Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lathe turned cutting/marking gauge with sliding blade.

Cutting gauges are the same as marking gauges except they specifically have a blade instead of a pin for cutting across the grain and also can be used for slicing veneer. This one is made of African padauk and poplar. Padauk dust is very oily and tends to stain surrounding wood.

Normally a gauge has a bar that slides back and forth through the headstock like my walnut marking gauge at right.

Wanting to do something different, I turned a handle on the lathe which has a hole drilled through the middle then modified an Allen key by trimming the angled end and sharpening it. The metal blade slides in and out of the handle with a max cutting depth of about 2.5". A threaded insert goes through the fence and into the handle locking them together, a thumb screw locks the blade in place.

The blade is extremely sharp and this was one of the best marking gauges I've ever used, it went to my buddy Jordan on Lumberjocks. Someday I'll make another for myself.

Overall I was very happy with the design. One change I might make is not having a through tenon on the fence. And of course, prevent the padauk from bleeding everywhere should I use it again.