Author Topic: Marking Gauge  (Read 3770 times)

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Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 907
Marking Gauge
« on: December 19, 2018, 07:24 AM »
I am looking to purchase my first marking gauge. I need one to mark tenons for a bed. One thing I am not sure yet is the difference between those two beside the dual cutters.




Do both are doing the same job? Should i get one with measurement like


Is micro adjustment useful or just a toy?

As always your input is appreciated  [cool]
Mario

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Offline Mortiser

  • Posts: 39
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2018, 08:31 AM »
Mario, Fine Woodworking magazine recently evaluated and rated this one as the "best buy/best value." I've never found markings to be that important to me but that's a personal decision. They found the built-in adjusters to be a little too fiddly.
http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=59455&cat=1,42936,59455
Rich

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 318
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2018, 08:33 AM »
Hi Mario

The gauge to go for is "B" in the photo, below ...



This uses double pins.

Now I would not recommend pins for scoring across the grain, as with a dovetail baseline or the shoulder of a tenon, however it is the best gauge for scoring the the tenons, which are partly end grain. End grain is tough to score, and a wheel gauge will hardly dent it and leave a mark.

I have the Veritas double wheel gauge. I really like wheel gauges, but cannot recommend this one for tenons.

Keep in mind that when marking tenons, you are also marking the mortice using the same gauge, generally with the same setting.

The pins should be modified, if they are not done already, to knives. This is done with a Dremel or a file. And it will enable them to then cut cleanly across the grain as well as with the grain ...



Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 318
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2018, 08:35 AM »
Mario, Fine Woodworking magazine recently evaluated and rated this one as the "best buy/best value." I've never found markings to be that important to me but that's a personal decision. They found the built-in adjusters to be a little too fiddly.
http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=59455&cat=1,42936,59455

Note that these are not for mortice and tenons. They are wheel/cutting gauges, best used for dovetails or tenon shoulders.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 821
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2018, 09:56 AM »
Single-cutter gauges:
My favorite micro-adjust mechanism is the Tite-Mark - I like it better than the Veritas.  Lie Nielsen carries them.  I do find the micro-adjust useful, although single-edge marking gauges can be adjusted pretty easily.  I recently got a second one at Lie Nielsen.  I've never used the double cutter wheels for the Tite-Mark, so I can't tell you how they work.  The distances between the wheels are not adjustable.  The Tite-Mark uses a very positive screw mechanism to micro-adjust.  The Veritas uses some sort of collet/friction mechanism that seemed to want to move just as I thought I was zeroing in on the right setting - might have been operator error.

Adjustable Double-cutter gauges:
In general, I don't use double-cutter gauges.  They don't come with micro-adjust, and my experience is that while it's easy to set one cutter precisely, it is finicky to set both cutters precisely - especially if I am shooting for symmetrical mortises or tenons.  If I want symmetry, I use a single-cutter gauge from both sides of the wood.  Even for non-symmetrical uses, I would rather have two gauges handy with the two settings that I need.  It takes two passes to mark a mortise or tenon, but hardly any extra setup time.  Note that using two gauges is virtually equivalent to an adjustable double-cutter gauge when you need it, and more versatile since you now have two single-cutter gauges that are well suited for things other than mortise and tenons.


I agree with @derekcohen that pins should be modified to cutting edges.  Pins crush the wood too much.  Having a cutting edge on your gauge makes for much cleaner marks.  Also, take the bevel into account when modifying pins or when positioning them for a cut.  The downside of modifying pins is getting them just right for cutting parallel to the gauge's fence - taking off enough material to make a nice edge while leaving enough that they don't collapse on first use, and getting the right angle relative to the fence.

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 318
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2018, 10:12 AM »
Quote
I've never used the double cutter wheels for the Tite-Mark, so I can't tell you how they work. 

Adjustable Double-cutter gauges:
In general, I don't use double-cutter gauges.  They don't come with micro-adjust, and my experience is that while it's easy to set one cutter precisely, it is finicky to set both cutters precisely - especially if I am shooting for symmetrical mortises or tenons.  If I want symmetry, I use a single-cutter gauge from both sides of the wood.  Even for non-symmetrical uses, I would rather have two gauges handy with the two settings that I need.  It takes two passes to mark a mortise or tenon, but hardly any extra setup time.  Note that using two gauges is virtually equivalent to an adjustable double-cutter gauge when you need it, and more versatile since you now have two single-cutter gauges that are well suited for things other than mortise and tenons.

I have used the double cutter wheels, and they do not work well. The problem is that a single cutter lays down a thin line, and in end grain it is very faint. A double cutter cannot exert the same down force as a single cutter, and as a result the lines are even lighter and difficult to see.

