Chris Wong has a got a nice mod over on Flair Woodworks. A simple modification to stop his marking gauge rolling off the bench and hitting the floor. By filing down the round profile, you get an octagonal, heptagonal, (you choose), shape that doesn’t roll quite so easily.
It’s a nice tweak and I guess if you have one of these gauges, pretty easy to do.
With regards to gauges, I’m with Paul Sellers. I like the old mortice gauges and have always found the standard pins give a fantastic result for marking. Not only that, they are easily sharpened and replaced. Like most things in life these days, these new gauges come with the need to keep buying new cutters. Get yourself an old-style gauge, make sure it has good pins, then really you can’t go wrong.
In the late 19th century, table saws weren’t that common. Your average craftsman was spending a great deal of his time cutting various pieces of stock to size, usually with a hand ripsaw. Following a line with a rip saw, even with good skills, usually meant the saw wavered a little as it followed the grain of the wood instead.
Slitting gauges took many forms, and many craftsmen made their own, but they all followed the general form of a blade, held in place by some sort of wedge at the end of a bar. Also running on that bar, was a moveable fence. The fence ran along the edge of the stock, adjusting the distance from the edge of the stock, to the blade.
A slitting gauge tended to be used on thinner stock where the blade could complete the cut right through, such as the thin stock used for the bottoms of cabinet drawers. But these tools also proved to be very helpful in scribing a good starting line on thicker stock for the saw to follow.
I found this gauge in a car boot sale. It’s made by ‘Fenton & Marsden’, another excellent edge tool maker from Sheffield. It’s 9” long, is made of ebony, with a brass end and original brass wedge. It also has a tightening screw made of boxwood, which is really beautiful.
At Hackney Tools, we buy antique tools. If you have any old tools in good condition and you would like to sell them, please get in touch.