Shopmade Marking Gauge
Simple but clever design makes this wide-fenced tool accurate and easy to use
Synopsis: John Nesset shares his experiences with a variety of marking gauges and reveals why some work well and others do not. He explains how to make his favorite, a kebiki, or a type of Japanese marking gauge, out of hardwood and a steel blade. Adjusting the gauge with one hand is a snap. He offers tips on how to safely sharpen the blade and replace the wedge.
When I set out as a woodworker, a marking gauge was one of the first tools I bought. A straight line parallel to a straight edge is— along with a perfect right angle—the foundation of woodworking. No matter how you eventually shape a piece, if your layout lines aren’t true, that table will not stand level, that drawer will not open smoothly, and those joints will be sloppy. After examining several marking gauges, I chose one made of rosewood with brass hardware,…