033 Posts
Purple heart is stunning.
 

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5,738 Posts
Great gauge Ryan, I like the angled bottom of the beam. Great idea.
 

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1,080 Posts
Well done Ryan, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the build also.
 

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2,725 Posts
I know how hard that species is to work. You did a great job on it Ryan.
 

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11,255 Posts
Love these beefy gauges, the purpleheart really pops.
 
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