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Thread: best marking gauge on the market

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
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    Israel
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    best marking gauge on the market

    Hi folks I got sucked into a rabbet hole reading up on all kind of marking gauges. I was wondering what creekers use?

    I have a couple of the new veritas, and plan on getting a Tite mark down the line. bit I really don't know anything about the Japanese brands - except that there was once a Kinshiro marking gauge that is no longer being made...

    anyway the last post I saw on the subject was 2014 - what do you think? if anyone has a favorite marking gauge that it is possible to buy I'd like to here your nominations and why

    Assaf

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Northern California
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    Hi Assaf,

    I have a Tite Mark and a Hamilton 6Ē in walnut. Whether theyíre the best is a matter of opinion, but they are fantastic, well-made tools. Which one I reach for depends on what Iím doing - wheel vs. blade. You canít go wrong with either one - or both.

  3. #3
    The TiteMark is a very good wheel marking gauge. There's a couple of clones of the TiteMark that are decent and less expensive.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #4
    gauge1.jpg

    This is the marking gauge I use 95% of the time and sits in my tool tray. I have another one just like it that comes out of the drawer occasionally. I also have a Veritas dual marking guage and it really only gets used for two things: 1) marking mortises obviously, and 2) dovetail baselines on softer woods because the pin style (which is filed somewhat blade shaped) work great in hardwoods cross grain but can tear in softer stuff.

    My issue with the wheel/disc ones is as follows:
    1) not as comfortable to use
    2) tiny face can cause you to loose registration easily
    3) they like to follow the grain in open grained woods when marking with the grain
    4) I have learned the hard way numerous times (meaning I have yet to learn my lesson) they if you run them the wrong direction you can loosen up the disc without even knowing it Ė which moves your line. You discover this after itís too late.
    5) Iím always afraid Iím going to slice my finger digging for it in my tool tray.
    6) Can be REALLY REALLY REALLY hard to see the line, particularly when marking with the grain.

    My issues with the old fashioned wood pin style ones is as follows:
    1) they can tear going crossgrain on very soft woods.
    2) When marking dovetail baselines you canít do that trick where you just drop the post down from the board to the bench. You have to just hold it up and look at it. This has never affected accuracy, but it takes a few more seconds.
    3) Canít get into tight spots. Like on the few occasions where you need to mark something on a partially assembled piece.

  5. #5
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    Tite-Markģ across grain and a Stanley pin gauge for marking with the grain. The pin is sharpened more like a knife blade than a pin.

    Just a note about what people mentioned in the past: The cutting wheel on a wheel gauge should be tight. It is meant to cut the stock, not roll.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Camarillo, CA
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    Me too - I use a wheel-style gauge most of the time, but use a wooden pin style gauge when Iím marking along the grain, especially in coarse grained wood.

    I do like the little double wheel attachments that are pre-set to the width of a mortise chisel. If you have a matched gauge and chisel, it makes setting your mortise gauge easy. Of course, then you are back to marking along the grain with a wheel gauge, but for mortises that does not seem to be too much of an issue.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2019
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    If you're going wheel-based, the Veritas with micro adjust is very convenient to dial in an exact dimension.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    SoCal
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    Assaf,
    What do you want a gauge to do that you gauges do not? Get or make yourself a wood cutting gauge and try that style. I assume you mean cutting gauge because of the Veritas wheel gauges. Use both styles at different points in your prokects and you will gain a preference.

  9. #9
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    I’ve not had the issue with the cutting wheel with the Veritas coming loose. I have experienced this with a cheap gauge acquired when I didn’t know any better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Perth, Australia
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    One first needs to define what is important in a marking gauge. This can be personal.

    I prefer a gauge which has ..

    1. a blade which can slice, rather than a point which cannot do this. Why? Firstly, it needs to work across the grain as well as with the grain. Secondly, it needs a blade which can slice thin shavings, such as cleaning up the walls of a rebate, or the floor of a mortice.

    2. Knives are great for rebates, but only wheels can also do floors of mortices.




    3. The blade is best at the very end of the arm. This is not just for visibility, which is a factor; it is also to make it easier to set a depth by "dropping the blade" onto its edge ..





    4. Fine adjusters are nice but not necessary. However, I like to adjust the head/fence and lock it with one hand. Therefore the position of the lock nob is important - within reach, and not needing a second hand.

    5. Wheels leave a very fine line, and are not the best choice for end grain. A knife is better here, however wheels are easier to sharpen.

    6. The head/fence needs to be comfortable and secure in the hand. The most comfortable of all (for me) is the Kinshiro (on the right) ...



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
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    OK Ill clarify. I posted this question for a few reasons:
    curiosity, what other people use and like
    I was less than pleased with the veritas marking gauge on end grain
    I would like more than the two I have so that I don't have to change settings throughout the project.

    are there any advantages to the pin style? I messed with one once, it seems mostly to tear up the wood fibers (not a clean line)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    Assaf, a pin gauge rules on end grain. A knife gauge follows closely. Wheel gauges come a distant third.

    The issue here is that a wheel does not cut as deeply. The fine line on the surface of the end grain soon disappears as the straws close up.

    This is going to be more of an issue with mortice gauges. The old vintage pin gauges are great here. However, they are limited in their range. As a result, my personal preference is a knife gauge. The Kinshiro are the best - since these are no longer made, you can find copies, and these are not expensive.

    Here is a Kinshiro to show the knives used ...



    The great advantage of these gauges is that they can be used with one or two knives, and the knives can be reversed (lots of uses for this).

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  13. #13
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    Jan 2007
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    Michiana
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    I use a Tite-Markģ most of the time. I have an old Stanley with a pin sharpened to a spear point that works well too. I also use a homebrew slicing gauge. Which one depends on the wood species and the direction of the mark.

    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  14. #14
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    Assaf:
    I have a Tite Mark and two Veritas wheel type gauges.
    Regardless of manufacturer, sharpening the wheel increases the performance.
    Remove the wheel, and, face down on a 1,000 grit stone, flatten it using finger pressure to push down firmly while doing figure eights, stopping and repositioning every five ' eights ' or so and turning the wheel 45 degrees. Continue until you have one complete revolution.
    Repeat on an 8,000 grit stone until sharp.
    Subsequent sharpening requires the 8,000 grit only.
    This is just a guideline, but worked wonders for me.
    Best of luck;
    Dave B

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Central TX
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    I've found that basic marking, cutting, and pencil gauges are easy to make, and that's coming from someone that doesn't gravitate toward making tools and jigs. I've put together several of each type for different applications or when I need an extra to hold a dimension throughout a project. I've found that ones that use wedges are the easiest to make, easy to adjust, and hold as tight as anything else when set. So, maybe make a few to see which style you like, then spring for a nice one that has the features you want. That was my plan, but I just keep using the ones I made...

    The "English" type that Richard Maguire highlighted are especially easy to make and work well. More about them at the link, and I think he made a video too. When making this type I just use a 3/4 dowel with a flat planed on it for the shaft, and it holds great when set. https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/a-good-gauge/

    I do want to eventually get a wheel gauge for the bonus features Derek mentioned, e.g. cleaning up rebates, lap dovetail sockets, etc.

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