How to make Marking Gauges | Paul Sellers


i want to show you something i came up

with this about

oh must be two decades ago about you

know when you've not got much money

and you need some marking gauges you

need some fancy ones you don't need

fancy ones

so what i want to do is show you how to

make a wonderful gauge

i've used for a long time it's got a

sliding beam in here you press it here

it locks the stock against the beam and

you have your gauge but what we're going

to do is make a system

of gauges so what we do is we're going

to work on making

one of these this is the stock and then

we're going to make a system of

using the beam we're going to make seven


beams that will all fit into the same

stock so

if you don't have a lot of time and a

lot of money you can make one of these

and then you can make the additional

pieces the single pin for the marking

gauge the

twin pins for mortise gauges and then

right on top of

all of that you've got this fella which

is the one i've made

and the one i'm going to show you

actually all the way through this is the

one we're going to film now

but then i'm going to show you how to

set up and make the others suit their

purpose so

we will end up with a quarter inch 5 16

so 3 8

a half inch and a 3 4 inch mortise gauge

set to your chisels not set to my

chisels not

set to arbitrary sizes you could do

six millimeter chisels you can do eight

millimeter chisels

if you're in the metric system if you're

in my system

you'll be using um 5 16's quarter inch


i'm going to come up with those in a

minute but watch this and see if you

don't enjoy it so i'm going to start out

by showing you the layout

of the stock itself because that's the

most complicated part

for now


okay we're ready to start laying out and

the first thing

we're going to do is take the the block

that's going to make the stock the

sliding part

like this that goes onto the gauge we're

going to make that

first and uh to do that what i want to

do is

show you how i arrived at the position

for the hole the hole actually goes

through the center

and what we need to do is take a

straight edge like a ruler

and make a line from corner to corner

or from each corner to each corner

across the middle that will give us the

pinpoint dead center

of the gauge and what i'm going to do is

mark it out in pencil

but afterwards i'm going to go over it

i'm doing both sides of this

but afterwards i'm going to go across

where the crosshairs meet with a knife

to get that pinpoint accuracy that i


for the dead center of this so i'm

accurate from

the center point on this side is exactly

the same as it is on this side

you could use a square and transfer it

to the other side but this will work


oh i have sized my piece and i've made


i always use a vernier to get

thicknesses right to make sure

that i'm exactly what i need to be

checking both sides

and that one this one says 23


and this one says 26.33

so that is very accurate for handwork so

we've got these

sized and we're ready that's the first

point i want to show you

is how do you get that center point so

from here now we're going to be

boring a hole through here and what

instead of just boring the hole through

with a bracing bit we're going to do a

pilot hole through there

first of all we're going to put it in

the vise we're going to take a

a drill bit with a 1 8 bit in it

or smaller something that will take the


of the um brace that we've got the bit

of it that we're going to use that will

have the tooth of the

the thread on it that will pull itself

through so we'll be putting this

we're going to drill down about halfway


and then we're going to drill from the

opposite side and that will meet in the


and if there is a slight out of


the twist in the drill will pull itself

to square

and we'll get that perfect hole that

goes right down the center

perpendicular to this outside face and

that's what we're searching for because

that's what's going to guide the brace

and bit when we start to bore the hole

what i'm doing here i'm taking the knife

because the knife

will give me the superb accuracy that i

need i'm just going across the middle

with a knife line about a quarter of an

inch long

or something like that so it doesn't

show after i've cut the hole

this is the cross hair of those two

is exactly where i want to be

to get the precision of the center so

i've made sure

i've done everything i can to be

accurate because this gauge

needs to be accurate

no pressure

i like this kind of work though don't

you just

take your time be patient with yourself

give you time and i'm taking a square


and i'm even going to

take a file to it and sharpen it because

i want that

accuracy again

so i rotate it on the flat faces

like that

and that gives me i hope it gives me

okay just insert the dot the very

pin point don't press it too much just


and when you see the dot is exactly on

those two crosshairs

just press it down and then start to do

a little rotation

and that will create a conical

inside there a cone should i say

right on there lift it off make sure


as centered as you can probably get and

then just nudge it over if you need to

like i just did

so i came at an angle brought it on the


look down on it and my eye told me

that's perfect so that's that

and now i'm going to drill halfway

through as i said i'm just going to go

in with the drill bit

1 8 bit for me


so i'm looking into that and i have got


dead on it's perfect i i don't think i

could do better

and then this one

before i go all the way in i'm just

eyeballing and it looks good

to me and listen now it should connect

with the other half

there it was so i let the bill the twist


i go all the way through and that will

have light that will have a line so if

it was

slightly out of square it would have

aligned it up because

the rim is exactly where it needs to be


so i'm happy with that put it in the

vise and i'm going to bore all the way

through now with a three-quarter inch

bit abrasion bit

and that's because the stem is going to

be made from a three-quarter inch by

three-quarter inch piece

it may be slightly slightly ever so

slightly bigger

so i start the boring bit now

again i'm only going to go halfway


but there's something that i've got to

do beforehand

which i am stopping now because i want

to emphasize

something i'm actually not ready to bore

this bit yet

i've got to rate lay out for

something else i have to lay out

for this piece to go in into

the um i've got to get this

perfect so because if this is slightly


this sliding won't work it won't lock

that mechanism will not work so

i'm instead of boring this through now

i'm going to hold off and i'm going to

show you how we lay out

to get the precision that we want for


sliding um lock bar to go in so

that's what we'll do now okay now that

we've got

the position of the three-quarter inch


just described onto the surface there

i'm going to take my square

and line it up with the top of that

arc of that circle

and i'm going to take a knife here and

i'm just going to make a nick on the

corner you can walk all the way across

if you want to go lightly

if that's good like that i'm going very


just enough for me to see it although i

doubt whether i will see it

then from where that intersects the


right there we're going to come down

3 16 of an inch

which is right there

i'm going to transfer that now

over to the other side that's just going

to be the rim i'm actually going to be

boring a hole through here so where this

this line that was aligning with the top

of here

that's actually going to be the center

of a hole that i'm going to be boring

through here

so let me well it's actually going to be

let me check it's going to we're going

to be drilling a 7 16 hole so it's going

to be

slightly off center but it's going to be

close to center so

i'll give you the exact size when i

start doing it

okay from so this line here is the top

of the arc

this one is 3 16 lower down and from


one we're going to go up 7

30 seconds which is

exactly the distance i want

so there is my 7 30 seconds

and we can instead of we can just take


mark lock the square on

to that mark there that will be the

center point for our

7 16 hole that we're going to be pouring


so i've got this side marked as well now

stand it up on edge

and go into your knife nick

and just go ahead and mark it across the


with a light pass i'm just doing more of

a press in the mid section rather than

on either side

stand it up and do the same on this side

into your knife nick

and across that mid section there

and that there is the center of the 7

16 hole we're now going to bore through

this way

so we want the dead center of that and

we're going to use a marking gauge

to get that dead center

and this has to be accurate we've got to

drill through from broth to both sides

and into a meet in the middle again so

just eyeball for center

first of all just press it

somewhere near that line and then turn

it around

and see how good you were

and i am oh man i am so


so there it is i believe that's it i'm

right on that mark

and now i'm going on this side so i am

dead centered on that so when i turn it

around i know i'm centered

go to this side press it into that line

because you want it square going through

this way but you also want it square

going through this way as well so

quite a challenge now because we now

have to bore a hole into here

uh and i'm going to put this in the vise

i'm going to

just make that a little bit deeper

with the oil

like that and then into this one

and i'm going to stand it up in the vise

because i find

i work better this way i know some of

you will have a drill press and this is

actually ideal

if you've got a drill press i would say

go ahead and use it if you like to

it's just your choice

okay i'm gonna dip in and out of this

because we

we've got this hole to bore but we can't

bore the next one

until we've made this we've got to make

the sliding pin

because we're actually going to bore

through this face

through this pin to get the exact arc

and the position of the arc we need so

