What is a marking out gauge?
A marking out gauge is a tool used in woodwork, and sometimes metal work, to mark out lines to be cut.
There are a five types of marking out gauge: marking gauges, panel gauges, cutting gauges, wheel gauges and mortise gauges.
The most commonly-used type is a marking gauge, sometimes known as a scratch gauge, which uses a pin or nail-like object to mark lines parallel to a straight edge.
For more information see
Another type of marking out gauge, a cutting gauge, uses a small knife or blade to mark the wood against the grain (the opposite way to which the wood lines run).
This tool can also be used to actually cut through thin materials such as veneers. For more information see
A marking out gauge allows the user to set a measurement, either with a ruler or using the built-in guide, and keep this measurement exact across their work, something which is much more difficult to do when using a pencil and ruler. The tool is then dragged across the workpiece leaving a thin line marked into the surface.
For more information on how a marking out gauge does this, see
Marking out gauges are used to mark mostly wood surface, this can be any type wood. They can also be used to mark sheet metal before it is cut with metal work shears.
Once a mark has been made, however, it cannot be removed. For this reason it is important that the correct mark is made first time as despite how thin the line may be, it can be visible making the workpiece look imperfect.