This Week in the Shop: A Simple Pin Marking Gauge

To end the year, my students have been making simple marking gauges.  My students learned to create a mortise and use hand planes to fit a tenon in this particular project.


Here’s how we did it.

1.  Cut a 1″ or 3/4″ square oak strip into 8″ lengths.

2.  Cut a 2″ length from a maple strip about 2″ wide, giving you a 2″ x 2″ square.

3.  Use the oak strip to mark your mortise in the center of the maple square.  We did this by marking two diagonals across the maple square and then eye-balling the center.  Mark the square with a mechanical pencils.  If you feel really competent, use a try square to wrap the edges of the mortise around to the back side of the maple square.

4.  Drill a pilot hole through the center of the mortise (in the waste section).

5.  Use a coping saw with the blade threaded through your pilot hole to cut out the mortise.

6.  Clean up the mortise with a sharp woodworking chisel.

8.  Fit the tenon to the mortise – use a plane to trim the tenon enough to slide with some resistance.

7. Drill hole for the thumbsrew with a 7/16″ twist bit.  Move the drill in a circular motion, widening the hole slightly.

8.  Hand tighten the thumbscrew into the tenon.

9. Use a nail to drill a pilot hole through one end of the tenon.

10.  Hammer a nail into the pilot hole.  Clip the nail short.

11.  Use a file to shape the pin into a blade shape.  Do this by filing one side flat (the side towards your fence) and angling a mill file to make a spear point pin.

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