Monday, October 3, 2016

Pocket Bevel Gauge

A bevel gauge is a very handy tool and one that you may use a lot. Here is a small bevel gauge that you can make yourself, it is accurate and the brass knurl locks easy enough for setting and transferring angles.

 A small one is even handier especially when it can fit in your pocket or a small toolbox. Small tools are great, the mini speed square is a tool I use all the time.
I find I use small tools as much as the larger ones.


The gauge consists of only three parts, the blade, the stock or handle and the locking device. It is best to cut all the pieces  with a tablesaw to keep everything as accurate as you can.

Also, hardwood is best for this project, it is more durable and will last longer. I  have a scrap bin for small hardwood blocks I save for small projects like this.


Handle or Stock 

The piece of wood I choose was smoked oak.


After the piece was cut to the right size it had to be cut down the middle, this cut is for the bevel blade to fit in. 

This was an interesting cut. The block could only be pushed as far as the orange sharpie mark and the blade had to be raised to this height to make a rough cut at 45 degrees.


Bevel Gauge Blade

With my bandsaw and small bandsaw sled  I cut the blade first to the length and then a 45 degree cut.

Since the bandsaw sled is on hand I can cut the handle to the length. (3.5") 

I used my new belt sander to round the corners of the gauge.

A brass knurled nut and a joint connector bolt will be used for the clamping. The blade was cut so it fit snug in the handle and when the brass nut was tighten it held firm together. 

The blade is pushed in the stock as far as it can go, mating the 45 degree cuts and then secured in a vice. A 1/4 brad point bit is used to make the hole for the bolt, and make a mark for the maple blade.


A 5/16" blade is now used to make a slot in the blade. This will be larger than the bolt. This is important, it will help give the blade some play before locking when in use.

A router would do a good job but a file can and a steady hand can make the slot look nice.

After the bandsaw cut the semicircle the new sander is used to clean it up.

The blade and handle are put together and placed in the vice. 
The nut and bolt were cut together in the gauge, this would assure it would be a good looking fit.



A bevel gauge is an essential tool used by woodworkers, carpenters and hobbyists. It can be used to duplicate or set a desired angle. 

This is a very easy gauge to make and will get a lot of use. Although this is a small one it can be made large as well.  

I hope this article helps you to build your own, it will look good in your tool box.
If you build one let me know how it turned out.

See Also

Mini Square                   Spline Jig                         Scroll Holder


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