Monday, December 16, 2013

Japanese marking gauge

For quite a while, my only marking gauge has been a Stanley 97, refurbished with some parts from Lee Valley. It's ok, but I need something better…even more than that, I need more marking gauges. It definitely makes marking out easier if you can set a couple different gauges at certain distances, then leave them at those settings until you're done marking the piece out. Saves a lot of back and forth.
Anyway, here is my first attempt, in the japanese style. White oak (scrap left over from the log I bought in the spring) with cocobolo wedges. The knife is made from a piece of old jointer blade, .095" thick.

In the pictures, the gauge is set up for right-handed use, but I've since reversed the beam so it can be used left-handed. This has the added benefit thatpushing on the fence tightens the wedge.
The gauge works very well, especially for a first try. It's definitely an improvement over the Stanley; it marks a much deeper line (when desired) and the big fences is easier to keep registered against the work. Some things that I'll improve on next time:
- Attach the blade to the end of the beam, perhaps using one of the snazzy replacement blades from Hamilton. It would be nice to be able to see the blade while I'm marking, not have it obscured by the beam.
- Scale the parts down. The gauge is a bit clunky; it could be more delicate and graceful, which would make it easier to use.
- I may opt for a knob adjuster, rather than the wedge. The wedge works fine, but it would be nice to compare the two approaches.

No comments:

Post a Comment