Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've got some woodcraft gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and I need a new marking gauge for laying out mortises. Below are the options I'm considering. I want to go as cheap as possible for a quality tool that I won't be complaining about in a few years.

Crown marking and mortising - $32
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2007282/2063/CROWN-Marking-And-Mortising-Gauge.aspx

Veritas dual wheel gauge - $60
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2083669/35780/Veritas-Dual-Marking-Gauge.aspx

Bora marking and mortising gauge:
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2084051/36332/BORA-Mortising-and-Marking-Gauge.aspx

I have also been considering getting a wheel marking gauge - the pin gauge I have wanders badly when marking with the grain. The Woodcraft wheel marking gauge is $15.

Thoughts/experiences/advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
If it were me, I'd go with the Crown. Seems to be a good value.

I don't currently have a mortice marking gauge, just single pin/wheel markers. I've got a couple that have pins and a Veritas wheel gauge. I find myself using the ones with pins as I often have trouble seeing the marks that the Veritas makes. I also have problems getting a pencil to follow the small shallow cuts from the Veritas. Maybe just me, maybe just the wood I'm using (reclaimed white oak), but at least right now I use my old Stanley much more than the new Veritas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,764 Posts
I've got a really old one that I found in a village second hand store for $20.
Looks like the Crown in your link.
Get the Crown.

I use mine to follow all sort of contours around wood carvings, love it.
The scratch may be incomplete but it is always good enough to follow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
You'll be much happier with the Veritas dual wheel in the long run. The other two scratch a line in the wood which isn't very neat or precise. With the dual wheel, you mark with one wheel then rotate the tool to mark with the second wheel. it cuts a precise easy to see line. I can almost guarantee if you buy either of the other two you will eventually opt to add a wheel marking gauge and therefore end up spending more just to let the first one sit in a drawer or on a shelf and never be used again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Woodenhorse said:
You'll be much happier with the Veritas dual wheel in the long run. The other two scratch a line in the wood which isn't very neat or precise. With the dual wheel, you mark with one wheel then rotate the tool to mark with the second wheel. it cuts a precise easy to see line. I can almost guarantee if you buy either of the other two you will eventually opt to add a wheel marking gauge and therefore end up spending more just to let the first one sit in a drawer or on a shelf and never be used again.
I will at lease gets single wheel gauge. You think the dual wheel gauge is worth getting even though it's more than the crown plus a single wheel gauge?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
As someone who to date has been using a single, I'd definitely get the dual of whatever type you decide. It can be a pain to mark mortises with a single unless they are always centered. Even then, it is two passes instead of one to lay them out.

EDIT: I just re-read your post. If you are definitely going to get the Crown, I'd just get the single. If you decide you like the wheel gauge, you can then get the double, or Lee Valley does make a cutter that will attach to the single beam to make a double marker. It won't be as convenient as the double wheel, and is not as easy to adjust - however, it is a lot cheaper. Another factor if you go with the single beam/second cutter is that you are limited in how narrow a mortise you can mark. Because of the design, it won't adjust to mark one narrower than 3/8" (I think).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Now I'm a little confused

As someone who to date has been using a single, I'd definitely get the dual of whatever type you decide. It can be a pain to mark mortises with a single unless they are always centered. Even then, it is two passes instead of one to lay them out.

EDIT: I just re-read your post. If you are definitely going to get the Crown, I'd just get the single. If you decide you like the wheel gauge, you can then get the double, or Lee Valley does make a cutter that will attach to the single beam to make a double marker. It won't be as convenient as the double wheel, and is not as easy to adjust - however, it is a lot cheaper. Another factor if you go with the single beam/second cutter is that you are limited in how narrow a mortise you can mark. Because of the design, it won't adjust to mark one narrower than 3/8" (I think).
Ok, I re-read your post and I'm not sure I follow you. Probably because my posts were likely less than clear.

I am looking for a mortising gauge (i.e. double marker) and am looking for help deciding between, among others, the Crown gauge and the Veritas double wheel gauge. If I get something other than the Veritas double wheel gauge, then I will also get a single wheel gauge, because I want one for making rip marks.

A crown gauge plus a single wheel gauge is $45, while the Veritas double wheel is $60. So I would want a degree of confidence that the Veritas is worthwhile before spending the extra $15.

Does that make things clearer? Alter any suggestions?

Additional thought: is the single wheel gauge superior to a cutting gauge when marking along the long edge of a board?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Ok, I re-read your post and I'm not sure I follow you. Probably because my posts were likely less than clear.
That's OK, I wasn't real clear either. :laughing:

Since it is very handy to have at least two mortise/marking gauges, I'd get the Crown and the single wheel cutter - especially if you don't currently have a working marking gauge.

You will use both of them and it is handy to leave one set up to mark the mortises and use the single wheel cutter for other marking duties.


If down the road you decide you want to switch to using wheel cutters for the mortises, you have two options.

First is to simply buy the double wheel mortise/marking gauge.

Second, Veritas does sell an add on wheel for the single beam marker: http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=60488&cat=1,42936
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Ok so far the vote seems to be in favor of the crown gauge and a single wheel. I have a single pin gauge that is only really good on end grain.