If you plan to use two separate wheel gauges, it is important that you use them from the same reference side, and not opposite sides of the board. If the board is not parallel, the lines will not be parallel.

The absolute best mortice gauge is a Kinshiro, which uses knives. They are no longer available. It is the one at the front (At the rear is a single cutter by Colen Clenton) ...



To set up a twin cutter, place the points individually in the desired position ...



Then slide the fence against the edge of the board ....



Done.

With twin pins, simply set them aside of the pins ...



Regards from Perth

Derek
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 10:16 AM by derekcohen »

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1142
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2018, 11:26 AM »
Mario,

How often do you plan to do M&Ts?

I do them occasionally, so I use a pair of standard Veritas wheel gauges (two is better than one so you don't need to reset a single gauge). I like this the most: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=75849&cat=1,42936

I also have the non-grad. ones: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=59455&cat=1,42936,59455 (you can use those with this if you want to: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=60488&cat=1,42936).

The attached M&Ts (except the dominoes) are all done by using the regular marking gauges.


« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 11:28 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 907
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2018, 12:22 PM »
Thank you all for your input  [not worthy]

Right now my need is about M&T

@Mortiser Fun fact, I never found that marking gauge before you linked it... Thank you  [smile]
@derekcohen Thanks for the pictures, you know how visual I am  [wink] I now understand a lot more the differences between those marking gauges and the end grain marking difficulties. This will be for the next chapter of my WW learning when I attempt to do hand dovetails  [scared]
@HarveyWildes great point on dual gauge. Thank you!
@ChuckM My daughter need a bed and this will be my first experience at real M&T. Good point on having a pair... of marking gauge of course  [tongue]
Mario

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 821
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 12:40 PM »

I have used the double cutter wheels, and they do not work well. The problem is that a single cutter lays down a thin line, and in end grain it is very faint. A double cutter cannot exert the same down force as a single cutter, and as a result the lines are even lighter and difficult to see.

Good data point.  I just was never sold on fixed width cutters that were (presumably) the exact same width as my mortise chisels.  I'd rather set the mortise width based on the wood and use the next smaller mortise chisel, and then clean up the sides.

If you plan to use two separate wheel gauges, it is important that you use them from the same reference side, and not opposite sides of the board. If the board is not parallel, the lines will not be parallel.

I've never had a problem with this when doing symmetrical mortises, as long as I properly dimensioned the lumber, and I'm pretty picky about my jointer and planer setup.  For non-symmetrical mortises I always use the same reference side.

For mortises where the piece with the mortise is offset from the piece with the tenon, I set up the gauges for the narrower marks first, then use a spacer block to set up the wider marks.

The absolute best mortice gauge is a Kinshiro, which uses knives. They are no longer available. It is the one at the front (At the rear is a single cutter by Colen Clenton) ...

The Kinshiro looks very nicely made.  If I was going to get a double-cutter gauge, this is the one that would tempt me.

There are still twin beam gauges on the market.  The Matsui version looks like it has the best construction, and is available in single and double locking versions. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MATSUI-Japanese-Marking-Gauge-Blue-Paper-Kehiki-Drawing-2-Line-with-Magnet-150mm/253562652436?_trkparms=aid%3D444000%26algo%3DSOI.DEFAULT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D55165%26meid%3D1e4bd13d8b094d529447f34386d7f5d6%26pid%3D100752%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D253562653030%26itm%3D253562652436&_trksid=p2047675.c100752.m1982

For the less expensive single locking version, https://www.fine-tools.com/keshiki.html toward the bottom of the page.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 12:44 PM by HarveyWildes »

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 318
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2018, 06:58 PM »
Harvey, one of my favourite mortice gauges is a fixed blade design of mine (so I am understandable biased!).

It was designed around a Kinshiro plan but with a modular set of knives. The knives are created to fit inside a casette, and be swapped out when needed. I have them in 1/4", 5/16", and 3/8", which are the more common furniture-sized mortice-and -tenons.









The advantage of a fixed gauge is that the knives remain set while you can move the fence back-and-forth, which is needed if one mating part is offset (such as a table leg).

Regards from Perth

Derek

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2567
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2018, 05:58 AM »
Over the years, I’ve collected a number of marking gauges. The one I always reach for is the Veritas adjustable gauge. The ovoid fence keeps the gauge from rolling off my work bench, the cutter is exceptionally sharp, and the tightening mechanism prevents any inadvertent movement. The micro adjustment feature works well, but I seldom use it.

I bought a second Veritas gauge for the times I need two different marks. Having two gauges makes marking out mortises a lot easier for me than fiddling with a dual cutter gauge.
Birdhunter

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1142
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2018, 10:39 AM »

Snip.

Having two gauges makes marking out mortises a lot easier for me than fiddling with a dual cutter gauge.

