164 – Marking Gauges

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If you’re not using marking gauges or some sort of blade to lay out your joinery, you are really missing out! I remember a conversation I had with William Ng at the William Ng School when he told me, “If you want to make good joinery, use a pencil. But if you want to make great joinery, using a knife!”

Marking gauges come in several forms but they are all fundamentally similar. They consist of a post, a moveable fence, and a blade or scratch pin. My personal preference is for blades and you can see a fairly standard traditional marking gauge to the left. So why should you use one? Keep reading.

Accuracy

When you cut with a knife, the resulting line is maybe a couple thousandths of an inch wide. Compared to a big chunky pencil line, its much easier to know when you’re exactly where you need to be in reference to that line. Additionally, marking gauges have fences which allow us to be consistent when marking multiple sides of a single workpiece for dovetails and tenons.

Tearout

No doubt you are very familiar with the concept of tearout. When you cut wood across the grain, you’ll inevitably notice small bits of wood tearing out at the end of the board where the fibers are unsupported. So if you actually cut that grain ahead of time with a blade and then cut right up to the line with your saw, you end up with a nice clean crisp shoulder with absolutely no tearout.

Tool Guides

If you use scribe lines, you’ll have a perfect place to lay the tip of your chisel or saw blade with absolute accuracy and consistency. If you try to line up the tool with a pencil line, you will almost always end up on one side of the line or the other. There’s just too much variability there. But if you have a little trough from a marking gauge or knife, you’ll have a no-brainer aid for locating the tool in the proper place.

Categories: Techniques, Whisper Minis

Comments

  1. Farley January 6, 2012

    Not only is the pencil line wide, as you mentioned in the video, it is offset from what ever fence you are using. At least in my case, I can never get a pencil close enough, unless I set the pencil in place first, then move the fence up to it. It is just a lot easier to use a knife/marking gauge.

  2. Steve K January 6, 2012

    Great video Mark.
    I’ve been using the Veritas style marking gauge and have to agree with you regarding the skimpy fence. I may switch back to my old-school wooden gauge.

  3. Pinto January 6, 2012

    Marc, I have to agree with you regarding the round-type gauges… maybe it’s because I’m a n00b woodworker, but I find it troublesome to keep squarely against my work.

    Tangentially, for the more adventurous, Bob over at Logan Cabinet Shoppe made a good video on making your own gauges: Link removed.

  4. Roger January 6, 2012

    Yep, I’m a pencil pusher and had the problem with little tear outs on the end of my boards during my training project. I guess a better blade on my table saw may help also but I can see where using marking gauge could eliminate the issue.

    Making a Marking Gauge going on my project list…or purchase list which ever comes first.

    Another great tip for a beginner like myself.
    Thanks man.

  5. Sean Rubino January 6, 2012

    I have a wheel gauge but tend not to use it because of the reason you mentioned, not enough reference space on the fence. Is the first marking gauge you describe also called a mortising gauge? I will be looking for one here shortly. After watching several episodes of The Woodwright’s Shop and now this, it is clear that a better marking gauge is the way to go for joinery layout.
    Thanks Marc.

  6. Great video Marc!!! My marking gauge only has a pin with a point, which does not give a very clean cut. Is there an easy way to replace these pins with a knife, I see you show a photo of a pin type, sharpened like a knife, are these available to purchase and fit to a regular gauge, or is there a better way to add a knife?

    I was thinking of trying to attach a knife to the end of my existing gauge, with a piece of metal or something similar. (perhaps I just need a new gauge?)

    Many thanks!!
    Mark

    •  

      Well I imagine you could figure out a way to convert it but you’ll likely have to do some “surgery”. One alternative might be to try filing the point to a flat instead. This way it acts more like a small knife blade. Of course if it rotates at all you’re screwed, but it might be worth trying.

  7. Chris January 6, 2012

    Mark,
    I always appreciate your videos. I can’t tell you how much I have learned from your site. I am relatively new to wood working (just a year or two) still learning as I go.

