Bit Braces

Vintage Tools


Working with Hands - James E. Price


Marking Gauge with Unusual Markings

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I have owned this marking gauge for over thirty years and have shown it to tool users and tool collectors to try to understand the calibrations on it.


Collectively we could not solve meaning of the calibrations and numbers. Perhaps someone in this group can.

Unfortunately I do not know from what country it came from or when it was made. It is very old and was extensively used by a craftsman who worked wood. Like any marking gauge, this specimen has a beam with a steel point in one end for the purpose of scribing lines parallel to an edge of reference.

It has a fence that can be moved along the beam at different set intervals determined by holes. A peg goes in the hole through the top of the fence, through a hole in the beam, and then through a hole in the bottom of the fence. This firmly locks the fence to the beam.

There are three holes in top and bottom of the fence but but at any interval the peg will lock it in place through only one hole and the other two holes do not match holes in the beam. The center hole has been used the most. The layout of the holes is not based on inches or centimeters.

Have you seen a marking gauge like this? Is it specific to a craft or trade?

This photo shows the bottom side of the gauge. You can observe
the striations on the end with the steel scribing point.

This photo shows the top of the gauge with its finely scribed
calibration lines and carved numerals.

This is the layout of the scribed lines and the numbering scheme.

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Marking Gauge



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