The tool making phase continues: Cutting/Marking Gauge

One of the habits I’ve developed over the years is to stay focused on one project at a time. This is the only way that I don’t end up with a shop full of half finished projects. With ADD like mine I can easily get distracted by new exciting project ideas. This past year I spent a lot of time making the Media Cabinet. While I was doing that I came across numerous ideas for other small projects that I really wanted to do, but I had to just make a list of them and press on with the Media Cabinet. Since finishing that project I’ve finally had a chance to knock out some of the smaller projects that I’ve wanted to tackle. This time around they seem to all be tools of some sort.

I’ve wanted to make my own marking gauge for some time. I use a Veritas cutting gauge that I am generally happy with, but sometimes it’s a little unstable because the base is only about 1 1/2″ wide. In addition, the rod is only 9″ long so I’m unable to mark further than about 7 1/2″ from an edge.

While making this marking/cutting gauge I decided to make three different length beams while I was at it so I can mark up to 24″ from an edge. For the blade I used a segment of the segmented blades that are available for many utility knives. They’re cheap and easily replaced.

4 thoughts on “The tool making phase continues: Cutting/Marking Gauge

  1. Hi Marilyn, it was pretty straight forward. I took a piece of Birdseye Maple 1/2" thick and 1 1/4" wide and I ran a 1/4" groove 1/8" deep Dow the middle at the router table. Then I epoxied in the brass bar stock I bought of the same dimensions. When that was dry I rounded over all four corners to make an oval. Then I milled a hole in the body to accept the beam using a 1/2" spiral router bit at the router table.I hope that helps. Tools like this are a lot of fun to make. It's so much fun to use your own tools.

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  2. That makes sense. I made mine by hand, using a plow plane to make the groove. But I really struggled with the outside shape of the bar. I used my drill press to make the through holes first, then I shaped the bar using a hand plane. I either need to get better with my hand plane or use the router to round over the square corners. I'm assuming you did this on the router table .. which I don't have. Wonder if I could use my hollow plane … hmm.

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  3. Marilyn, You could absolutely use a hollow to do the round over! I wish I had a set.I chose to finish the bar first so that I knew the final dimension for the hole – just in case. I also chose to use the router table because I wanted it to be uniform along it's entire length – but even with all that there are variations in the thickness.

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