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Frank D.

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Hi everyone,
I finally got a few gauges done. The first two are standard marking gauges, made from bubinga with a tung oil finish. I made the blades from a hand scraper that I cut up. The locking mechanism is a wedged dowel, Jeff Gorman's idea, it holds the beam in place really tight and it's a lot handier than a screw mechanism; all you have to do is set the blade at the right distance, hold it in place with a finger, and tap the gauge (the end of the dowel) lightly on your benchtop. The diagonal wedging action also prevents the beam from rocking (racking?) once locked.


These two are hop or butterfly gauges. They're used to mark raised (diagonal or curved) surfaces (the beam is lifted high so the bottom of the fence registers on the reference surface, and the side with the knife marks the higher surface), or to mark over an obstacle or a convex curve (lift the gauge high so the bottom of the fence registers on the refereence surface; the arm goes over the obstacle and the pencil goes down the other side to the surface you want to mark).
I used the same wedged dowel mechanism to lock the pencils. All that is needed is a little thumb pressure and the pencil isn't going anywhere.


PS Don't tell anyone about these, two of them are supposed to be a secret until Christmas...Of course I couldn't wait till then to show you... :oops:
 

Philly

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Nice work, Frank!
You replacing everything in the shop with "Frank-made" stuff? :wink:
Philly :D
 

Chris Knight

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Frank,
They look great and very usable. One minor thought - I should have preferred a prettier way to hold the blade and since blades need to be resharpened something that doesn't mind being unfixed/fixed etc.
 

Alf

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Proper job, Frank. I must say I rather like the wedge type of locking mechanism too, but I'd forgotten about the one of Jeff's site. Hmm, maybe time for a quick trip down the Black Run to make another gauge myself... 8-[

'Course when I saw the subject line I was expecting to see something with a curved edge to carve with, but that's just me getting confused... :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Frank D.

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Thanks everyone,
Jarviser, yes I made shallow mortises for the blades, just so they wouldn't move when in use.
Chris, I gave this a lot of thought and couldn't come up with a system that was relatively easy to make. I did drill out and plug the end of the beams, so the screws are fastened to cross (long) grain, not end grain as they seem in the pics. If you have any ideas I'd still appreciate them, I still have a few gauges to make and I'll probably make a few more standard ones, eventually.
 

engineer one

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ok frank so now you either have to make the best cabinets in the world.
or the best gauges, cause this is a no dung moment :lol:

neat work, and a good solution to something that troubles us all
when making fixings for something that moves.

question is, are they not too good to use????? :lol: :lol: :lol:
paul :wink:
 

Frank D.

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engineer one":3dm6iwea said:
this is a no dung moment :lol:
:
My favorite kind of moment! :lol:
engineer one":3dm6iwea said:
question is, are they not too good to use????? :lol: :lol: :lol:
Of course they are...but I'll probably end up using them one day anyway! :lol: Reminds me of a collector who got mad at me (literally!) when he saw me use some nice old wooden planes... BTW, Philly, they're not "Frank made", bit "Lie-Franksen". Expensive! The wood is A2.
 

Frank D.

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Just to update on the blade holding issue, a friend of mine just sent me an article in FWW (1982) that shows a gauge with a wedge that holds the blade. This is great becaue it allows you to turn the blade around relatively easily (on mine I have to put in a spare one that I made with the bevel on the other side), and it also makes things easier for sharpening. The only disadvantage is that it takes up a little room, so either you have the beam projecting more after the blade, or, if you put the wedge on the fence side of the blade, you can't put the blade and the fence tight together for marking thin pieces.
 

Chris Knight

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Frank,
Re blade holding. My gauge below has a brass end on the wooden stem. the blade is held basically by the screw which bears on a brass insert that clamps the blade in the slot. The gauge is ancient of course so the screw is probably not original and a knurled brass knob would look a lot nicer.

 

devonwoody

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Nice work and I hope you enjoy a lifetimes use of same.
I think a holder stand would be my next project if I had made them and then placed at hand on the bench.
 

bugbear

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waterhead37":1sd1i65e said:
Frank,
Re blade holding. My gauge below has a brass end on the wooden stem. the blade is held basically by the screw which bears on a brass insert that clamps the blade in the slot. The gauge is ancient of course so the screw is probably not original and a knurled brass knob would look a lot nicer.
Nice looking Gauge. I'd be thoughtful about a large knurled knob, since it restricts access by increasing the distance from the end to the blade.

I have converted marking gauges of my own to be similar, although without the plated face and end. What you have there is essentially the top-line cutting gauge as seen in old catalogues.

I have converted marking gauges into cutting gauges; this is fairly simple.

http://www.wdynamic.com/galoots/4images ... ge_id=2731

In concept, a screw through the top of the stem passes though a threaded brass insert, and bears directly on the blade to retain it. Since the end of the screw is rounded and polished, and the blade is hardened steel, I don't feel the need of an intermediate plate.

Cutting the tiny, stepped, mortise to fit the insert and blade is fiddly work. In this instance, the screw was made from a #10 steel woodscrew, filed down and threaded using a die. This gave me a fine thread (3/16"x24 TPI whitworth) but with a large screwdriver slot.

Alf has one of these - in this case the screw is a a 3/16" dome head, and is recessed into the stem.

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/view ... auge#32163

BugBear
 

Frank D.

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Chris,
Thanks for the feedback (everyone else too), I like your gauge because it is definitely easier to turn the blade around or take it out to sharpen, but just barely, all I have to do is uscrew a few more turns to do this. Does the blade holding mechanism still not have the same problem as mine as regards to longetivity of the wooden threads that hold the screw? This said I still like it better than my version, but I think a wedge instead of a screw pretty well solves all the issues except losing clearance (it would be easyy to make a few gauges, one for thin parts with the wedge on the outside of the blade, and ont with maximum beam clearance with the wedge on the fence side of the blade).
Thanks again everyone, I have learned a lot in this process, and even if I am reinventing the wheel it's not easy to get all the info together at the right time to optimize design.
 

Frank D.

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Ah yes, I see it, I mistook the patina for wood. In that case it looks even handier than a wedge, no separate part to lose. Excellent!
 
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