Echo that experience here. The simplest way for me to layout is mark one line, place the chisel against the line and make a chisel mark (to define the width of the mortise based on the chisel), and use a second gauge to scribe the second line based on the chisel mark. Then use the pair of marking gauges to mark out all the mortises (against the reference faces). It is more accurate (and easy) to set a single cutter against a line on the wood than to set two cutters against a chisel.

In addition, I keep the settings until the mortising job is completed, just in case I need the gauges again. That is why I have more than one pair of marking gauges (all together, two pairs of Veritas products).

When it comes to hand tools, I believe the little difference in design differences or features among different brands is not the deciding factor for your work. If you stick to a tool (assuming it is functionally good to start with) and use it long enough, you will develop expertise in the tool as well as in your work. An extension of your arm thing.

An example is the Veritas dovetail saw which I found as good as four other much more expensive (and well-known) dovetail saws I have used, producing no difference in their results. This is almost true of any other hand tools I use.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 11:01 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Valleywood

  • Posts: 23
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2019, 12:31 PM »
Mario,do you mind if I chime in here?    I have and used to use several markers.   I finally bit the bullet and gave them all away except for the Veritas marking gauges.   I have two and had the chance to use the dual marking gauge a buddy has (now available with the dual pin lock to steady the shafts) and it is spectacular.   Yesterday 1/19/2019 I went to the Lee Valley site and tried to buy the stainless version like your photo above.   The dirty dogs !    That version is no longer (or maybe never was) available to the adorable Yanks to their southern border.   I really wanted that........   very kewel !    Anyway I ordered their traditional black/brass model.

If you're Canadian hurry to ur supplier and get the SS jobbie.  And then feel sorry for ur Yankee brethren to the south.

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 907
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2019, 04:22 PM »
@Valleywood I sent you a private message..

Mario,do you mind if I chime in here?    I have and used to use several markers.   I finally bit the bullet and gave them all away except for the Veritas marking gauges.   I have two and had the chance to use the dual marking gauge a buddy has (now available with the dual pin lock to steady the shafts) and it is spectacular.   Yesterday 1/19/2019 I went to the Lee Valley site and tried to buy the stainless version like your photo above.   The dirty dogs !    That version is no longer (or maybe never was) available to the adorable Yanks to their southern border.   I really wanted that........   very kewel !    Anyway I ordered their traditional black/brass model.

If you're Canadian hurry to ur supplier and get the SS jobbie.  And then feel sorry for ur Yankee brethren to the south.
Mario

Offline krudawg

  • Posts: 29
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2019, 07:45 PM »
I am looking to purchase my first marking gauge. I need one to mark tenons for a bed. One thing I am not sure yet is the difference between those two beside the dual cutters.




Do both are doing the same job? Should i get one with measurement like



Is micro adjustment useful or just a toy?

As always your input is appreciated  [cool]

Hi Mario, I'm currently enrolled at the Southwest School of Woodworking in Phoenix in "Fundamentals of Woodworking I II III.  I decided since I am retired I might as well take the course.  Anyway, my experience is with the marker in the bottom picture of your post.  I really like using it because it allows you to mark your work pieces " UNIFORMALLY"  for more accurate repeatable cuts.  I liked the ease of use.  The ones in the top photo of your post, I found that style to be more finicky and thus, preferred the pictured in the bottom of your post.
Ted
Mft/3, DF 500, Hammer K3 Winner, DF500, TS55
Former Marine Corporal

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 907
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2019, 09:50 PM »
Ted, thank you for your advice. I ended up getting two from the last pictures and two of the 40e anniversary one  [big grin]
Mario

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 501
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2019, 02:48 PM »
The Veritas wheel marking gauges can also be used as a small impromptu router plane for cleaning up the bottom of grooves.
I like em.

Offline Mortiser

  • Posts: 39
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2019, 10:52 PM »
Ted, thank you for your advice. I ended up getting two from the last pictures and two of the 40e anniversary one  [big grin]

Mario, I see you've found some marking gauges. However, thought you might like to add to your collection with one of these...
* Twist-Lock Marking Gauge.pdf (1743.27 kB - downloaded 82 times.)

See it in action at 9:10 and at 11:40 by Frank Klausz

Rich

Offline demographic

  • Posts: 501
Re: Marking Gauge
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2019, 02:29 PM »
I have a very old twist lock marking gauge that I found at a secondhand tool store.
Its got slightly sloppy and overtwists at some settings but it wouldn't be bard to make another shaft for it out of thick hardwood dowell.
I've  made a marking gauge years ago but that one held in place with a wedge instead of twist lock.
The shaft I made to a profile using scratchstock I made from an old power hacksaw.