Since the crown plus a wheel gauge is the carpet option and seems to be the prevailing opinion, I think that's what I'll get. Now I need to see I f I can hold out for a wait for a sale ....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I love my dual wheel veritas gauge. You can use it as single or dual (the second wheel will recess fully into the flat face), plus you can get a bar clamp for $10 that will bind the bars together so you can maintain the same mortise/tenon width across boards with differing thicknesses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
It's like this. You can buy the Veritas dual wheel and NEVER have to buy another gauge again. Unless you lose it or somehow manage to break it. Or you can buy as many of the scratch pin types as you want and accept that they tear the wood, do not leave a precise line etc. without reshaping the cutting pins. They are not cutters but a couple of scratch awl tips embedded in a short beam. The wheel is an actual cutter that will leave a very precise line. It's more than worth the extra dollars. You've probably spent more than that just thinking about it. I've been working wood for over 30 years and once I found the wheel cutter marking gauges there was no going back. I wish I had found them much sooner. They are a dream to work with.
 
  • Like
Reactions: railaw

·
master sawdust maker
Joined
·
437 Posts
My thoughts are a wheel gauge, over a pin gauge, I personally do not use a double gauge even for morticing. I use a single wheel or cutting gauge and mark the face side of the mortice. I then use what ever chisel I need to make the mortice, I just line up the edge of the chisel to the line and it works for me.

Im not telling you to not get a double gauge, Im just saying there is more then 1 way to lay out a mortice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Wema826 said:
My thoughts are a wheel gauge, over a pin gauge, I personally do not use a double gauge even for morticing. I use a single wheel or cutting gauge and mark the face side of the mortice. I then use what ever chisel I need to make the mortice, I just line up the edge of the chisel to the line and it works for me. Im not telling you to not get a double gauge, Im just saying there is more then 1 way to lay out a mortice!
So how do you lay out the tenon then?
 

·
master sawdust maker
Joined
·
437 Posts
I lay them out by referencing everything from the face side, I use a square to mark the ends, then a marking gauge to lay out the cheek of the tenon on the face side, so it would look sort of like this once laid out. [__________]

If you use a chisel that is the same size as the tenons you are wanting, the rear cheek line is not that important. If you are wanting 1/2" tenons use a 1/2" chisel. as long as you reference off the same line, and use the same chisel, the mortice will be the size you want.

then cut the tenon and pare it to the mortice.

I always try to work from the face side of the board. and when I do my lay outs. I always use the face side as my reference side. This is basic and Im sure everyone does this.

This works very well when you are making M&T's with no reveal or offset or when both faces of both boards are flush. since you marked the cheek of the mortice only you can mark the face side cheek of the tenon with the same setting. then lay your chisel on the line. mark the other side and you have your tenon width. Typically when doing it this way. you will end up with a tenon that is ever so slightly oversized. Which is a good thing. then simply pare the tenon to fit.

When laying out tenons that you are wanting an off set of say 1/4" and you want an 1/8" shoulder. then set your gauge to an 1/8" and repeat the steps above. As long as your initial mortice cheek was at 3/8" you will come out on the money.

This is only how I do it, it was how I was taught, there are as many ways to lay out M&T's as there are ways to sharpen. Who am I to say what way is better then another.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,529 Posts
I have a Harbor Freight pin-style mortise gauge that sucked until I reshaped the pins and is now pretty good. I have a Veritas single wheel gauge that was great when I took it out of the box and still is. I think either style can be made to work, and I'm cheap, so I'd probably go with the Crown. That said, if I was going to buy another mortising gauge, I'd probably buy the Veritas dual-wheel one. It'll last forever and they're easy to adjust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Wema826 said:
I lay them out by referencing everything from the face side, I use a square to mark the ends, then a marking gauge to lay out the cheek of the tenon on the face side, so it would look sort of like this once laid out. [__________] If you use a chisel that is the same size as the tenons you are wanting, the rear cheek line is not that important. If you are wanting 1/2" tenons use a 1/2" chisel. as long as you reference off the same line, and use the same chisel, the mortice will be the size you want. then cut the tenon and pare it to the mortice. I always try to work from the face side of the board. and when I do my lay outs. I always use the face side as my reference side. This is basic and Im sure everyone does this. This works very well when you are making M&T's with no reveal or offset or when both faces of both boards are flush. since you marked the cheek of the mortice only you can mark the face side cheek of the tenon with the same setting. then lay your chisel on the line. mark the other side and you have your tenon width. Typically when doing it this way. you will end up with a tenon that is ever so slightly oversized. Which is a good thing. then simply pare the tenon to fit. When laying out tenons that you are wanting an off set of say 1/4" and you want an 1/8" shoulder. then set your gauge to an 1/8" and repeat the steps above. As long as your initial mortice cheek was at 3/8" you will come out on the money. This is only how I do it, it was how I was taught, there are as many ways to lay out M&T's as there are ways to sharpen. Who am I to say what way is better then another.
Thanks. I think I will try this today with my single pin gauge. And leave the question of a mortise gauge to tomorrow.
 

·
master sawdust maker
Joined
·
437 Posts
Good Luck!
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top