don't race ahead and start drilling

holes too far in advance

so here now oh this is where it gets a

little bit scary

i do want it to be centered going across

this way

so i have to rely on my intuition now

and i want it to be square all the way


this is where it can go off quite

quickly so i don't want to go

past a little bit past halfway but no

more i'm probably nowhere near that yet


let's have a look just put the pencil in

and see

not too far a little bit more

it's like everything it just takes a

little bit of patience

so it's pulling itself in

such a boring job this

okay so careful very very careful

hard to correct this if you go way off

and it might be quicker

there i am luke i think that was

probably about as perfect as i could get

it really

and i didn't do any cheating but because

it's sliding in

so easily without bending the bit

i believe i feel pretty good about what

i did there

this is where the real test is if i

slide this in

and of course with a rat rat-tailed um

file i feel good about that that's going

to go it just needs a little bit of

a minor adjustment really

but i i feel very good about that i can

go in with a little rat tail

file or a round file and true that

up a little bit more but i've got this

hole to bore

through here yet so if i if i've got to

do that

that will correct some of that and it

could be just pure friction

because once you go into the hole

there's a buildup of tightness that i've

left in there so it's going to be great


now what we've got to do is we've got to

make one of these that's my next task

is to show you how to make one of these

and these are really great fun to make


it doesn't take very long just a little

bit of skill

now i've got a piece of three quarters

of an inch square i've kept it long

because uh it's going to be handy when

you're cutting this stem

this sliding lock bar uh

if you keep it long while you do the

cutting and shaping of it because that

way you can clamp it in the vise so

i've got this is about 10 inches long

but you could make it just six inches

and it would be fine actually it's

nearly 12 inches long but i'm planning

on making a spare one

it's always good to make a second one

because they do wear out

over a number of years and if you had

one already made up then you can lose it

wherever you want to

which probably is what will happen with

mine but there you go

so what we're going to do first of all

we're going to

measure up from the end three inches

of this and then we're going to make a

knife wall

all the way around on that three inch


to take us all the way onto each facet

and that's going to be a shoulder line

that we're actually going to cut

two but we're only going to go

very shallow it's only going to be maybe

an eighth of an inch deep or something

somewhere like that don't quote me until

we get to this because i'll be

giving you exact sizes either here or in

a drawing

so that's my overall shoulder line

and then from there i'm going to measure

three quarters of an

inch which is going to give me the


length of this when i actually cut it

off so i'm going to leave it

in the length for now it gives me

a good holding device when i'm doing my


this cut line you see i'm just rotating

this and going off the faces

nearest to my stock of my square i'm not

following the normal protocols and it's

come dead out and dead on so there it is

that's what i've got to do now we're

going to bring you closer so you can see

how i'm going to lay out this circular

part to make the

the pinfall the dowel that's going to go

into the hole

my next job is i've got to put a circle

on here

i don't know you won't if this is a

little bit like a mushroom

so the stem is narrower than the

top part the overhanging part of the

mushroom so i've got to do the same on

this one

what we do is we start out with the

square section so

we've got to set a marking gauge

so that we've got a we're going to have

a 7

16 diameter rod this thing this sliding

lock bar that's going to pass into it so

the first thing we've got to do

is find the center of this piece of wood

and we do that just the same way we did

on the stock by drawing a pencil line

from corner to corner

and that will give us a dead center of

this piece of three-quarter inch square

stock then we take the all and go

right on that mid section no we don't we

don't need to do that

i'm getting ahead of myself because it

depends on what we're going to do

i can use something that's got holes in

it that are 7

16 and just place that over

those two cross hairs or

i can take the all and put

a mark right on that and then i can take


this um

these calipers and set those to 7 30

seconds and that will give me a 7

16 diameter uh dowel

or rod that will pass into it so we have

a choice there if you don't have one of


you might have one of these and if you

don't have one of these you could have

some other compasses

that will help you to get that whole exa


diameter exactly right so that's what

i'm working on

next so depending on on which method you

have access to make a mark in the

on the crosshairs and set this

to 7

30 seconds oops there we go

that's 7 30 seconds right there

drop it into the hole and describe

the circle

like that and and this is not

rocket science at all but

it's just a question of getting what we

want is the outside walls that's the

reason we're doing this

i'm going to go over with this because i

do have a 7

6 7 16 hole on this

and i'm going to eyeball that i already

have a wall now that i just marked with

the gauge

so if i put this on here

and mark it with the pencil

i'll i'll have something really black

and white to look at

and to show you

okay i've got my bullseye it's not quite

on the center

but it's centered this way and this is

what i'm going to do i'm going to just

take my finger

like that and ink that in a little bit


while i've got this setting i'm going to

go to this one

flip over and go to this one

so now i can see pretty clearly

where my lines are going to go now what

i'm going to do is i'm going to take

my marking gauge and i'm going to take

it and set it to the furthest point

just like that that means i can use this

to run gauge lines from that three

inch mark i can run that all the way


to the end so i take this and run a

gauge line

i turn over and run a gauge line

turn over and run a gauge line

and flip over instead of turning over

and run another gauge line

then i turn it around and i run

the gauge lines on the opposite faces

like that and like that

and like that

and those are cut lines and i can cut

down those

with a hand saw with a tenon saw

down to this stop line here

and that's what i'm going to do next so

if i put this in the vise here

you'll be able to see what i'm doing

i don't have enough length on my tenon

saw to go all the way


flip over and come from the other side

okay and then

we can do the opposite wall here

so i'm not really too far off my


maybe down this one this one might get a

little bit more

awkwardness because it's so thin

and the springiness in the oak

nope i'm good i think

down to your shoulder line and then down


one i don't have much to hold

on to there now


i went a little off track there


mmm i think i'm doing fine i think it's

going over like this


and then i cross cut these

up to my line so i need a

chisel of some kind

oh yeah

snug it right up against that shoulder


now of course these aren't going to pop

off these outside bits will

but that mid section if you remember

didn't go all the way down

so i just straight grained out no


just split cut and then

go in with your chisel

and then do each face the same i don't

need to go in with the knife with the

deepening the knife wall now because

i've got that shoulder to work too


keep flipping it until we've gone all

the way around


this is the fun bit when you see that it

just pops off

you've got that little half diamond in

there you just take your chisel

and pack it into it so i've got my

shoulder all the way around

and you start to see what we've got when

you put the two together

you start seeing how this is going to be

formed from this

so i need this length remember don't cut

it to length yet because now

we've got to round this and that's what

we do next

we've got some options for rounding this

but i'm going to go with my spokeshave

flat bottom spoke shave nothing special

and what i'm going to do is bring it up

high enough to where

the spokeshave isn't hitting the bench

and i still have room for my hands

so my hands on either side and just

start doing some

pull-ups this is your daily

gym exercise so we do some pull-ups

and then we do do some down presses

into the shoulder and it will only leave

a little bit down there so keep it

parallel if you can and then just start


following that radius that you've marked

on the end so i can see exactly

where i'm going i'm keeping my pencil

line the whole time

and while i'm in this body position i

turn it this way because

it works very nicely

so pull those even strokes

until you just see it approaching your

graphite line from your pencil

there it is turn it round and go down

the hill

and do your bench pressure smoke not

bench presses

there it is so now we've got this

beautiful half round

uh already done we've got half of it we

just have to do the other half

as near as we can get it same as

now i would suggest

that instead of going with the

piece of wood with the hole in it you

can use that just

initially see there but what i would do

is i would

bore a hole in another piece of wood

and that way you won't be wearing this

hole out and you'll keep the accuracy of


but i can see the bruising on the

corners here and that's what's


going to guide me and then i bring in

this little tool

it's just a card scraper and i pull up

like this

and i bend it i bend it so i can

maximize the width of the cut

which takes away the flatness so you

don't end up with flatness

work down like this

pull up off the end all the way through

and then you'll find that your your

piece of wood

is starting to mark it

like that so now we've got some bruising

on there

