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Thread: Panel Gauge project

  1. #1
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    Panel Gauge project

    I’ve had a panel gauge in several online shopping carts for some time, but never pulled the trigger. While in the midst of waiting for finish to dry on another project, I decided to give it a go on my own.

    A couple cut offs, a bit of hardware and probably too many hours with a coping saw, files, rasps and sandpaper, it started to look like something useable. First time making a cutter from an old hand saw plate...worked out pretty well. Must admit, I need much more practice (or patience) chopping a through “mortise”, but in the end the beam runs snug and straight.

    While I copied several online examples, not sure about the brass along the top. Theoretically, it will protect the wood from getting dented up by the thumb screw. But instead, you get scratched up brass. I guess it can be refinished from time to time, and probably better than needing to make a new beam over time.

    Anyway, all in all, a fun project. Planning on doing a second one that will hold a pencil.

    2413E68D-4682-4A38-8D28-DE0C70AFEE29.jpg

  2. #2
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    Looks good Phil.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
    I like it, including the brass along the top! I think the "nibs" you cut while shaping the "head" make it look classic too.

    I wonder if you can reduce the scratching of the brass by smoothing the tip of that screw at the place it contacts the brass. Seems like a wide, smooth contact surface (maybe very slightly dome shaped?) would do the trick. It wont prevent marking it, but it should reduce it some.

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  4. #4
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    I wonder if you can reduce the scratching of the brass by smoothing the tip of that screw at the place it contacts the brass.
    My mortise gauge made in a British factory has a brass strip like Phil's gauge. Loosening the screw a little extra helps prevent scratching and setting it only as tight as needed to hold a setting helps to prevent divots.

    Another method mass producers of gauges used was a 'shoe' between the beam and the screw point. It is basically a piece of captured metal, like this:

    Gauge 'Shoe'.jpg

    It would be easy to add one.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
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    I bought 2 marking gages from TFWW made in England. They were not that expensive.
    They used plastic thumb screws with a good size thread as the clamping screws. At first I had my doubts about the plastic, but it actually works really good.

  6. #6
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    At my last job, we had set screws with plastic tips inserted in to the metal.

    If one has the needed equipment, this could be done with a larger screw in ones shop.

    One could likely use a piece of wood if a proper piece of plastic wasn't handy.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
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    Here's one I found in the wild. The cutter end had a handle like a plane tote with a wheel to ride on the work. It was a real smooth user



    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  8. #8
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    Thanks all! Fred, I did eventually think of rounding the screw end...it does help to some degree. Jim, the “shoe” idea is interesting. Need to give that some thought. Rob, cool gauge. I love old tool tote design. An old saw tote was some of the inspiration for my gauge. Might take the next one a bit further...we’ll see.

    Michael, I also thought about plastic, but something just doesn’t seem right about that. Bakelite maybe. Need to look into options there.

  9. #9
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    The shoe is a good answer, but the swivel foot on a pony clamp is a nice model also.

    Was thinking that you might want to add a handle on the cutting end then saw the tote handle. Inspirational, and so is the wheel, but maybe a little awkward to use at first. Starting the cut the wheel would be off the panel. And normally a gentle touch would be used, so a three finger grip on a small knob might be better. And if it is going to have a wheel it would be better to have it inboard (sorry) so it is on the panel.

    A cutter head could be made removable so you could change it out for a marking head.

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