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Marking Tools for Joinery - Wheel, Dual, etc. Which one to get?

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Forum topic by PatrickIrish posted 04-09-2018 03:50 PM 848 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PatrickIrish

143 posts in 2465 days


04-09-2018 03:50 PM

To improve my accuracy on some work I want to upgrade to better marking and measuring tools.

I was going to buy a rockler brass cutting/marking wheel for $16 but then saw the Veritas $50 dual wheel that makes mortise and tenon measuring a snap. I think they missed the boat by not adding a graduated scale on the bar though.

I got confused when I came across the wheel marking tool then the wood versions with the pin and terminology of marking vs cutting vs layout.

Any suggestions I should look at?


13 replies so far

View jonah's profile

jonah

2075 posts in 3719 days


#1 posted 04-09-2018 04:00 PM

I’ve never had a problem with the Crown wood version I have. It has the pin. I use it infrequently, sometimes using a marking knife instead if the piece is particularly small or narrow.

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

1326 posts in 860 days


#2 posted 04-09-2018 04:06 PM

If I was in the market for a gauge with pretty much all the bells and whistles and I had the money, I would look close at the Veritas. Nice tool.

I say all that but for me and my mad money budget, I had to resort to making my own. Not the best quality, I can assure you. : )

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1326 posts in 2372 days


#3 posted 04-09-2018 04:34 PM

I recently purchased a Jessem Woodsabre after reading a review on LumberJocks. Not cheap, but extremely well built, easy to adjust, and dead-on accurate.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2883 posts in 2768 days


#4 posted 04-09-2018 05:05 PM

I just use a square and pencil to make the initial mark, then switch to a knife to score it along the blade of the square. My reasoning is that I would have to use the square to set up the marking/cutting gauge anyway so why not just use the square and eliminate an additional tool and step?

Is there something inherently better about using a cutting/marking gauge vs. using a square and pencil or knife?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#5 posted 04-09-2018 05:08 PM

I wrote that review for the JessEm. I still think it’s an excellent gauge. Since you mentioned wanting a graduated scale, the JessEm really shines with markings down to 1/256”.

I also have the Veritas 3 in 1 gauge for smaller work. I really like the way it can hold a segment from a 9mm blade. It not only makes a clean mark, but I use it to trim things. When I add adhesive backed felt to the bottom of a box, it’s perfect for trimming the perimeter and leaving about 1/8” reveal so the felt doesn’t show around the edge.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1906 days


#6 posted 04-09-2018 05:26 PM

The dual is nice. It’s my go to. I wouldn’t use the measurements on it even if it had it because almost markings are arbitrary anyway.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4068 days


#7 posted 04-09-2018 05:42 PM

I use a Japanese one with a knife. It can be used
as a cutting gauge for thin stock as well.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4068 days


#8 posted 04-09-2018 05:51 PM


Is there something inherently better about using a cutting/marking gauge vs. using a square and pencil or knife?

- EarlS

I marked line you can put a chisel in. I use a
pencil a lot but it’s challenging to parse the width
of the lead to get the line exactly where I want it
every time. Mechanical pencils are better but
the line is still offset from the end of the tool.

I use a Veritas sliding square a lot. It has a diamond
shaped cutout at 1” in a pencil tip can be registered
in. I think this approach is more accurate and
consistent than running a pencil against the edge
of a square. I also have one of those Woodpecker
squares with .5mm holes every millimeter. Incra
makes them too.

View Smirak's profile

Smirak

99 posts in 938 days


#9 posted 04-09-2018 06:57 PM

I like wheel style marking gauges. I like one that I’m able to rest the face on a pc of material, release the screw and when it bottoms out, I know I’ve got the thickness of what I’m trying to measure. Does the Jessem have the ability to allow the rod to “float free”?

Thanks,
KS

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Woodknack

12843 posts in 2800 days


#10 posted 04-09-2018 07:21 PM

I have several with pins, one with a blade; the blade is superior. Pins tear the grain when going across and follow the grain when going with. A heavier pin is better, and better yet if you sharpen it into a spear point. I’ve never owned a wheel type.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#11 posted 04-09-2018 07:37 PM


I like wheel style marking gauges. I like one that I m able to rest the face on a pc of material, release the screw and when it bottoms out, I know I ve got the thickness of what I m trying to measure. Does the Jessem have the ability to allow the rod to “float free”?

Thanks,
KS

- Smirak

Yes. You can dial in a precise value, or use it like you describe in your post. It won’t just drop though, you’ll need to push it.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

455 posts in 4388 days


#12 posted 05-08-2018 04:21 PM

Wheel gauges enable you to transfer an exact thickness … easily …

This is also done with a Japanese cutting gauge I made …

This can only be done with gauges where the blade/cutter is flush with the fence.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

View NeophyteGrant's profile

NeophyteGrant

102 posts in 929 days


#13 posted 05-08-2018 08:22 PM

JessEm is really solidly machined, and I like the square reference face better than wheels. It will last forever. It’s a wheel and you can hone it.

It does shine at being able to micro-adjust with graduated wheel down to 1/256. It’s amazing but also kind of overkill. It has positive detentes at 1/2” increments, pop out to you get to the nearest 1/2” under where you want to be, then you rotate a micro adjust to advance it between the stop and the next 1/2 inch. This can get time consuming, as if you measure by relative thickness of another piece or a piece of stock you have on hand rather than an absolute number in your head, it takes a while to click it out through the stops, then turn the microadjust wheel a bunch of times to get from 2inches to 2 3/8, say. You can’t just slide the bar freely and lock it.

Other than that, the thing is gold.

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