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Thread: Searching for a decent knife edge marking gauge (Hamilton?)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2021

    Searching for a decent knife edge marking gauge (Hamilton?)

    Hi folks,

    I've been looking for a knife edge marking gauge (while I love the wheel based gauge for most work I dislike it for endgrain).
    I recently got the Hamilton Panel Gauge and it is a thing of beauty. I do have a small issue with the blade it - it is a fingernail grind, single edged and supported (distally?) only by single screw. when you use it bevel towards the blade (like I use a marking gauge) instead of pulling the fence tight towards the workpiece it flexes the blade. to my mind that might have been solved by dovetailing the blade into its slot instead of a simple groove (but it is really easy to be an armchair tool designer, and I have no idea how difficult or time consuming such an endeavor might be or how it might affect the price). Anyway if you put the bevel towards the outside it is a fantastic gauge. Mr. Hamilton also sells marking gauges of similar design. I can live with the flex in a panel gauge where the bevel is towards the waste anyway but I am less sure about its use as a marking gauge.

    does anyone have experience with this?
    any recommendations for alternatives to the Hamilton marking gauge that are knife based?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Perth, Australia
    Assaf, the pin gauges are great for endgrain. Otherwise get a Japanese knife gauge.

    10 years ago, Tools from Japan sell the Large Ryuma for $17. This comes with 2 blades for mortices ...

    Read this:

    Regards from Perth


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    Blog Entries
    Assaf, sometimes making your own or converting an old style pin gauge might be your easiest or most economical way to get what you want.

    Stanley pin gauges can be improved by grinding the pins to a knife type edge:

    Knife Gauge.jpg

    The gauge on the lower right indicates how the tip was modified:

    Marking Gauges.jpg

    There is a hole in the bench where the arm is hidden.

    Another improvement on this is a broken drill bit was used to replace the original pin. Drill bits tend to be made from harder steel.

    The tip of the knife will work much better if it has a radius as opposed to a point.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Brooklyn NY

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Northern California
    I have a Hamilton panel gauge and 6Ē marking gauge (both walnut, not that it matters). Also a Tite-Mark wheel gauge. I havenít noticed the issue you describe with the panel gauge, but itís not a tool I use very often. Perhaps you have the blade extended too far with your initial cuts. I take a very shallow first few cuts and then move the blade down if I need to make it deeper. Iíll pay closer attention next time I use it.

    The 6Ē gauge is fantastic and gets a lot of use, as does the Tite-Mark. I have never detected any blade flex with the 6Ē. It is so well balanced and fits my hand perfectly. You wonít be disappointed if you get it.

    The wheel gauge did involve a bit of a learning curve to get the hang of; initially I tended to tilt it away from the edge. Once I got in the habit of focusing on pressing the gauge as I rolled it the problem was resolved.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    DuBois, PA
    I have the 6” Hamilton knife gauge and it is a favorite tool. I would highly recommend it.
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    East Cost
    This type of a gauge has an annoying property: when a wing nut is tightened, the bolt works like a fulcrum and both blades move a little bit tangentially, which throws setting a few thou off. Mine now is in a drawer, unused for like 5 years - after trying all kinds of remedies. There are types where the stock wooden channel is upside down, that should solve the issue, but I never owned that type.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Made this one, made blade from a utility knife blade.

    Marking Gauge1.jpg

    Marking Gauge 2.jpg

    Marking Gauge 3.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    My version...
    WEDS. Corner #3, Cutting Gauge .JPG
    Was in use, today, BTW..
    WEDS. Corner #3, cutting a line .JPG
    In end grain Ash..
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

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