    I use the style marking gauge you showed with the wedge, if I’m not mistaken it is the same as yours (got mine from Lee Valley) and I think I got mine for the same reason (It looks cool and has a long fence). I wanted to point out one thing that I have learned to keep in mind when using the blade type marking gauge and that is to keep the bevel of the blade to the waste side of the line, otherwise you end up with a rounded or bruised edge that prevents a tight fit in a tenon.

    I also have to remember to hone the blade ever once in a while just like any other cutting tool I use.

  8. John Verreault January 6, 2012

    Very good video (as always) Marc. Great points you made, though I do like both the rotary and the straight knife type of gauges. One thing you did not mention was marking with the grain which is where the awl-style point comes in handy as knife blades tend to want to follow the grain and often get off course. An awl-style point will just tear fibers rather than following the grain but it does stay on course when marking with the grain. I would suggest having both types of points. Just my 2 cents worth…

    Cheers and Happy New Year,

    John

  9. Here’s a different perspective from a class I took last fall with Jay Van Arsdale:

    Jay primarily uses fine point pens or sumisashi (bambo pen) to layout joinery. I think it’s partially that he feels that using a knife is “cheating”, partially that japanese joinery is laid out from center lines instead of the edges of boards, and partially that japanese saws leave much cleaner cross cuts.

    Personally, I’m not about to completely stop using my marking gauges and knives but it is an interesting perspective to see someone hand cutting some pretty complex joinery marked with just a pen.

  10. David A January 6, 2012

    I will definitely ‘+1′ marking gauges. I’ve got the Veritas one, and I’ll also agree that I find it hard to always get good square reference on it due to the small face. For now however, I’ll still have to blame myself more than the tool, as I still need a lot of practice using hand tools for precision work. With all that however, I can confidently say that using marking gauges and knives have drastically improved my accuracy. I’ve made tenons that are rock solid, and dovetails that go together without hours of fitting (some are still ugly, but they fit!!).. Having the ‘positive stop’ of the baseline for dovetails for example is worth the ‘price of admission’ by itself.. As with any tool, practice, practice, practice…

    Tnx,

    Da Bear..

  11. John Fitz January 6, 2012

    Marc – another great ‘mini’. I have the Veritas-style gauge and do get frustrated…but I make it work. Maybe a new one with a more substantial fence should be on my wish list.

  12. Kurt January 6, 2012

    I was getting really frustrated with the pencil method and my cuts not being completely even (didn’t even think about the tear out, just thought it was a part of life :-)). I picked up one of the Veritas round gauges and while it did make things cleaner I have found that it will sometimes “ride” off the edge as I’m marking. I’m now thinking it’s because I don’t have that larger reference surface to confidently push against that those others do. Guess I need to look at making myself one of those traditional styles.

    Thanks for the tips, videos, and articles and love your site!

  13. Eric R January 6, 2012

    A pencil taken across the line I’ve just marked helps my older eyes see where I need to cut.
    The cut line is a much better tool guide.
    Lots of small trade-offs come in to play as age advances.

  14. Luc January 6, 2012

    Good stuff Marc, thanks!

    But, is it me or are you getting dark circles under you eyes? ;-)

  15. Rob Triplett January 6, 2012

    Marc, do you have a source for these gauges? Especially the one pictured above? Thanks man! Recently finished my year tour in Afghanistan. It’s great to be home and I’m ready for some sawdust therapy!

  16. Nick January 6, 2012

    Marc,
    i’ve been meaning to get a marking gauge for a while now. after watching this mini, im ready to get one. here’s my question….what do i look for in a quality gauge? i want the rosewood/brass style that you recommended due to the nice reference of the fence. but there are a million of them out there…what makes one better than another?