that we can work to to guide all the

cuts as we go down

this stem all the way down to the


a little bit more technique to show you

yet but very nice isn't it

so now that i've cut a hole in a piece

of wood

so i can offer the dowel part

into the hole and i'm already in

three quarters of an inch nearly and i


keep turning that and bruise that wood

and it goes a little bit deeper every


then i come out go into the vise

and i i can either use the spoke shape

like this

which i like the idea of better

then i can come back with the

card scraper

i'll work that piece of wood that way so

i'm going to this is the opposite side


so i do the same again

see how far we've got so

and the other thing is not to forget we

can use sandpaper too

ultimately this scraper

takes over from the spokeshave

to further refine it

and improve it

that's great look at this now we are

cooking with gas okay when we get nearer

to this shoulder

we're going to switch to either a rasp


another tool and i think i'm going to do

that now so you can see

exactly what i mean

before i do reach for the rasp however

i'm going to take my chisel

and i'm going to just check the grain


because now what i can do is i register

the flat face of my chisel

to this long long axis here and i push

into the corner

and then i'm following the radius all

the way around

and this is going to get rid of the bulk

of that waste

now i'm i'm feeling after which

direction that grain is going because

if it dives i have to go to a rasp

pretty much it's hard to go with any

other tool

and if i'm being careful

come across the grain with the chisel

like that pair down that

shoulder because we didn't cut through

this with the uh

saw did we

and that's the contrast there

is the

shoulder you can uh well i can see

anyway not necessarily you

but i can feel this part is rounded

following that

and this is what i had before so i've

taken these corners out and i'm going to

do the same on

this one

exactly the same way so i feel after

what that grain is giving me

because um if it nose dives i don't want

it to nosedive because it'll weaken

this juncture

in the bar

see there it's pulling me a little bit

so i come back up

take a little bit less a little bit less

here we go now if you've got a 3

8 washer you could drive this into that

not three a 7 16 washer

nearly got myself in trouble there um

you could drive this into that washer

now and it would take this down to a

perfect 7 16 diameter

i just don't have that luxury so it's

not hard to continue doing this

see it hits that thick point there

but i'm really not far off so a little

bit more

pairing or i could bring in

something like this i could bring in

this and i could just literally

just do a little very light on

the finest side because this has a

coarse tooth and a fine tooth

rotate it and take it down with this

which is a little bit sledgehammer

to crack a nut really but it does take

it down

muy rapido

i think it works quite well

i think i probably would favor

just going with the scraper most of all

because that way but

it worked fine that did i still have to

go with the scraper though

in with the block with the hole in

not very far off i think i'm about three

eighths from

three quarters from the stem

a little bit of cleanup on the inside


and i think i'll be there

this is taking off the equivalent of a

plane stroke

so there we are we are cooking with gas

there it is we're down to the shoulder


a little bit of cleanup on this inside

corner with a chisel

and i'm ready to take you through the

next step




i'm almost there now

there's one last step and that is to

take a piece of

abrasive paper i've got some abrasive

cloth back paper but some paper works

just fine

and you can pull this now and it will



further enhance the rounded part

and generally i wouldn't advocate this

for other things

because of course it's a cross-grain


which shows in the final

but on this it's just fine oops

so once you've got it very very close we

want it to

fit onto there

pretty much like that so we want to do a

little bit of refining

but not too much now i look for the


i take my scraper apply it to the

bruised area it's not

bruising it's more the shiny area really

nicey did you enjoy that

i am hoping you loved it

because i did

so that now

brings us up to the next stage where we

slide this inside

the hole

like this make sure it fits make sure it

goes all the way up to the shoulder just

like that

which it is

and then we can drill through this

and through this at the same time and

that's what's going to give us the

perfect marriage

and that's the next step now that we've

got this

pegged as it were um what we want to do

is uh

enter it in the hole we're going to

drill a hole we're going to take that um

three-quarter inch bit

now and put it back in the

brace and we're going to bore through


the middle of the stock and also through

the uh the um

the sliding lock bar and but what we

want to do

we want to make sure that this is


through the hole about 3 16 of an inch

that works fine so i'm just coming out 3


on the outside so that when i bore

through here

that will be the start of the arc and

then as i slide this

in it's going to tighten up because it

has a

a sloping just a slope

going into that curve and that's what

tightens it on the lock bar

but we want to make sure that this

aligns with the face of this so it's

just a question of eyeballing it

twisting it to where it needs to be

and that way when we put the

mushroom in it will be aligned with the

faces of the

stock of the gauge so we plant this in

the vise

and we do the boring bit yet again




this last little detail

we're going to create the sliding part

so i'm starting three quarters of an


from this rim point here

to where i start my cut

just like that

and if you have a a small rasp

as i do

you can go onto that slope like this

and just refine it but

if you don't have one don't worry


guess what works just as well

a little flat piece of uncomplicated


just pull that into so you get a smooth

transition from the arc into that long


that is that

is that finish so when you look inside i

don't know if you can see

but when you slide this inside

the incline hits the top of the

stem just like that and locks it in


the next step that i've got to do is

i've got to shape

at the moment i just have a round hole

and then

what we want is square sides at the

bottom of the hole

and a slight radius on there it's not

that slight i think it's um

one and three quarters but what the

reason we have that is it cradles the uh

the bar this is the shape of the bar

when it goes into here it seems to lock

it down and seat it better than a square

edge i don't know if that's true

but it seems to do exactly what

i want it to do so i'm continuing with

that tradition

there was a reason they put it in there

on the original marking gauges almost

all marking gauges

have this radius on the bottom and i

believe it's so it cradles it

so that when you put the pressure on the

top bar it seats in there

and keeps it in a permanent position

when it's locked down so that's what

we're doing next so

the first thing i've got to do is um is

do the layout for it it's not

complicated it's

i'm going to use one of these if you

don't have one of these you do need


that will give you a one and three

quarter inch radius

that you can place on there and you

could use

as i this is much bigger than that than

that radius

but you could use something like that a


tin the lid off a

sauce bottle or something like that that

will give you that radius so

or you could simply go to one of these

set the distance between the two

to seven eighths of an inch but the

problem with it is you

you end up putting a dot in your

material but that would work too if you

wanted to use a compass that would be


what i want to do is i want to show you

some of the things that i found

beneficial to laying out this so we want

to make sure that we don't

radius the wrong part this is the top of


gauge here so this fits with that

conformation from the radius that we

made on the inside of the uh

sliding locking bar so we want a radius

on the bottom i've just put a faint line

in there

um but um and that line

actually on my um the end of my

uh ruler is that one and three quarter

inch radius so i could just use that

that would be fine

but just in case you you don't have that

i've got

also got this which has a one and three

quarter inch

radius somewhere on here there it is

this is

my one and three quarter inch radius is

here so

um i can use that just fine so what i'm

first of all going to do

is i'm going to use the square

just to run some square lines down the


of the exact width of the the hole like


on both sides and that's going to give


a visual so that i'm working in the

right direction

and then on the bottom

of the radius i'm going to make a square

line you have to position your square

so you maximize the length of the stock


against the

longest part there okay

now i've got those lines on this is

already finished i don't have anything

else to do here

those lines have to go on the other side

so i may as well do that now

while i'm in that layout mode

there up the side again

it would be terrible if you uh did the

shaping on one side and then

shaped it on the top on the other

because the distance from the end of the


is the same top and bottom at the moment

well it will be always

okay so that's what we've got this is

not what we want we want to do some

shaping in there

so what i'm going to do now is i'm going

to make a center line

on on this piece so

that means one and one-eighth because

this is two and a quarter material

and one and one-eighth here

and that center line

goes from top to bottom

lost my center line though

there it is there's my center line you

could use a knife if you want to but

remember knife marks are permanent

once i've got that i have a center line

on my strip

on my um

my template here so i'm going to bring


to that one and three quarter mark and

line that center line up

onto my piece of wood on the center line


