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What is a marking gauge?

What is a marking gauge?

Shop for Marking Gauges

Marking gauge, used to mark line on wooden work pieces A marking gauge is the most common type of gauge used for marking. It uses a small pin, sometimes referred to as a spur, to mark the wood when the tool is dragged across it.
Old marking gauge without measurement scale, just used to mark a continuous line around a work-piece In its early form, the marking gauge was simply two pieces of wood attached together with a pin through one end for marking. The tool did not measure as it had no scale on it, but it would hold the measurement created by the user across the whole of the workpiece and this is still the tool’s primary function today.
Marking gauge with measurement scale engraved on it, allows the user to measure out before marking wood for chiselling The marking gauge has slightly more features today, with most having some sort of scale or ruler on the stem to allow the user to mark out specific measurements.The measurements can vary between tools with imperial and metric, some however, have both imperial and metric markings.
Using a marking gauge to mark wood against the grain causing a jagged line, for accurate line best to use a cutting gauge A marking gauge should only be used to create markings that run in line with the wood grain, this is because if using a pin against the grain, it will produce a jagged line and this will be inaccurate.When marking against the wood grain you should use a cutting gauge.
Wonkee Donkee says; Some users sharpen the tip of a marking gauge’s pin to make it into a blade allowing it to mark against the wood grain. However, this will still be less accurate than using a cutting gauge.
Marking gauge with rounded fence to aid comfort for the user There is a marking gauge available with a curved topped fence. This is meant to aid comfort whilst marking, meaning it may be useful if marking constantly or for a prolonged period of time to prevent the user getting blisters.

Sizes of marking gauges

Stem length, varies with each marking gauge, longer stems can be used to mark a larger work surface Marking gauges are available with varying stem lengths. A regular marking gauge’s stem ranges from 230mm (9″) to 260mm (10.2″) in length. Much larger marking gauges are known as panel gauges – for more information on these see What is a panel gauge?The length of stem you need will depend how far you need the tool to reach across a workpiece.
Mini marking gauge used for smaller precision marking in woodworking For more precision marking, smaller marking gauges are available. Sometimes referred to as mini marking gauges, these range in length from 135mm (5.3″) to 150mm (5.9″).
Price tag Longer marking gauges can be used to mark small pieces of wood, although this can be more tricky due the stem length getting in the way. Furthermore, if you only need a marking gauge for marking small workpieces then a smaller gauge would be preferable, as the larger the marking gauge, the more it costs.

Wonkee Donkee Tools