    •  

      Well to be frank, anything that locks down and cuts clean will get the job done. Brass inlays and knobs just add a little extra love to the mix. So even something like this $15 gauge will work. Problem is, you really need a little hands on to get a good idea for what makes one gauge better than another. Does it hold its setting? Does it allow for you to loosen the grip slightly and give it a tap or two to adjust by a hair? Is the blade or pin easy to sharpen? Is there enough reference surface? Is the body made from a durable wood? Generally these are the things I consider.

  17. As was pointed out in a great article authored by Steve Brown in the latest issue of Fine Woodworking magazine, the pencil can be better suited than a marking gauge in some very specific situations.

  18. Mark Lybrand January 6, 2012

    I saw somewhere, I think it’s in the new FWW magazine, (been looking) that the pencil line can be better than a knife because one will always cut to the line but rarely past it, where if one uses a knife, there is an increased chance of going past your desired cutting area due to a possible unintentional offset between the thickness of the blade and the thickness of the cutting edge. It also mentions that it is easier to see. I have also seen articles about combining the two, scribe the line first, then fill with pencil line. What are your thoughts on this?

    •  

      Its really just a matter of knowing your tools (marking and cutting). You can certainly be accurate with a pencil line. I don’t plan on getting rid of my trusty .5mm pencil any time soon. If you strike consistent lines and you are aware of your position in reference to the line, you can achieve amazing accuracy. And if you are using a knife/marking gauge, you need to take into account things like the size/position of the bevel and the possibly of the line being pushed back by a chisel or sawblade. But if you know your tools, you can plan for this and still achieve a great deal of accuracy.

      Since this was a “mini”, I didn’t really want to get too deep into the pencil vs blade thing so I did present this in a bit of a one-sided perspective. But I do believe pencils CAN be just as accurate as blades in the right hands. But for the average or novice woodworker, I feel a marking gauge and a knife will yield better results than a pencil.

      And to answer your question, I do frequently fill my cut lines as a visual aid. Especially when filming. Those knife lines are very hard to see.

  19. Steve January 6, 2012

    It seems I always have the wrong tool. Just received the Veritas as a gift for the holiday and was thinking that it was just me. Now your video shows that I am not the only one thinking that the stop should be larger. Two other gifts I received that are certainly worth the dollar are my new Festool 125 sander and the G-R-Ripper. Super tools. Thanks as always for the tips.

  20. Scott C. January 6, 2012

    Anybody have plans for making your own marking guides? I have old ones from my grandfather that are the kind with only a point to mark with and very basic. I like the knife blade type but would rather make my own…. Any suggestions?

    • Steve January 6, 2012

      I believe Woodsmith has had plans for marking gauges in past issues. The most recent one is in issue 194.

  21. Jim Reed January 6, 2012

    Marc:

    I appreciate the qualities you look for in a marking gauge and that getting some hands on time with different gauges is ideal but for those of us who don’t have access to a good place to handle multiple gauges, do you have one or two gauges you can recommend that you feel best meet the qualities you look for in a gauge. I want to order one (or two) if necessary but I don’t want to have Buyer’s Remorse. :-)

    Jim

    •  

      Well here’s the one I like to whisper sweet nothings to:
      http://www.leevalley.com/US/wo.....2936,42948
      And here’s one that my buddy Al Navas just alerted me to. Very intrigued. http://www.hamiltontools.com/categories/4%22/

      • tom moores January 6, 2012

        the hamilton gauges sure look nice but look simple enough to make yourself, i think everyone should try to make a tool themselves, its either skill building or toolmaker appreciating

      • I agree with Tom – making a marking gauge should be on everyone’s project list at some point. While I haven’t gotten to it yet, Mafe posted a really nice step-by-step of his build over at lumberjocks: http://lumberjocks.com/mafe/blog/21939

        He also made one with a circular cutter but a much larger fence, although I did not see that one in his project list.

        Thanks for the mini!

        James

      • Jason January 17, 2012

        Ha, I had no idea that LV sold the Les Outils Cullen gauges. I must be too far out in the boonies for the intrawebs to carry that page all the way to me.

