Sunday, March 3, 2019

Make a Marking Gauge with Micro Adjust

Marking and measuring gauges are always handy in the shop. I came up with this idea of making a gauge with the pencil attached inside. This gauge is easy to adjust and micro adjust just by rotating the pencil.

It fits nicely in your pocket and now you always know where you have a pencil. Making one is very simple, all you need is some hardwood maple, dowel, knurled nut and allen screw. 

Here are a few of my other marking gauges. I use them all in my shop and there is a video about each of them.

To start I will cut a slot in a block of maple it will be the width for the pencil. The slot is cut first since the slot is the most important cut. After the slot is cut I will cut the block to the right dimensions.

I tested several pencils and and found 7mm. works best.  I slowly moved the fence and made cuts then tested the pencil each time until I got the correct fit. 

The next thing is to drill a hole for the dowel. A pencil will fit in this dowel and it will swivel so it has to be a tight fit. I will use a 1/4" dowel and the drill bit I will be using is 31/64th.

Cutting a small piece if 1/4" dowel on my band saw

The dowel is put in a drill and taken over to the belt sander. One end is rounded, this will help when is tapped into the hole.

The dowel was tapped in the maple block and the ends are cut on the bandsaw, later they can be sanded smooth. Be careful when tapping so you don't split the block, if it doesn't feel right ream the hole a small amount with the drill bit.

A 9/32nd hole was drilled into the dowel to fit a pencil. I tested several pencils and drill bits and found this size works best. Also when I finished the piece I swabbed the hole with varathane which helped me get the right amount of friction for a tight fit.


The pencil fits nice and swivels nice, I just have to trim the pencil down to the right length to fit in the gauge.

Here I am making a stop block. I used a pair of pump pliers to hold a small  block to cut it to the right shape. The pliers made it easy to cut and I did not risk cutting my fingers.

My wooden machine vise was used to hold the block to drill the hole for the allen screw.

To attach the stop block an allen screw and a knurled nut will be used. I used my homemade hex driver for the allen screw. The block was drilled slightly smaller than the screw so it would thread itself into the hole.

The marking gauge is complete and it works great. It adjusts and folds nicely.  I now have another tool for my shop and I know I will get a lot of use from it.

See Also:

      Large Bevel Gauge                                                                      Pocket Bevel Gauge



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