Inspired by a few designs that I’ve been studying on the internet I have finally plucked up the courage to make my own marking gauge, it's only taken a couple of years to convince myself that I can actually make one!
Step 1: Selecting the Wood
The first step was to select the wood. I had plenty of scrap to choose from, so I simply chose what was closest in size to what I needed. The large piece turned out to be the exact thickness specified by one of the tutorials I found online, so I simply marked a line for cutting that would provide me with a square cross-section.
Step 2: Measuring Up
I then measured and cut the bar down to the recommended length, and marked out the block.
Step 3: Chiseling
I then chiseled out the block. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account the fact that the lines I drew were basically traced around the bar, so when I chiseled out the hole I ended up with a hole that was just too big. So, I cut out a new block, this one a bit wider (no particular reason for that other than I saw it done this way in a couple of other tutorials and decided to go with that). I then drew out the hole, correctly this time, and correctly chiseled it out.
Step 4: Testing the Fit
This time it was quite a tight fit, I had to open it up slightly, but without making it loose. I am quite happy with this snug, slightly tight fit.
Step 5: To Pin or Not to Pin
For the pin I used a small nail. I drilled a hole about half the diameter of the nail so that I wouldn’t split the timber when nailing it in, and so that it would still be tight.
The last thing that needed to be done was to add some kind of locking mechanism. The tutorial I was using for inspiration uses a double wedge, which is fine, but the wood I’ve chosen wasn’t quite thick enough to justify that, and I’m not so good yet at chiseling the necessary holes, so I went for something a little more modern. I chose a small bolt, and drilled two holes. The first hole I drilled goes through from front to back, and is a few millimetres smaller than the nut. I ground down one side of the nut down so that it is flat on both sides, but not enough for it to be loose in the hole. It took a bit of hammering with a punch to get it in and positioned correctly, but that’s just what is needed, a tight fit. But, before inserting the nut, I had to drill the vertical hole for the bolt. With the nut in place it was easy enough to insert the bolt, screw it through the nut down to the square hole that the bar slides tightly through.
Step 7: All Done
And here’s the finished result. I’m not going to worry about finishing it with oil or anything, It’s quite fine the way it is for a first time attempt at making one of these, perhaps later on I will make a better one now that I’ve worked out how to do it. In the meantime, this one is working quite well, I’m very happy with it!