        The LOC gauges are nice stuff, and are the type of company I feel good supporting (much like LV, LN, Tite-Mark, Blue Spruce, etc.)

        For anyone looking for a mortising gauge that uses a screw to adjust the position of the cutters/pins independent of the fence, search around on ebay or TBT or Hyperkitten for an older version. In many cases they’re a better tool than what you can get for the same price today – and you won’t feel terrible the first time you drop it or mar the finish a bit. :-) If you want a new one right now, Crown makes a decent example for about $40.

  22. Stephens_Shop January 6, 2012

    Marc,

    Great video! I am new to any serious woodworking and have not used the marking gauge I do have often but I do find that it makes a HUGE difference. Maybe it is the lighting in my shop combined with the effect of age on my eyes but seeing the line is a challenge at times, a pencil used over the scribed line helps tremendously.

    I was wondering if there is any such scribes for curves or do you just tape a half cylindar to the fence of the scribe?

    Stephen.

    •  

      Honestly, I have never been inclined to scribe a curve so I never thought about it.

    • Jason January 14, 2012

      You could use something like the one pictured: http://thebestthings.com/newto....._tools.jpg

      Older ones could be reversed – there was typically a flat face on one side of the fence while the other had two brass “bumps” that were used to reference off an inside or outside curve. To use the “bumped” (sorry, can’t think of a better name) side you just slid the fence off the gauge and flipped it around.

  23. William Garner January 6, 2012

    Timely Video for me as i was wondering what i could do to stop tearout thank u i thought it was just me

  24. Mike January 6, 2012

    Fantastic intro tune!
    Where do you find these jingles?

  25. I took a dovetail class awhile back from the local woodcraft, and one of the required tools was a marking gauge. I have one similar to the one you favor. When I got to class he had laid out all the tools anyway, including a very nice wheel gauge. I stuck with mine for the same reason you listed, with having the bigger fence to it.

  26. I like the marking knife for when I need to mark something that doesn’t go all the way though, like a hing. Then you don’t end up marking an area that isn’t going to be cut.

  27. Derrick January 6, 2012

    Hi Marc,

    Just starting out with woodworking. I’m working on a small project right now and could have used the marking gauge because i definitely had some tearout when I was cutting against the grain. I may be answering my own question but do you use a marking knife and straight edge to mark angles since you can’t use marking gauge or is there a better way?

  28. Steven Reckner January 6, 2012

    Marc, once again you have given me a reason to go back to my woodcraft store! i needed a good excuse I love learning mew thinks like this from your videos I had no idea those existed or wht they are for and im always looking for a way to take my woodworking to the next level- thank

  29. S.Wellington January 6, 2012

    I usually use a blade when marking dovetails and tenons etc. but stay with the pencil for almost all my other layout work. I’m mostly lazy, but do you guys use a blade for all your layout? like for cutting panels or even marking final length for rails or stiles? I have never tried using a blade when marking up sheet goods before cutting them down. I guess I can see the advantage, especially of tear-out. Great video Marc. Gets me thinking!

  30. Skip January 6, 2012

    Great overview – I do not like the wheel gauge at all. It does not give the consistency and ease of use a “traditional” type. I recently invested in a good Czech marking knife and the difference (knife vs pencil) in my hand cut dovetails is evident.

  31. Mark January 6, 2012

    Thanks Mark. I?ve received a nice gift card for Christmas for buying a tool and I?ve been trying to figure out what would help me take another step forward ? I think this might just do the trick.

    That 4? Walnut one at Hamilton tools has particularly caught my eye. I?m not all that good at keeping my pencils sharp ? so that?s been an ongoing battle with me in getting clean cuts, and repeated cuts have been particularly difficult to get exactly right.

    Quite a timely mini if you ask me.