and that way i can mark the radius

exactly but what i'm going to do while

i've got this

i found it very helpful to go in with a

knife at this point

and make a knife wall too that i could

work to

try not to cut my template and ruin it


that's where the end of the ruler worked

very well

as well so i've got that knife wall and

that will serve to drop my

i have a 3 16 chisel which is very nice

for this

but a quarter inch chisel will do it but

not quite as nicely

but i can't give you a quarter inch


not from here anyway i mean a

3 16 chisel hopefully you've got one or

you've got something you know i often

in the past i've made um uh cuttings

uh cutting chisels from just a piece of

steel without a handle and use that

so you might consider that if you're up

for that

okay make sure we're doing the radius in

the right place

one or three quarters

well when i was an apprentice it was

always one of three daughters

okay there we oops yeah that's right

yeah yeah

hang on did i get that one right

i did thankfully it's easy to go off

piste and

end up marking something the wrong way

or the wrong side with all these arches

on here never seen so many arches

okay there we go one

and two

like that so i've got my knife wall

there i will

probably go in now and put a knife wall

on the edge of the rim of the hole as

well while i'm here

just to meet that internal corner

and that that will stop the the surface

fibers from splitting above

when we start chopping these little

corners out

so that's just a a good idea

i thought it was brilliant but there you


okay you'll enjoy this little bit this

does not take very much at all

um so what does take a little bit of

time is fitting

the stem to the hole and remember you've


seven to do but i'll show you what i did

and it worked great so that's it i'm

really ready now

just to chop this as i said i've got a

narrower chisel

that will help me to drop on there of

course it's the chisel is going to

create flats but they are so

close together you barely see them and i

wouldn't worry about that because you

can always go in

with a very fine rasp if you've got one

and you can use that to uh clean up

the seating area of the bar hole

the stem hole there you go so that's it

don't underestimate the um the necessity

for accuracy

when you start on these and then what

i'm going to do is i'm going to

cut this a little bit away from that

knife wall first of all about

um oh as much as a sixteenth

but maybe a thirty second would work

i've got it nice and secure in the vise

now that lifted the the

material up to the knife wall so i'm

angling my chisel just away

working either side and i'm

i'm using the knife walls to drop much

the knife along the long grain one i'm

going with the grain

i dropped my chisel right into the knife

wall there

because i've already weakened this fiber

on the end

and now i'm in my knife wall with the


corner right in the corner where the two

lines meet

and i'm chopping and i'm going to go

about halfway through now i'm checking

my alignment

i'm listening feeling the whole time

prepared to change the angle of approach

this goes so easily and the course


is very a very brittle wood so it

there i'm in that knife wall again so

i've got two little flats really

and actually that's going to be fine

because i'm going to refine it

in a minute

down remember

looking good and now the other side i'm

going to do this side

i think i'm in my knife wall sometimes

so i want to be away from the knife wall

first of all


i feel like i'm doing an operation here

and i'm describing

my actions

which i suppose i am in a way

just not a human underneath this chisel



okay so now i go directly into that

knife wall

and i get the precision i want






this next bit is where we take

that same chisel we start to refine

the meeting level of the two halves

just very carefully now i've choked up

on my chisel with my fingers like this

so i don't overshoot and shoot into that

opposite side and break those


fibers on the outside edge

because it would look ugly

and i would feel bad

so just teasing out the choosing that

chisel edge into those surface fibers

a little bit

and work from both sides in is what i'm

saying so that

so that you meet somewhere in the middle

if you were slightly hollow

inside it would be fine although i do

always steer away from

encouraging that now if you have a

a small a narrow rasp that fits inside


or a file even

you could use it that's that would be

fine i wouldn't

have any problems with that like much

like i have one you see so

as long as you go very gently especially

rasps tend to pull the outside fibers

but i'm telling you if you took a piece

of wood

like this and just shaped one edge of it

um it would work

just as well if not better so i'm going

to take a

rough plane here

make a radius and it can be a smaller

radius than the one of the

actual hole like that

now this piece is quite a long piece but

if i took this now

cut that off

and wrap the sandpaper around that


put it back in the vise

like this try not to rock

try to go very steadily

inside the hole and keep it as straight

as you can

and just follow the radius just like


and that will refine the bottom of the


beautifully i think that works fine

when you're refining the inside of the

hole what i've done

is i've got that radius that i just

showed you how to make but you can also

take some double-sided tape as i would

and and put it on the wood and then

add the sandpaper the abrasive paper

to that wood it will give you that arch

but also on the underside i've got a

flat corner

and that's very useful to get inside the


uh on the side areas

just to refine that so that you have

this nice

crisp clean inside try not to go into

the arches

because you want those you want to go

from the flat into the arch

and down the other side as cleanly and

as neatly as you can

but that's what i would do i would make

some little paddles that will help you

they take just seconds well maybe a

minute or two

to make add the double-sided tape the

mounting tape not the soft one

just the film put that on the surface

take your abrasive paper

press it onto it trim the sides and you

can refine the hole

inside there without going to the

expense of buying more files

special files or rasps if you wanted to

do that for the top there

on the radius you could just take a

three-quarter inch dowel

and then reduce the size the thickness

of the abrasive paper and use that on

that but you probably won't need

that because it should come come cleanly

off the

auger bit when you bore the hole so now

i've got my hole

refined as much as i need to now i'm

going to show you how

we make the stem that goes inside this

hole because that then

moves us on to preparing for the points

whatever we're going to do i'm going to

be making the complicated one so

i'm going to take one of these square

shafts that i've got here

and i'm going to actually cut the

mortise hole

to take the uh the stem of the cutting


uh or the other to take the the cutter

and the wedge

before i do any shaping because it's

much harder if you have a round on the

top and around on the bottom

to get the holes exactly where the

mortise hole where it exactly needs to


and that crispness is critical to that

wedge being exact so

we're going to do that next


now we're going to fit the um the square


to the hole and it's got to be sized

fairly precisely so what we have to do

i've left my wood although i think on

the um the details it said it was a

three-quarter inch by three quarter inch


but i left it a 64 no not a 64 maybe a

30 second

oversize so that i could actually fit it

directly to the hole just in case you

know you start working on these holes

and they get bigger and bigger and wider

and wider and before you know it you

need the extra material

mine is fine it's just still that

difference oversized so what i've got to

do what i did first of all is i planed

up one face

planed up the next face checked it for


even though we're going to be putting a

radius on there it's good to have these

reference faces

um a square and and

reference faces that you can really work

to and um and then what i did is i just

sized it to the hole that's what i or

that's what i would do

is size it to the hole now it sounds

like i did it but i did do a couple so

i've got already got a couple prepared

and i'm gonna drop this in the vise now

and take a couple of swipes with the


take it out and just try one end

up against the hole and then the other

end i need to take more so i just keep

going down like that because

one extra stroke can be one extra stroke

too much and it can make everything

a little too thin undersized

and that's the last thing we want now if

you're fortunate enough

to work on this majestic wood coal


that just dropped in then if you can if

you do have a

piece of mesquite you can make this

system from

you are truly blessed but one of the

benefits of it

is most people associate mesquite with

barbecue wood which is a very fine thing

if you're

a bbq fanatic that's fine and

i'm going to reset my plane now and just

take off the heavy set that i had

just to refine this surface a little bit


because it's just exactly the right

width now

but i just need a little bit so now it's

actually going inside the hole

it should go in on both sides if i've

done my work right

so if you've got mesquite

you should start getting the essence of

mesquite the smell of mesquite

there is no equal to on the face of the

earth it's the most

wonderful smell whether you use it for


or not it's an amazing smell okay so

what we're going to do now is we're

going to round the top

to fit into the top section which is a


three-quarter inch diameter

radius no diameter the radius is going

to be three-eighths isn't it

so we can use again i can use this

if i want to find the three-quarter inch

drop it on

here line it up with the very top

console and draw that

radius in there i don't need a knife

wall just draw it in there

and i've got it and then i do the same

on the other end

and then i'm going to plane this just

