<img class="lazy" height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2000/svg'%20viewBox='0%200%201%201'%3E%3C/svg%3E" data-src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=376816859356052&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
 In Projects, Shop Blog, Techniques

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.


Cutting Gauge Tune-Up


I bought a new marking gauge to
cut across the grain when I lay out tenon
shoulders and dovetails. The problem is,
it doesn’t make a clean cut. All I get is a
raggedy line.How can I sharpen the tiny
cutting knife to make it work better?


Marking gauges
come in two different
styles. One with a needle-
like pin works best
when following the grain
of a board. This is the
kind to use when laying
out the two sides of a
mortise, for example.

The style you bought
has a knife in it instead of
a pin, and is sometimes
called a cutting gauge. It’s
meant to be used across the grain, as you
describe. It should make a cut as clean as
one made by a razor blade. Here’s how to
fix yours:

You’ll have to change the profile of the
knife from pointed to round. A cutting
edge that is a single point dulls quickly.
A round edge will stay sharp longer
because there’s more cutting surface.
Also, change the double bevel to a single
bevel. A single bevel facing the gauge
head pulls the head tight to the edge of
the wood.



By registering, I acknowledge and agree to Active Interest Media's (AIM) Terms of Service and to AIM's use of my contact information to communicate with me about AIM, its brands or its third-party partners' products, services, events and research opportunities. AIM's use of the information I provide will be consistent with the AIM Privacy Policy.

Start typing and press Enter to search