  32. Nick J January 6, 2012

    It’s interesting to see how such a small simple thing can improve the accuracy cleanliness of a project. I will be adding a blade guage to my arsenol very soon. Thanks for the tip Marc.

  33. Clint January 6, 2012

    Great video. I know that I need to use some sort of knife to mark out the joinery, but haven’t brought myself to do it yet. Have been looking at a marking knife over a marking gauge, but I understand there is more consistency with the gauge. I guess I need to rethink this.

    • Richard February 4, 2012

      Clint its not one or the other marking gauges are great but you need a knife for dove tails and not square lines, and marking the middle of a long piece marking gauges are usually only 6 to 10 inches long.

  34. Ted Ames January 7, 2012

    I have a marking gauge with 2 blades for marking mortises. Works great.

  35. Tom Buhl January 7, 2012

    nice overview,
    I used a Veritas rolling type with micro-adjust for several years. Never really a problem with the “short” fence area. Did have trouble with holding a setting, which is a killer when it is subtle. At WIA I bought a Glen-Drake Tite-Mark rotary type and love it. Feels solid, holds setting.

    At the end of a workpiece you want to roll to the edge to avoid torque throwing you off the line.

    pencil vs knife: I like knife line as a reference for chisel or saw line (as well as helping avoid tear out) where that comes into play. On dovetails I still haven’t settled on pencil or knife. Maybe in a few more years I’ll come to decisive conclusion. In the meantime try techniques, observe yourself and others, listen and stay tuned to the woodwhisperer network for insightful and inspirational videos and discussions. Rock on.

  36. Mike G January 7, 2012

    Great video, Marc.

    I’ve been thinking of building one of these, and this just motivated me!

    Off to HD for brass hardware and thread insertts!

  37. John D January 7, 2012

    I’ve been using a cheap x-acto knife. It works great, and the blade is really thin.

  38. Paul January 8, 2012

    Thanks for making the video. Been looking to get a decent knife style marking gauge. What brand was that first marking gauge? The one with red colored wood and brass? Link to manufacturer?

  39. Alain January 8, 2012

    He Marc,
    Maybe it would be a fine idea for the guild between the major build…. When you’ll need to let some steam out without starting a big project.
    Let’s make an assortement of fine manually made tools… I think it would be of fine taste for people to make these, and maybe even catch a few new members for the guild… A marking gauge, a nice wooden square, a marking knife are a couple of things that come to mind quickly.

    • nateswoodworks January 8, 2012

      Great idea!!

    • Justin January 9, 2012

      I also think that would be a fun and useful project!

  40. I just got my first marking knife for Christmas and am looking forward to enjoying the advantages that you mentioned. I am getting more and more into hand tools and will likely end up with a marking gauge in the near future – thanks for the recommendations and links.

  41. nateswoodworks January 8, 2012

    I have the Veritas and love it but I do remember back when I first started using a wheel gauge having issues. I think it is like anything else, a little practice goes a long ways. Great video.

  42. To the point, I mean, to the blade or wheel ya point, that’s it. Nice video Marc. I listened to this on Dolby Pro-logic 5.1 surround sound and (relatively) nice speakers. You have the sound thing down to an art, I must say.

    If you have the time to add some affiliate links, it would be fun to see the top three of your favorite measuring or marking tools to go with the marking gauges. Does not have to be three, that is just what came to mind.

    Otherwise, thanks for all you do…

  43. Jeff January 9, 2012

    Thanks Marc for the review of the marking gauges. Since getting into woodworking I have been a pencil or sharpie kind of guy, but have had obvious accuracy issues. So recently, I have been looking into various marking gauges for a while and have had a difficult time deciding between the metal and wooden gauges. I think the larger fence is the way I will go. Now to decide which gauge to get! Oh the fun of research!!

  44. This reminded me of an saying my old shop supervisor used all the time:

    Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk and cut with an axe.

  45. Doug Boyle January 10, 2012

    I use a hamilton marking gauge. it is very simple and accurate. would like to try another type but my latest projects I have not needed one. Nice video.