like we would a bull nose on the edge of

a box top or something like that

i'll walk you through it you're going to




what we're going to do next is we're

going to

actually cut the wedge shape because

that's the what we place against the

the stem here to get the exact angle

that we need when we cut the

mortise because it's going to taper from

being wide on the top on the dome on the


down to the underside and it tapers from

top to bottom so

i need um my wedge is going to be 5 16

at the top 3 16 at the bottom

one and three quarter inches long and

all i'm going to do is use a knife to

lay it out

cut that wedge shape first

without refining it or shaping it in any

way so that's what i will do now i'll

show you how i get there

to layout for the wedge we're going to

very simply use a knife and a

ruler to let me find my ruler where did

i put that


i've lost it so i'll use the one on my


so i'm gonna i'm gonna measure from

this planed edge here that i've got

3 16 first

there and then

5 16 up at this top edge

top edge of the wedge

and then just take a straight edge

and join the two

and i'm thinking this uh knife is going


give me a crisper cleaner edge to work

to so

so that i've got the edge i want the

mark i want

and i'll i'll just cut that in the vise


some tough stuff this is


there you go

and while i've got this in this position

i'm just gonna

clamp it and take a shaving off it


this is so smooth

from the saw curve

i don't want to spend a lot of time on


check myself make sure it's parallel to


opposite face and it looks good

and that's it that's my wedge made

i'm gonna while i've got it in my hand

i'm just gonna take my block plane

and just take a shaving off the corner

just to take off those

hard corners

and that's my wedge done so

now i can start laying out for the

mortise hole

okay for this next step it's quite

simple we're going to

determine which is the top so this is

why we marked

the radius on the end so we wouldn't

make a mistake so we would have this

as a reference point so this is the top

this is the edge that's going to have

the cutter in it and we're going to

measure from the end

and i'm going to mark everything with a

knife probably so i'm coming

in from the end a half inch

and just making a mark now while i've

got that there

i am going to

make a distance i have to determine what

the distance is

from here for the width of the mortise

hole so i'm going to square

the line

across the top so this is the top of the

dome and we're actually going to be

uh radiusing this so any mark we put on

here is going to disappear so we don't

need to go heavily

so i've got that half inch mark and then

i mark it

onto this corner just for now so if i

make the mark a nick

there like that and then

i take my wedge and i place it

against that nick that well

we'll have to i'll have to place it and

then move

because i want to bring in the cutter

this is the cutter this is 1

8 thick now that's very thick for

a cutting gauge i don't need it that

thick it just happened to be a piece of

steel that i had

but you could go down quite a bit

smaller than that

and from that half inch nick that we put

in there

we want to make a mark on this side

let me just press those together it's a

little bit tricky and trying to

hold the both together now the wedge is

flush with the bottom of the stem

i'll give you a quick glimpse at that in

a second

so there's my nick and i'm coming in

this side here

and making another nick

that's going to mark the position of the

mortise hole

so i've got those two marks there

and then this this mark

of the second mark the one i just marked

should i say here this one

is the second mark this was the point

where i started to do the mark

and this one here

is going to be squared onto the top and

it's also going to be squared on the

underside of the square so

let me put my knife in that nick

and move across the top

just doing that mid section about

the five six the three um three

sixteenths chisel

then i take that nick that one and i

make the nick onto

this corner because i want my uh

blade to be dead square parallel should

i say to

the stock of the square when i run it

okay so now i've got this point i've got

this point i've got this

distance marked and at this point i can

bring in

this and this together

and that combined twosome gives me

the position for the

underside of the mortise hole

so you can see it's really quite exact


now i wouldn't worry too much about it

you probably will chop this exactly

where it needs to be

but if it went a little bit bigger or a

little bit smaller

you can make those micro adjustments


so there now i've got my

i've got my lines on here i've got my

lines on here

and that means all i've got to do now is

set up the gauge

to run the parallel lines and that's

what i'll do after

this so what we're going to do now is

we're going to um

set the mortise gauge in the

just the standard method which is to

take the chisel you're going to use to

chop the mortise

and place it right between the two

conical points

so it's just inside the tips of the


and then we take that and we center

that on the stem on the piece of wood so

we press it

into the wood here and then we turn it


to see indeed if those points are in the

right position in this case they are

and so then i can run my gauge line here

flip it end for end just in case there's

a discrepancy

and do the same from here that gives me

the wall that i need

and now i'm going to chop through that


and i'll show you a little trick on the

way to help because this is a very small

mortise hole

so we're going to do something that you

probably have never seen me

do before something i don't like to do

but i'm gonna do it in this case

let me see if i can pencil those in

a little bit so you can see them

and and we find out we make sure that we

register the gauge

against the same edge

so if there is a minor discrepancy in

the setting

you will still be parallel

that'll do

now i'm ready for chopping the mortise

staying away from that end wall

because the fibers will compress once

i've gone in

i can move up to that end wall now

knowing that those fibers are now

solidly impressed into themselves

this really doesn't take much doing so

tease out the fibers try and keep the

walls crisp

now the one that's square the wall

square is this one that i'm in now this

is square

from one side to the other

this one is the narrow side this one is

the top side so it tapers

on that one side and that's important

for us to realize because otherwise

we'll be chopping square down so

the one that's on the inside is going to

be the square one i'm going to start

from this side now

and do just the same

right in between those gauge lines

work along just with hand pressure works


i'm in that knife nick then so go back

to this other side

just to deepen a little bit more

that just gives me that wall on either

side for when i really start chopping

with a little bit more gusto

so this one i've gone at an angle


it's going to be angled


i'm gonna just move this

here because it's more centered in the


because i can feel a little vibration


so i've taken off the bulk of the meat

on that side

so now i can chop with impunity because

i'm not going to move that knife wall

because i want this

this is the wall that's going to be

square from top to bottom

now because this is such a small mortise


i'm going to use a drill

just to drill out a little bit down the


of this uh mortise because it'll it'll

uh give a place for the material as i


it will give a place for that material

to go to so

just about any size of there i don't it

doesn't need to be

sized to the opening i'm a little bit

under that size so i'm going to go

halfway through from this side

like this

and then come through all the way from

the other side into this one

because that will give me that extra

space for the material to go to

there it is

i i don't like that message people are

always asking me whether i use an

auger or a drill to remove the bulk of

the waste and i really really don't like


i never have it always feels so awkward

and ugly

so i'm going down here and i'm going to

go down this wall

and down this one now

this is the wide point so i need to

angle my chisel

away from me and then pull those fibers

into that waist area just like that

i'm going to check myself for

the width here's another piece of wood

that's the same see i'm

all i'm a little over halfway so

that's great turn over

now come from the other side

up against the knife wall

and i'll feel this go through in a

minute this is angled

away from me at the top because this is


underside so it's actually

the other way

not it matters much

just twist that chisel a little bit just


nudge the fibers in the right direction

a little hand pressure down the walls

i'm going to use the drill again just to

lift out the fibers

otherwise it's tempting to lean against

the end and we don't really want to do



so i'm just about to break through i


so this is the top face

now i'm pulling the chisel just to get


the width equal across

that will clean up the knife wall


and there we are i'm going to just move

the chisel

backwards and forwards

which isn't that easy it's nice and

tight so it's self-supporting in that

mortise hole which is

a good sign

clean up the corners

let's see if we're close

there is my cutter

there is my wedge so i'm a little bit

thick on my wedge yet so i've got to


a little bit off the wedge or take it

off the hole and i'd rather

take it off the wedge

so that's just i've got another wedge

here i can put those two in the vise

probably and just plain up the one

point yeah that'll work

i just have to work out how i'm to do it

very small

i need smaller fingers

it's amazing the things you do just to

get a crisp clean edge in it

there it is let's see if this goes in


it's close

a little bit more here's another method

but you've got to watch your fingernails

it's a good way of trimming your


we definitely do not want it tight

otherwise it will always be a strain

to get it out

close very close so that's how we fit

