Marking Gauges

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Forum topic by thebenchdogs posted 03-13-2012 02:11 PM 3432 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 3276 days

03-13-2012 02:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

Anyone have any feedback on the Lee Valley Wheel Marking Gauge? I currently have a traditional pin Marking Gauge, and wanted to get some feedback on the wheel gauges.


-- Scott

21 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4381 posts in 3962 days

#1 posted 03-13-2012 02:16 PM

I have the basic wheel marking gauge from Veritas/Lee Valley. I use it all the time. Personally, I hate the traditional style mortise gauges where you basically scrape a line. The wheel works great. If I need to replace it, I’d probably buy one with the micro-adjuster on it next time.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3982 days

#2 posted 03-13-2012 02:37 PM

Wheels are good. Pins are . . . not so good.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5342 posts in 4971 days

#3 posted 03-13-2012 02:40 PM

Just used my pin type this AM. Wheel would be a LOT better.

-- [email protected]

View Willeh's profile


228 posts in 3350 days

#4 posted 03-13-2012 02:47 PM

I have the ” Micro-Adjust Gauge, Imperial”,42936

Worth the extra few bucks. I love it.. very precice, cuts a nice smooth line… be careful tho, it rolls off the top of your worbench really easily (Cringe)

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

View thebenchdogs's profile


9 posts in 3276 days

#5 posted 03-13-2012 02:49 PM

Any feedback on the knives used on the traditional mortise gauges? I saw a video on the Woodwhisper, and Marc was using a Mortise gauge with a knife, in place of the standard pin.

-- Scott

View jmos's profile


918 posts in 3380 days

#6 posted 03-13-2012 03:03 PM

I found my pin style mortise gauge worked much better when I took a file to it and made it more knife-like.

I also have the LV wheel gauge and I really like it. It’s my go-to marking gauge for almost everything.

-- John

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4755 days

#7 posted 03-13-2012 03:15 PM

I’ve had one for quite a while and use it all the time. It makes a nice clean mark. I also filed a flat spot on the wheel, so it wouldn’t roll off the workbench (the only negative I’ve found).

View Julian's profile


1620 posts in 3701 days

#8 posted 03-13-2012 03:29 PM

I have a wheel gauge and use it all the time. Never tried a pin gauge and don’t have any reason to change. The wheel leaves a nice clean line.

-- Julian

View Kenny 's profile


260 posts in 3459 days

#9 posted 03-13-2012 03:43 PM

I have a home made marking gauge that uses a knife, and iw works great! Precise, cuts a nice smooth line, nice wide bearing surface, I can sharpen it easily, and best of all, it onlt cost me about $3 to make it.

As well, since I can adjust the knife to cut deeper than a wheel, I can use it to cut strips of veneer or other thin materials.

I’ll post a picture of it later so you can see how it’s made. It’s quite simple and I’m sure most anyone could copy it in a few hours at most.
I plan to make a better version soon and add a sliding dovetail for the head to ride on so it stays 100% square, though I have yet to have an issue with mine anyway. I just want to see if I can do better.

I have the $10 cheapie round wheel gauge from Rockler (on sale) and it does work well, bu it lacks the large bearing surface of my gauge. The one area I like it, is on the edge of boards when marking dovetails, as I can roll it over the edge.

I think my set up is pretty good. I have both and can use either where they work best, and I only have $13 invested.

BUT, those micro-adjust gauges are nice too. Not sure if it’s worth $50 nice, but nice nonetheless.

-- Kenny

View Kenny 's profile


260 posts in 3459 days

#10 posted 03-13-2012 03:50 PM

As a final thought, pin gauges suck IMHO. They’ll get you by, but they tear the fibers rather than cut it. Filing. Knife-edge on the pin helps, but it’s still too small of a blade to really track well.

I had bought a BORA low-end pin unit, and I gave it away when I made mine.

If you could make a traditional knife type with a micro adjust, you would what would be the ultimate marking gauge IMO.

Maybe I’ll run that by Incra, see what they come up with???

-- Kenny

View waho6o9's profile


8997 posts in 3588 days

#11 posted 03-13-2012 03:52 PM

Japanese marking gauges are better than the wheel marking gauges because they roll off the table, Oops.

I’m sure the Lee Valley is a good one. I bought a fox shop one and it wasn’t any good, the stupid keeps coming loose and rolls around. Too much hassle.

View thebenchdogs's profile


9 posts in 3276 days

#12 posted 03-13-2012 06:26 PM

LV has a nice Mortise gauge with a knife, and in seeing only in a demonstration, it appears to work well. The one down side I heard with the wheel, is that there isn’t much fence to rid along the stock. Never owned a wheel gauge, I can’t comment, but like anything else, it is all trial and error.

-- Scott

View bondogaposis's profile


5953 posts in 3362 days

#13 posted 03-13-2012 07:07 PM

I like the LV wheel gauge a lot. It does have a tendency to roll and I have caught it a few times. I’m pretty sure I will be filing a flat spot on it soon.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5342 posts in 4971 days

#14 posted 03-13-2012 07:23 PM

Well, mortising and marking gauges are two different animals. I use the traditional 2 pin gauge for mortices. I’m a luddite.

-- [email protected]

View Bertha's profile


13615 posts in 3704 days

#15 posted 03-13-2012 07:24 PM

I like the wheels much better than the pins. Much better. I think it’s worth the investment.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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