  46. matthew hills January 11, 2012

    I’ve got 3 gauges:
    – Veritas wheel gauge
    – small Hamilton gauge
    – Crown mortising gauge with finger-pricker

    I like the wheel gauge for cutting across the grain, but not for marking along the grain (it is much harder to keep the fence registered and the wheel cutting straight, rather than following the grain).

    The Hamilton gauge is the prettiest of my set. But you Koala-lovers should also check out the Vesper Tools gauges. Who can resist 5000-year-old black red gum?

    I still need to file the pins on my mortising gauge.

    What I would *really* like is a mortising gauge that I can set the mortise width and then independently set the fence. My current model has a single screw that locks both.

    Incidentally, Paul Sellers made a note about disliking the brass wear strips, since he felt the wood often moved and they were no longer flush. Hasn’t been a problem for me, yet…

    Matt

  47. Nelson Lewis January 12, 2012

    Does anybody have experience or thoughts on the Lee Valley dual wheel marking gauge? It should help the minimal reference fence problem as the diameter is larger and the cutters are offset so that your reference board actually runs across the diameter of the fence. Also, the idea of two markers seems useful. However, I’ve never actually used one. Any thoughts?

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wo.....at=1,42936

  48. Steve January 12, 2012

    Hey Marc, where did you find that double sided marking knife? I’m looking to move from pencils and I can only find them with one side sharp for marking. Thanks!

  49. Mark
    another great video. I love watching your videos. I have tried to use marking gauges with frustrating results. The marking gauges I have are inexpensive ones. Is there a technique I am missing or should I bite the bullet and get an expensive guage?

    John

    •  

      Thanks John. Its hard to say for sure without actually seeing you use it. But a gauge is nothing more than a blade on a stick with a moveable fence. So even a cheap one should be able to accomplish the task. Perhaps the blade is just in need of honing?

  50. Barry Bunn January 14, 2012

    From a novice woodworker; I’ve just recently started using a marking gauge and what a difference. Thanks for the video and explanation Mark!

  51. Allen January 15, 2012

    As my woodworking moves up the learning/abilities curve I find the pencil line to be the one of the most frustrating points – our lack of one – of my woodworking endeavors. I have considered getting a knife in the past, but have continued to lived with the frustrations of the pencil. I think it is time to upgrade. Thanks for pushing home the point.

  52. Mark Williams January 16, 2012

    marc,
    Long time to talk! I had bought the style of gauge you prefer after watching you on a guild video with it. I could never get mine to cut. I think it may be dull any tips on sharpening the knife on it?

    •  

      Hey Mark! The knife on the gauge is usually like any other blade. You need to hone the back flat and sharpen the bevel. Not all that easy if the blade is real tiny. So you might try making a little honing jig of sorts…..something like a slot cut into a 3/8″ dowel. That would give you something to work with.

  53. Rick H. January 17, 2012

    Love your videos, I am a fairly new sawdust maker and think I am ready for a marking knife. Keep up the good work.

  54. I use both a marking knife and a wheel marking gauge. The wheel gives me a nice, crisp mark, and the knife is awesome for everything the wheel gauge can’t handle.

  55. Jeff Yates January 17, 2012

    I have to say, it’s video’s like this that have inspired me to start working on my skills.

    Just curious…how often are you honing your knife? Just waiting for it to dull?

  56. Richard January 18, 2012

    Could it be the duller the marking blade is the longer marking guage fence needs to be?

  57. Great little video. I knew I’d need to get a marking guage eventually, but this vid has steeled my resolve! Plus, I know exactly what to look for now. Cheers Marc.

  58. Dave January 19, 2012

    I second the Hamilton gauge –
    http://www.dlws.com/Marking-Me....._gauge.htm

    Got one after taking a joinery class – I still have teh round veritas gage I went to the class with but once I used the instructors Hamilton – – – it was an “I need one of these” moments.

