A marking gauge is one of the principal tools used to set out work. This Japanese style gauge is easy to make and use, although there is some simple metalwork involved, including silver soldering.

Degree of difficulty: Intermediate
Dimensions given are not critical.

Tool menu

You will need the following tools to complete the project:

Also needed:

  • 6mm bolt, min 75mm long, part threaded
  • 6mm nut square
  • Oak offcut approx 250 x 120 x 20mm
  • Small pieces of steel approx 1mm thick
  • HSS blank for the blade
  • 20mm square steel tube
  • Mixing container for flux
  • Butane gas torch
  • Pencil

Step 1

Prepare blank, make one end (arrowed) square.


Step 2

Mark out position for square 6mm nut slot (45mm from square end, arrowed). Mark out position for 12mm slot, 30mm long (arrowed) and 60mm from square end.


Step 3

Rout slot for 6mm square nut, 15mm deep.


Step 4

Rout 12mm slot, approx 30mm long, to go completely through the oak. Waste material required underneath.


Step 5

Mark out stock size (arrowed) 125 x 60 mm. Make sawn end square.


Step 6

Mark the centre of the end for 6.5mm drill (arrowed).


Step 7

Mount stock in vice in drill press, ensure stock is vertical, drill 6.5mm hole.


Step 8

Ensure nut and bolt engage.


Step 9

Mark out shape on stock, cut and sand.


Step 10

Cut stem from oak offcut, leave overlong. Machine to 25 x 12mm, plane and sand to fit 12mm routed slot in stock.


Step 11

Prepare HSS cutter, make slightly tapered (arrowed). Drill 4mm hole in stem, mark and cut 10° slot. Sharpen cutter, bevel to face towards stock.


Step 12

Prepare pressure plate, bend at 90° around square tube. Smooth all edges to remove burrs. Note taper on each flange.


Step 13

Prepare small rectangle for turnscrew. Cut off end of bolt (arrowed).


Step 14

Cut shallow slot in end of bolt. Thoroughly clean all steel surfaces. Optional - glue handle blank into slot with quick setting epoxy.


Step 15

Use water to mix Easy Flo Flux to a thick paste.


Step 16

Insert turnscrew blank into slot, paint with flux, add 6mm long pellet of silver solder. Heat with gas torch until silver solder flows around joint. Allow to cool.


Step 17

Clean off black oxide and finish turnscrew.


Step 18

Cut stem to 220mm long, square cut end. Smooth all faces of stock and stem, plane off sharp edges. Tap HSS cutter into stem (1mm protrusion on reverse side). Insert pressure plate, stem and turnscrew.