Are the brass pieces on a bevel quage important/required?

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Forum topic by SMP posted 10-02-2018 08:56 PM 924 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2099 posts in 672 days

10-02-2018 08:56 PM

I am getting back to hand tools, and trying to get my old hand tools to working condition. I have an old Swanson bevel gauge that I got 20+ years ago and the brass inserts have fallen off, came unglued and the end part pins fell out. The 2 pieces where the tightening screw are held on by the screw, so I can probably glue or epoxy on? Which glue should I use or epoxy? But the other brass pieces are long gone. Looking at reviews of this model on Amazon (still looks the same decades later), some reviews said that they got this thing to usable condition by filing down the brass parts flush etc. But I am wondering if its worth it to spend any time on this or to just find an old Stanley or perhaps a newer Japanese one or something?


8 replies so far

View Scap's profile


119 posts in 694 days

#1 posted 10-02-2018 10:16 PM

I vote replace it.
Doesn’t seem like it would be worth the time invested to repair it…. assuming it’s the one I see on Amazon for $10.25 USD.

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2099 posts in 672 days

#2 posted 10-03-2018 03:02 AM

I vote replace it.
Doesn t seem like it would be worth the time invested to repair it…. assuming it s the one I see on Amazon for $10.25 USD.

- Scap

Yeah thats the one. Its a piece of junk. I tried using it to make a mallet this weekend and the brass pieces shifted and messed up my angle. Looking on Amazon looks like there is a Crown wood one and a Japanese one that is all metal. I kind of like the look of wood but supposedly the metal ones lock tighter and dont have the screw to get in the way? These 2 are in my price range:

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 1257 days

#3 posted 10-03-2018 03:24 AM

I’ve used a cheap bevel with just a wing nut for years and it’s worked fine for me. It just doesn’t have the scale on it, but I’ve never needed to use it to measure anything. Irwin sells one similar to it on Amazon for five bucks. Some of the reviews say this one moves, but I’ve never had an issue with mine. You may want to find one in a local store and test it out as paying over $20 doesn’t seem worth it for this type of tool.

View knockknock's profile


473 posts in 2940 days

#4 posted 10-03-2018 10:26 AM

I use the 8” version of the Japanese, Shinwa Sliding Bevel. It has a very good locking mechanism and functionally is great. But be aware, it is a carpenter’s tool, so it’s roughly finished.

-- 👀 --

View HokieKen's profile


13973 posts in 1905 days

#5 posted 10-03-2018 12:42 PM

I have that Shinwa and it has fantastic holding power. It’s the best bevel gauge I’ve used.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View MrRon's profile


5910 posts in 4010 days

#6 posted 10-03-2018 10:51 PM

Wood bevel gages look nicer than all metal ones, but remember you should not regard them as “precision” tools. I have a Stanley that looks the same as the Johnson level and tool one at $2.99. It is as plain and simple as you can get. I wouldn’t hesitate in spending $2.99. After all, it is a tool, meant to be used for work, not placed on a shelf to be admired.

View bandit571's profile


25866 posts in 3450 days

#7 posted 10-04-2018 12:32 AM

Have 4 Stanley squares….2 rosewood, one walnut, one plastic…..the 6” Rosewood one is my go-to tool…and it doesn’t slip/move once set.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View SMP's profile


2099 posts in 672 days

#8 posted 10-12-2018 04:06 PM

Well, I spent all my extra tool money this month on some old planes at antiques shops. So I super glued the brass pieces on the head side, filed them down flush, sanded both sides flat and coplanar, finish sanded the whole thing, a couple coats of BLO, and buffed with some steel wool, and it is actually a decent tool now. I think the BLO helps it lock into position a bit better than before.

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