  59. Ken B January 19, 2012

    Knife lines can be hard to see so you can rub a little pencil lead in them to have the best of both worlds.

  60. eddie antley January 19, 2012

    i’m learning something everyday.new at this craft sometimes older wood workers forget that we green horns haven’t been as far along down this journey of wood working as others thanks for the reviews and tip .this is the penultimate of my comment
    your friend eddie

  61. Dan Pleska January 20, 2012

    Nice video Marc. I’ve been using the Veritas wheel gauge for a while. Now I know why I wasn’t really satisfied with it. I’ll be looking for a good knife gauge soon. Thanks

  62. Dan January 20, 2012

    I am going to attempt to build myself a marking gauge, possibly this weekend. Found some decent plans in an issue of FWW that I will roughly follow. I have a nice little chunk of purple heart for the body, but not enough for the ‘arm’ any reccomendations for that peice, I have oak, walnut, maple, cherry scraps to use up.

    Thanks

    • Dan, think quarter-sawn if possible. Oak might be first I’d look at.

    • Richard February 4, 2012

      Dan Hope this comment isn’t to late. I made one with maple and walnut, the walnut was used for decoration and to prevent the maple getting dirty when working against timber, just laminated a 5mm strip of walnut to my maple stock, when you make your own have the option of replaceable stems, I have a 10mm by 20mm stem and two 10mm x 10mm this allows for mortice marking as well. all my stems are held in place by a wedge,

  63. Marc, 89 comments (and counting) on a five-minute video. You must know your audience. Fun to see comments from both newbies and the old guard.

  64. Tom Wilson January 27, 2012

    I found the video interesting because I have always had difficulty marking accurately with the traditional marking gauges. I use a Glen-Drake circular marker and I find that because of the shape of the cutter it keeps the reference face pulled tight. On my Marples marking gauge the cutters some times want to follow the grain if I don’t keep the cutters very sharp. Over all I like both types but I don’t have to sharpen the circular cutter, just rotate the blade.

  65. dmishler51 January 28, 2012

    Great and timely video. I had just started to build a series of heirloom type handtools to pass down to my son. I was building them for their visual qualities until I saw this video and realized how important these tools, that have been around for so many years, still shine for todays woodworker. Keep up the great videos Mark, not only do I love the vids but you do a great job presenting the different topics.

  66. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the Glen-Drake Tite-Mark gauge. I’ve had a couple of cheap “wheel” marking gauges that were terrible. The Glen-Drake is superb, the blade is thin and very sharp. The adjuster is very handy, and they have mortise blades for it as well.

    http://glen-drake.com/v-web/ec.....p?cPath=24

  67. Jon McGrath January 30, 2012

    After the video and reading all the replies I went over to the Hamilton site and reviewed their offering. Purchased and can communicate I beyond pleased. It is a very high quality tool. Of course it is beautiful as well, but I cannot get over just how well it works and the comfort of using. I would say to anyone on the fence, check them out. Well worth it.

    Thanks

    Jon

  68. Luke D Johnson January 30, 2012

    I enjoyed the video, wish I could remember where I read an artical on how to build your own think it was Pop Woodworking?? Thanks Luke..

  69. Richard February 4, 2012

    hey Mark just in defense of the veritas round marking gauge, you used it in the same way as your blase cutters maybe your bade is looser than mine but mine has never spinned and if it did it would allow for wobble in the blade I would presume. I rotate the marking gauge in my hand as I move along the piece this works for me and especially when going with the grain as it prevents it following the grain. a little bit slower and done in about 2 inch strokes but because you have a constant reference fence doing it in the one movement isn’t necessary.

  70. Guy LaRochelle August 11, 2012

    When setting up a mortise gauge with a blade which way do you place the bevel of the blade? Towards the fence or away from the fence? I’ve tried both ways. Not sure which I like better. There are times that one way works better than the other. I’m just wondering which way was it designed to face. Thanks.

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