Every Woodworker Needs a Cutting Gauge
This must-have layout tool will help you get tight joints every time.
Synopsis: The cutting gauge is indispensable for furniture making. It’s perfect for marking dovetail and tenon shoulders, and can be used to sever fibers and minimize tearout before making a crossgrain cut with a tablesaw or router. Timothy Rousseau takes a look at the two types of cutting gauge and shows how to sharpen and tune up the cutter so it will give you the precise line you need to make tight joinery.
Tight joinery begins with crisp, accurate layout. This is why a scribed or cut line is better than a pencil line for most layout work. A knife and square can be used for most (if not all) layout jobs, but I find that a gauge is often more efficient and accurate. The three most commonly used in woodworking are the marking gauge, the mortise gauge, and the cutting gauge. Marking and mortise gauges use a pointed…