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Marking, mortise, and combination gauges come in myriad styles and prices. What differentiates them from one another is the number and type of cutters each employs. Marking gauges have a single cutter for scribing one line at a time. Mortise gauges have two cutters and are used mostly for marking parallel lines to establish the width of a mortise. Combination gauges typically have three cutters: a single cutter on one side of the beam for use as a marking gauge and an additional pair on the other side of the beam for laying out mortises.
Colen Clenton’s mortise gauge is gorgeous. The finish is silky smooth, and the adjustment mechanism worked perfectly. It is made primarily of rose she-oak and features two hardened-steel pins, an inlaid brass wear strip, and a brass thumbscrew. An adjustable cutter can be recessed in the fence for scribing single lines.
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