How to Use a Marking and Mortise Gauge

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This video describes how to scribe precise lines on a wooden surface using marking and mortise gauges.

The concepts introduced in this video are targeted towards beginners of woodworking.

Now that you have learnt how to use a marking and mortise gauge, watch the next video to scribe a line using a marking knife.

Using a marking and mortise gauge for the first time? Help is at hand! This step-by-step video will tell you everything you need to know to use these tools correctly in your woodwork projects.

Music - Gilles B

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In this video you will learn how to use a marking and mortise gauge.

A Marking and Mortise Gauge is used to transfer measurements onto wood for marking out joints and indicating where to make a cut.

The tools that you will need are a marking gauge, a mortise gauge, a ruler, a mortise chisel a vise and a pencil.

The material you will require is a workpiece.

In its simplest form the Marking Gauge comprises a fence or stock that can be moved and locked along a stem or beam.

A specific position is held in place by adjusting the thumbscrew.

The stem holds a single spur, fixed near one end of the beam.

In the Mortise Gauge the stem holds two spurs, one of which is movable and set by means of a screw.

The combination marking and mortise gauge has a single spur on one side of the stalk and two on the opposite side.

Hold the marking gauge, as shown, with a tilt.

Don’t press the spur into the wood so much as onto the wood.

Maintain a lightness of touch.

Additionally, when using the combination marking and mortise gauge, be careful not to pierce your thumb with the unused spurs on top of the beam.

The spur of the marking gauge is used to scribe a line whose distance from the edge of the workpiece will be the same as the distance from the spur to the stock.

Slide the stock to the correct location on the beam and lock it in place.

You may use a ruler to set the tool to the desired length.

Tighten the marking gauge and check the length again.

Position the marking gauge as shown against the edge of the workpiece and scribe down the length of the wood.

To mark the centre of a workpiece, first guess the point using your eyes.

Position the stalk against one edge of the work piece and roll the gauge forward to plunge the spur into the timber, leaving a single mark.

Now, turn the gauge around and repeat the exact same step from the other side.

Try and get the holes side by side.

Highlight the holes with a pencil so they are more visible.

Make a slight adjustment to get the single spur exactly between the two holes you've made and you have the true centre of the surface.

When marking the dimensions of a mortise and tenon joint, use the mortise gauge.

Set the spurs of the mortise gauge to span the tip of the mortise chisel's blade.

You can do this by gripping the chisel in a vise and making adjustments on the gauge with your free hand.

Find the centre of the workpiece using the same process as with the marking gauge.

You can now scribe the line along which to chisel.

The Wheel Gauge has a hardened steel disc anchored to the end of the rod-shaped beam that passes through a metal stock.

The disc has a razor edge that is useful to scribe a thin line against the grain.

Since the wheel rotates, it's fairly easy to move along a surface.

To scribe a steady line, tilt the beam until one edge of the beam as well as the spur is in contact with the surface you are working on.

If you have trouble seeing the scribed line, you may highlight it using a pencil.

An eraser will make the pencil mark more defined.

You have now learnt how to use the Marking and Mortise Gauge.

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