the wedge

fun isn't it

great i'll finish that off and then

we'll get back together


here i'm using the plane to round the

front of the stem by altering the angle

slightly with every stroke


next i'm using a straight card scraper

but i'm flexing it slightly to blend the



then i blend and smooth everything

together with sandpaper the back of the


also has a slight radius and here i am

marking that directly from the hole for

a perfect match


the process of rounding smoothing and

sanding is very similar to what i just

did on the front

now i can test the stem into the hole to

test the fit


i want a smooth operation for the gauge

so i make small adjustments as needed to

make sure it will run




now i can finally test the locking




now i can move on to shaping the stock

here i am using a rasp thingy i picked

up a while back

but a regular rasp works just fine i use

a flat

file to refine the finish




onto the locking stem i cut this off but

leave some of the square stock in place


i'm going for a squared off mushroom

look for the end of the locking stem


i start this by marking some center

lines and then making a sketch of the




then i cut off the excess wood using the


and then shape using the rasp and file




that's two sides done now i want the

other two to match


we are pretty much there this is

starting to feel like a marking gauge

now it's the little finessing details

that make this such a lovely gauge to






what i'm going to do next is i'm going

to find the exact center on

this piece of wood and i'm going to

find it using the gauge the marking

gauge because that way i can

make a mark on the end of this to align

this jig too so the gauge line that went

through the center of the pin

i've now put on to the very end of this


so i know it's dead center and i'm going

to center this gauge

so that i get the center pin

exactly in the middle

because i want this to be as accurate as

is humanly possible by me

uh because it just needs to

look right it wouldn't matter really

technically if it was off center

but what does technically matter what

matters is how i feel about it when i've

made it and that's the most

important thing so i'm ready to put my


pin into this piece so i'm marking it

here i don't know why

because all i need is a mark on the end

just to guide me and this is going to be

removed after because i've got to

shape the end of this yet and then what

i'm going to do is i'm going to align

this line which is centered on the pin

with this line on the top of there this

distance is half an inch from the end

this is a marking gauge not the mortise

gauge there'll be different marks for


so that's what i'm doing now i'm going


now clamp these together in the vise and

go through

the pair of them at the same time still


this pin that i filed the

four corners on and drilling through the

whole lot so

this one because this is square we'll

align it with the other piece of wood

and it'll go through the two

just fine

so make sure you're fully aligned

with that piece you've got the end piece


i'm going to go with i've made two pins

i made the short one which is actually

going to make the

pin that goes into the final edition of


so i'm going to use this shorter version


to go into that second piece of wood the

actual stem that i'm going to be making

and then i'll go with the longer one

because this pin is not long enough to

go through both pieces of wood

in and out give it time to breathe

and that mesquite is very hard

oh and it turned loose on me hang on a


be careful these do get very hot because

of the friction

as well


i'm going to switch pieces of wood

pieces of metal

this is a longer one now

and i'm going to go all the way through

this time








very very very last bit of shaping we've

got to do on this is to round the ends

of the stem

and it doesn't really matter what the

radius is if you need to have a guide

you could just take

the end of a ruler a steel rule which

will have a round end

on there almost certainly and you could

mark it with that but my suggestion is

that you

just go free hand with a rasp

if you've got one if not some abrasive


and just a couple of swipes up

like that once you've got an a

an angle of about 30 degrees start


the rasp onto the end

turn it around and do the same from this


so 1 2 3 four five something like that

six strokes if it's a good rush and then

up on to the end and look for that

continuous sweep

last bit is just to take a the final

sorry about the noise

i can go lower in the vice and get rid

of it

but i don't really mind it so it is

counterproductive that liberation

and there it is it looks very nice to me

i've got my round and then just take the


rub across the corners in a continuous


like that until you've gone all the way

around it and then you've got a nice

iris on the side it shouldn't need


that's the last bit i've got the other

end to do and then all i've got to do is

sharpen the pin

which i'm going to do next to show you

i'll finish this end off

and then we'll get back together for the

very final bit

which will be shaping and inserting the


so there we have it this is how we make


beautiful gauges so

very nice very happy you made me a happy

man if you watch this

all the way through because it's quite a

long session

but a beautiful piece of work when

you've done you'll enjoy it






this is how we sharpen the point and

i've got a couple of pins now

but what we do is we we've got the

pyramid point and we can

can we can use the very point that we

ended up with there as the finish point

but what we do is we just elongate that

and work it around just like this

held in the vise clamp like this it'll


just work it around you're just taking


any hard points just to start with

like that

and then of course we want to refine it

if you go too shallow on this then

you'll end up with a weaker point

but i've got my point where i want it to

be so i can release this from the clamp

and then i'm going to chuck it into

a drill driver just like this



like that and then what we're going to

do is we're

simply going to attach some

abrasive like this so this is just and

i'm going to spin this

onto the abrasive

like that so i'll show you that next

give me a minute

i'm just going to chuck it into the vise


keep it in there

and that's basically all i need so i can

just take the drill now

and move it along keep it moving

just like that

and that gives the tip the very nice

shape and then go to a

finer grit i've got 150 there

you can go to it a 250

300 something like that 250 and 300

is plenty that's more than enough so

that's the very last little bit that

i've got to do

a little bit more abrasive onto a block

of wood

take care when you're doing this think

of safety think of your own personal


this takes very little

on this abrasive level so i'm just going

to go to the two

250 now

like that and there i've got a pristine

point now watch it it does get

hot but i've got a very nice point on my


tip now and that is ready to be inserted


my gauge very nice


a little bit of cleanup now just to put

stuff away

i'm almost ready for that i'll be glad

this series is done because it means i

can clean up and put things in order

not that they're disorderly just need

straightening up a bit so i've got my

pin to insert

now um before i do that

this is the only finish that i'm going

to use

on my gauges and on my stem

is going to be some

it's just simple really it's just going

to be furniture polish you could use


something like that but just furniture


along the stem

and on the stock

the wedge the uh cross

member you don't need any on the sliding

tummy bar on the siding

tension bar when you put that in the

locking bar because

especially where the wedge is because

that could cause it to slip

and i would use if you're going to put

anything on there i would just use some

rosin that you would get for a violin


to create friction between that part

which is what i do

and so that's it basically just some

furniture polish some very simple

soft polish onto these surfaces

and uh and we're good to go and then

once that's done there's really nothing

else to do this put the furniture polish

on buff it with a shoeshine brush or a

soft cloth

and it will look beautiful this is

looking stunning because i use mystique


i've made these out of walnut maple


all manner of wood but padauk i've used


kinds of woods to make these from and

they all look good

and i have even made one out of pine at

one time because i was desperate i

didn't have a marking gauge

and i made one it wasn't exactly the

same as this

i just did one with a wedge that slipped

in the side that held the

stem to where i wanted it but that was

30 years ago so there we have it

that's that bit so we've got the wax on

this slides in we put our

locking bar in put our

stem in and the only thing left now

to insert is going to be the pin and


simply goes in like this but what we do

is we chuck it in the drill

like this and we spin it into the

hole like that

then we release it

like that and there we have a very


very very beautiful marking gauge

that works like nothing else

don't you just love that


so we're ready to shake the top of the

bar the stem

uh make sure you get the right one

because you've got your mortise hole

cut in there and it tapers in one

direction from wide

to narrow but that was the idea of

putting that mark on the end

so we're gonna lock this into the clamp


just like that cinch it tight

and in this case the uh

the two the head and the shoe

actually go in the vise in my case

because my vise is too big to take

just the bar in there then we take

i'm using scrub plate to take off the

bulk of this


i'm just staying slightly away from my


and then i'm going to angle over like

just so i take off as much waste wood as

i can that saves work on the

next plane here

and now i'm taking off those hard


left by the scrub flame

and working onto that top face

just like that you can take a

a scraper like this and bend it into

the surface so i'm bending it quite

considerably and that

means i'll have zero flaps in here

