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Working with Hands - James E. Price

  Mortise and Tenon Gauge  

taught some guys how to make mortise and tenon joints and snapped these photos of the mortise and tenon gauge.


I made it back in 1986 out of a piece scrap brass. It saves lots of time and there is no trial and error testing of the tenon or mortise before you put them together.

It looks like a tuning fork and actually rings like one.

The principle of this tool is that it is a go-no-go gauge. Anything that the fork will fit over will fit in a hole that the other end will freely move in. This one is for a 1/4th-inch joint. If you make one of these, size the slot and probe to the chisel you always use to cut the mortise.

I don't use a depth stop on the probe end of my brass gauge anymore. Instead I use a 19th-Century English joiner's depth gauge for measuring the depths of mortises as well as bored holes.

The wood is mahogany and the steel probe is 6 3/4ths inches long. I plan on making a bigger version of this tool for bowl carving.

James E. Price
March, 2015

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