Graminho, in my opinion a sweet word, is how we call this traditional marking gauge in my mother language. From Wikipedia, "A marking gauge is used in woodworking and metalworking to mark out lines for cutting or other operations.". Wikipedia also tells you: "The purpose of these gauges is to scribe a line parallel to a reference edge or surface.". You have probably already used a primitive version of this tool: when you pick a pen and draw a line parallel to an edge, by pressing your finger against the edge to maintain a constant distance of the pen's tip to the edge.

I always wanted to have one, of course :). But the ones I found were quite expensive, and that is what usually puts me to think (there's a saying which states something like "the need makes the inventor" ;)).

So I looked at my small material stock and this squared section 1.2x1.2cm (1/2 inch), 100cm (40 inches) long piece of wood draw my attention. I picked Inkscape (excellent OSS 2D vectorial drawing application) and designed this marking gauge using only this wood stick, a nail and white glue (also known as "glue for wood").

Before starting with the construction, I did a paper model of the headstock, just to have a feeling if the measures I choose would adapt well to the hand. They did.

Step 1: You need these tools and materials

All tools you need are basic:

  • ruler
  • pencil
  • thin wood saw (or a metal saw, as I used)
  • chisel, any from 5mm to 12mm wide
  • wood hammer and a normal (iron-head) hammer
  • drill capable of holding 1mm (1/25inch) thick bits (a drill press can help a lot)
  • file or sand paper, something equivalent to grit 240 or higher (it's "medium")
  • table or static cramp is useful
And the materials are:

  • 100x1.2x1.2cm (40x0.5x0.5inches) piece of wood (square, long)
  • 1 flat head nail, 1.4mm (1/20inch) thick, 20mm (3/4inch) long
  • preferably white glue or wood glue, but contact glue, paper glue or any other "common" glue will do (I don't recomend super glue because it dries too fast and it's too dangerous for such a simple job)
I tried to adapt my measures to the most usual measures in inches. I have a doubt on 1.4mm thick nail and the 1mm drill bit. I don't know if you can get these fractions of an inch. However, it is not critical; the important is that you get a drill bit that is a tiny little bit less thick that the nail you have (or vice-versa).

Olá Nuno! Parabens pelo "instructable" muito bem explicado, passo a passo como se quer. Obrigado!
Obrigado eu pelo elogio!
I just found an instructable on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/SOGCV4R143EZ0R6TAB/">wood chiseling</a>.<br/>
Great job! I take it that English isn't your native language. If that's the case, great translation job too! <br/><br/>I asked because of your statement: <em>there's a saying which states something like &quot;the need makes the inventor&quot; </em><br/><br/>Pretty close! The actual phrase in english is: <em>Necessity is the Mother of Invention</em><br/>
Thanks! Ahhh... yes.... that sounds better :). In fact, in my language we have another, similar way of saying that, but it has 2 words that I couldn't translate at the time (sounds something like "necessity sharpens the apparatus (the thinking)"). By the way, I just changed the nail length from 25mm (1inch) to 20mm (3/4inch). I used a 25mm one but I think it will be more comfortable to use with a 20mm one.
My father was an Inventor, He actually had two products succeed that we frequently see; The bread bag (and the machine that fills it) and the Diatomaceous Filter (used most commonly with tropical aquariums and swimming pools). He used to tell me that the secret to invention isn't, "How to build a better mousetrap" but, "How to make the current mousetrap better, simpler and cheaper." This thinking has followed me through my profession in computer design & programming. The simplest solution is usually the best one.
I totally agree with you, and I can say that I also let the "simplest solution" guide my life. I never forget the day I saw a mention to the KISS principle in a networking book: "Keep It Simple, Stupid"! This is just soooo true.
Very nice work! What type wood did you use ? Always remember measure twice cut once
Thanks! I used "northern pine" wood, it's very light and soft. I didn't pick any special type of wood; in fact, at that store it was the only type of dense wood available. Yes, "measure twice cut once", I think it comes in all books about woodworking :)
For me, measuring twice is never enough. It's usually the third measurement that catches my previous two oversights! :)

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