and zero hard corners but i'm not


fitting it to the opening here i'm

working just

to my line to the arch on the end

and i'll do the other side

just the same way

now i'm ready to take the uh the arc

that we created in the bottom there and

transfer it

onto the end of my stem so i clamp it in

the vise

good sharp pencil line it up right with

the very top so there's no gap

and then you can plane to the arc that

you mark on the inside

do the same on the opposite end

and then you can work to both

ends and then the bit in between just

gets straightened

between those two points what we do as

well is

we pull a line

from that uh end of the arcs

just to guide us when we clamp this in

the vise now

we can um we can plane it to that

stop point there

now we've got the underside to shape

so exactly the same procedure

this one takes so little time this bit

i hope you're enjoying watching this

because i'm enjoying

pulling this together for you it's been


back to my scrub again this does save a

lot of work

well worth making

or should i say converting

close to your line

and then a little bit of refining

and actually i did find um i used a

little block plain now and again

on this like this one here they're handy

i don't really care for them very much

but for this kind of work

they're very pleasant to use

but i wouldn't run out and buy one

because number four will do anything you

want really

let me give that a bit of a shot and see

how close i am

pretty good

very close so a little bit of scraping

maybe a little bit more planing

and a tiny bit of scraping i think we're

going to get this together

the scraper really is very beneficial in

this especially these thin

flexible ones when you start

pulling off pushing this

it just flattens out the curve

or refines the curve really

i just need a little

corner off this hump here it's got a


high spots


we detect we work as a detective really

because we're looking for

those points of contact really it's kind

of forensic

there we go

so very very close now

a little bit more on that end

not much really almost you could sand it

now without using the scraper

i'm going off the end

like that and hitting this plywood here

so it's not hurting

my scraper it's not hitting any metal

i've got a feeling

oh there we go again dropped it

that is so close

i'm looking at the shiny bits on the


to tell me where to remove

the stock

so close oh there we go


the problem is right inside


i think

it really wasn't a little bit there

we've got it i think i'm close enough

now i just need to sand

this because i've not really sanded it

much and that sanding will reduce the


sufficient so 150 grit

all the way along

and then you can go to finer if you want

to i probably will not

it's practical to have it a little bit



give it a shot now see what we got

definitely close enough now

happy with that

i'm now ready to start shaping the top

and the bottom

and um these have different radii so the

top one is seven and a half and the

bottom one

is no sorry wrong way around the top one

is four and three quarters

the bottom one is seven and a half so

i've got

both of those on my template here so i

can use

the template to get the arcing

and i'm just placing this

right on my center line still in place

flush at the top and pulling that line

around and it's just a guide and it's


critical to the piece and then

turn it the other way up so i've got the

bottom in place i'm centering it on my

center line

flush at the bottom and then pulling my

lines around there so i've got both

marked on there i'm flipping over and

i'm doing the same

on the opposite side and the reason i'm

doing that is because i can work to

those lines from both sides

if i need to i doubt whether i would

actually need to

but the lines are there just in case

and that means i can now start shaping

these arches it's going to be great











i'm ready to cut the um slide locking


to length and that's nothing to that

we're going to do that and we're

actually going to

cut it to length and then we'll be ready

to shape it as well so

just in the vise


cut through i've got enough to make

another couple of tommy bars out of that

i'm another

sliding lock bars because these don't

last forever

and um you can't really turn it over and

cut a notch in the other side because it

gets too thin

but now you know how to make one five

minutes ten minutes to make one that's

all it takes so

you could either keep that little chunk

of wood in your drawer somewhere or you

could make another one now and have done

with it

then in five years time ten years time

when you need to replace it you've got

it ready

in stock so that's it that's that part

done now we've just got to shape

this end part you could shape it to

whatever you want hexagon hexagonal

you could round you could put little

thumb pieces in it you can do whatever

you like

on yours but i've decided i'm going to

go with that four-sided mushroom

shape that i think i have already showed

you and if i didn't you'll see it in a

minute when i make this one

so that's where i'm going with this to

to shape this through this four-sided


thing i just took my pen i'm just going

to take my pencil

find the center eyeball for center

eyeball for center and then

down on each side on all four faces

that will just give you a meeting point

to cut to because we're going to shape


just like this we're gonna freehand it

you could use a template if you want to

just to get an arc on there

now there's no point doing all four


because you won't be able to see all

four sides because you're going to cut

off if you mark it now you'll be cutting

it out

cutting it off so i'm just

shaping that to the shape i want i'll

bring you in closer you can take a look

at that what i did

it's quicker to just cut the waste wood


with a saw

the bulk of it until you can go in with


rasp or a file or whatever

and i would probably just put this in

the vise here so it's

near the corner of the vise locked in

to the vise and then take a rasp because

i'm going to use the shinto

but not on the coarse side i'm going to

use the fine side

and i just want a gentle curve

over towards the center of the top but i

want the top

to be comfortable for when i press this

so that's

about as close as i would go with it for

now and then

bring in the file like this

and just refine it

flip over and do the same again

i've got it resting on the vise this

chunky head is resting on the vise

so i hope you can see that

gently gently this shinto rust can be

quite aggressive or is it you being


it does have an aggressive tooth cut

so but

it cuts very nicely cut smoothly really

if you're careful

bring it up a little bit and get that


all the things you've learned in this


should bless you i think

then of course now we have lost our

center line

so we just go back in pick up the center

line mark it on like that

and now we can come and we can mark

this side and this side just roughly

back in the vise

like that and then just cut this corner


so nice this is i love this kind of work

don't you

feel like you're in control

i've known people that would use

a router and set up a jig

to carry the router on something like

three hours of creating a jig

for a few minutes work

not for me

coming you can see it coming together

now can't you


and this file this is a 10 inch

backhoe file it's so beautiful

it cuts so nicely wood steel

brass just about anything you test it

off and then

just on these corners just take the file

and run it up to the top it'll just

soften that on your fingers

i don't think i'd bother sanding that

for sure

a little erasing there that's all nice

very nice so that now goes into

the stock

like that

and i can slide


the bar in like that

i'm pretty happy with that now

there it is it's locked it's already

locked without any more refining

it's perfect i think it's perfect

what i want to show you next is how i

made it a drill it's just a simple

procedure i do this all the time i can

use a nail to make a drill

size the exact size of the nail and what

we do is we just

lock the bar stock i've just got some

bar stock that i bought this is actually

piano wire two millimeter

diameter uh piano wire it's just under

two mil but it's close enough

and you can go down to one and a half


that would be plenty going bigger than

two mil was a little

bulky and what we're going to do is

we're going to take the uh

the file and we're going to file a

pyramid point on here so we're going to

do one face

flip over do the opposite face half a

dozen strokes whatever it takes to get

to the center of the bar

then we turn it on its side a few


turn over and do the same from the other

side and we'll end up with a pyramid

point going to a round and those

corners on that will ream out a perfect

sized hole

to the diameter of this piece of steel

and that's what we rely on we're relying

on that friction fit because it's

very difficult to find a uh a drill bit

that will suit the size of the steel

it's some

very odd size a two millimeter

the wire the piano wire is a very odd

size so

um but you can buy the the wire the uh

from a hobby shop somewhere like that

you can buy a big coil of

piano wire that size anywhere between

one and a half and two millimeters will


so i'm going to start filing this and

i've got this piece of wood in the vise

i lay my steel bar rod on there

and i just file one a half a dozen

strokes whatever it takes

to get a flat on there halfway down the


of the bar flip over

and do the same again

and what you end up with is a chisel

point on there it's just a

flat chisel point and we're going to go

a little bit further

and do the other two sides as well

one two and now it looks like

exactly what i wanted a point and i can

use that i can put that in the drill

and i can start using that to drill

holes with it and that's what i want


for because this is going to pull the

hole in a guide and then it's going to

drill a hole

for the actual pin that goes into the


product so we're going to go through

that next


now that we've seen how to make the

single pin

marking gauge and the cutting gauge

i've got two stocks i've been making

different stocks but you still only need

one stock

so and what we can do now i'm going to

show you how to

layout for the twin pinned ones that

make the mortise gauge

set so we're going to i'm going to have

a quarter inch a 5 16 to 3 8

a half inch and a three quarter inch and

i'm going to lay that

out on that same piece of wood where we

board the single pin hole through

i'm now going to bore through the other

holes that i need for the twin pins so

from this cord this a single pin hole

i'm now going to drill

a hole exactly to my quarter inch chisel

distance away and then

from that second hole i'm going to do

the 5 16 so

from that hole i'm going to do the 3 8

and from that hole

the half inch and from that hole the

three quarter inch because i want them

to be distanced exactly

to each chisel i can't take it from one

datum point because the holes will be

too close together

so we're going to do that next i'm going

to walk you through that it's not


you just need enough sticks of wood to

work with so i

i need five sticks that's what's going

to give me the five

extra gauge

shafts that i need so that's where i'm

going with this and that's what i want

you to do too because then

you've got a full set of a compliment if

you like of

of stems that will give you all you need

for mortising for the rest of your life

probably and the other thing is

you can always add a special um

stock in for a 5 8 chisel or 4 or 5 16

3 16 chisel and even down to 1 8 if you

want to you can do all of these things

with this and it's just nice to have as

a complimentary set i think

so i hope you'll enjoy it don't shape

them keep them in the square

because that gives you the exactness you

need for

getting those pins aligned right along

that center line

i've got all my chisels ready i've got

my chisels laid out on the bench good to


i've got my sticks of wood but i'm not

ready to do anything yet i need the


to mark out the distances on my piece of

wood what i'm going to do

is i'm going to offer this to the

previous cross grain wall knife wall

that i did that's going to mark the side

of the chisel so i'll take

this i'll take my knife and i'll mark

the side of that one

then i'll take the i'll drill that hole

and then just in case it slips off


and then i'm going to take the next size

chisel and do the same i'm going to work

along and drill all of my holes

then i'm ready to attach the piece of


to that piece and then i can drill

through and i've got my holes

on the go then so i'm going to walk you

through that now and you'll have to

come in close to see that because it's

going to be very precise that's what

we're searching for we want the

exactness of that um

chisel distance and and if you wanted to

you could move your pins slightly

off at the a little bit wider than the

chisel by

maybe such a small amount of paper

thinness or something like that because

you can of course your chisel will

wallow out the

sides of the the mortise hole when you

start cutting it always makes the

mortise hole slightly bigger

and therefore you need a tenon that is

slightly wider

so you can do that i'm going to shoot

for dead on accuracy

because i can always widen or do what i

want to

later when i'm actually in the zone

cutting the mortise and tenon

to fit and as you know if you've watched

any of my videos

you'll know that i use a router to

refine a fat

tenon i usually cut the tenons a little

bit fatter by a fraction of an inch

and then go in to refine that surface

with my router

and that is the pole cells technique

because it's something i've used for two

or three decades

and i never learned it from anybody else

and i never saw anybody else do it

now everybody do it does it so that's

great that's what i wanted so

we're going to do this it's the same

method for boring the hole the knife

wall all the way to the opposite side

boring through from both sides

meeting in the middle so we get the

exactness that we want

i extended my gauge line from that

single pin

further along so i can use the same

center line and i've also marked

the the center the side of the piece of


so that when i place it against this

line i no longer have to have a center


on my piece of wood on my stem so i've

done that just to make it

easier for me so here's what we're going

to do i'm going to take the smaller

chisel this is the quarter inch i'm

going to use that first

and i'm going to take a square

and my knife and i'm just going to lay

my chisel directly

on the original

cross grain cut line so that i can get

the exact

mark right there

then i'm going to take

my square

and just go across the grain like that

that's the dead center now

i make a nick on the corner as i've done


like that and then stand it up on

end and transfer that knife nick

to the opposite corner there

and this i am then confident that i've


on the opposite side as an

exact marrying cert level point

of course then we go with the

the awl and get this point

dead on those lines i need to put a

gauge line further along this side

there that looks good

and the reason i keep pulling it out and

going back in is because you can be

slightly off center

and the best thing is to check yourself

before you go deeper so now i'm going

deeper because i'm more confident that i


in line and um

yeah i need to bring that uh

gauge line on this side further along

so i'm ready to drill that hole and i'm

going to drill it

i'm not going to mark them all i'm going

to drill this in case i shunt off


then i wouldn't be able to use this one

or this one if i'd already bored them so

i'm going to bore

those holes now with my


piece and and that's how i'm going to do





now i'm ready for the 5 16 one

so knife right on the side of that


knife nick on the corner

knife nick on the opposite side

and you should always remember if you

were slightly off

it you know i'm talking very slightly it

probably wouldn't matter

that much because a mortise hall

is often slightly off but

what we're always striving for is that

that accuracy every time so i'm

i'm not admit i'm not encouraging

inaccuracy here

in any way

and so we continue along uh with the

next sizes i don't need to keep

repeating this

for you now i place this against this

one mark the next and then i go along

until i've done my three-quarter

so now that we've got those holes board

it's just a question of

getting the different stems deciding on

which one you're doing

flushing end

lining it up with that mark on the side

that i told you about that parallel line

to get it

parallel and square

and then centering it on and having it

centered on the stock you clamp it in

the vise

flush the end and then take your drill


your handmade homemade drill bit and

then drill

that hole and you can go from one side

now it's going to get hot

so be careful with your bit and you can

take once you have this

say halfway through you can take this

off and that will

give you a place for the waste wood to

come out then because of course it's not

a drill bit as we know it


there we go

align it back up put the pin

through the hole to get the two aligned


like this

once it's aligned and you're sure it's

aligned along its length

cinch it back into the vise

put the drill into that same hole you

just did to make sure that you're lined


and then go in for the second pass for

that second pin

this is how we spin the steel pin in


turn it loose and now you can tap this

pin to whatever distance you want and


just going to insert the second pin

this one has not been refined yet but

just to show you

how it looks


just like that so cut them to the same


and you've got your twin

pointed mortise gauge

isn't that great

you can polish out your um needle points

on a strop just on a piece of leather

and just after you've

sanded it or braided it maybe 250 350

500 something like that if you want to

you can polish it and polish it and

that's what you'll end up with is this


and what i'm going to do next is i'm

going to um

heat treat this i'm going to stick it

straight into a burn into a

flame a torch heat it to cherry red

and then plunge it into water in this


you can cut your pins to the same length

just with a pair of pliers

at least i think you can i did one it


fine yeah it's coming now

just roll it around

once it's made the indent it'll snap

no it won't i'll have to do a little bit


and be careful because when you pop this

with the pliers

it does um

spring out of the

and then you can file the ends and get

them nice and level

and uh insert them

great so you see in the back of my hand

more than the pins here

so a little bit of filing on that

heat treatment and we're done

i just came out for a little bit of heat

treatment for the safety side of it i

don't want to put the flame inside my

workshop garage

so i'm just going to heat the points for

these um

marking gauge pins

and that's just holding it into the

flame holding them

i've got two in this ice clamp just hold

them into the flame

until they go red just a matter of a few


use the tip of the flame

i want the stem to be hardened most of

the way along about halfway

and now i'm ready to plunge

and now i can polish them out again

they've got the oxidation off

on there the blue and such




so here's the proof of the pudding i've

got my pins exactly

right exactly where i want them

perfect and then if you just

tap that loosens you set your distance

flip over tap again

and then

there are the gauge lines proof of the


and it moves it slides so beautifully

along the edge of the wood so there we

have it that's it

what a beautiful tool that is isn't it

look it's so lovely

very nice i'm really happy with this so

i just have the other four to do to get


full set the complement of

stocks and you may of um

gauges but and you may want to make two

or three more gauges

stocks now that you know how to do it

and then you can make a rack for them

stand them up in the rack and you

have your gauges

on their way

here's one i made out of maple

quite nice isn't it really

single pin we're on our way aren't we