Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 132, August 2016 Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Tools You Should Buy First: Veritas Dual Marking Gauge
By Justin Moon

The Starting Line

So you have discovered the joys of woodworking, and find yourself firmly planted in a confusing place. I speak of course, of the initial "Which tools should I buy first" phase. Lucky for you, others have passed through this phase like a knitted sweater through a tackle box, and picked up a few things. Having been through this, I would like to present a case for why the Veritas Dual Marking Gauge should be near the top of the list of "tools you should buy first."

The first time I bought dress shoes, I bought the cheapest pair I could find. My father, ever the impeccably dressed, took one look at them and told me "Buying cheap shoes is the most expensive thing you can do." In no time at all, my blisters and I were paying for a well made pair of shoes, plus the cost of the cheap pair.

Tenon marked with bevels to the
waste side of the lines
A well made, precisely functioning, and full-featured marking gauge is a tool that will remain close to hand on every project you build. The accuracy of your joints is directly proportional to the accuracy of your layout. A marking gauge should adjust easily and accurately, scribe a thin and precise line with, and across the grain, as well as on end grain, and be equipped to make all of the marks you currently make, and all the marks you intend to make.

The Veritas Dual Marking Gauge can function as either a dual or single cutter gauge. Either hardened steel disc cutter can retract beneath the face so that it is out of the way for single cutter operations such as marking the base line for dovetails, depth, or marking thickness for stock preparation.

But it is the attention to detail that sets the design and manufacturing of this tool apart. The bevels of the cutting discs face away from each other, meaning that when marking a work piece, the flush side of the cutter is to your line, and the bevel cuts ever so slightly into your waste on both sides. Additionally, the wheels that govern the adjustment of the bars provide tactile feedback in the form of a rounded wheel for the recessed cutter, and a flat wheel for the flush cutter.

Finding exact depth is quick and easy when using the Dual Marking Gauge. Fully retract the cutters, then place the face of the gauge over your groove or dado, locate the wheel with the recessed face to release the flush cutter, and drop it into the recess. The depth is now easily and perfectly transferred to your work piece for an accurate mark.

The marking gauge comes to hand very well, and the cutters are positioned to the upper third of the face, providing a larger surface to register against the face of the work piece, resulting in a steady and firm feel.

Perhaps the first technique we learn in fine woodworking is to cut slightly away from the line and then "sneak up on it." After all, the line is where we stop, not where we start.

Where we start - should be with fine, reliable tools. The Veritas Dual Marking Gauge fits the bill in quality manufacturing, precise performance, ease of use, and is one of the core tools that will not stray far from your apron pocket for the duration of your journey in woodworking. So if you are rounding off your list of "which tools to buy first" especially if you are starting a hand-tool or hybrid shop, this marking gauge should easily be in your Top 5. Equipping yourself from the start to create accurate layouts, and crisp scribe lines for most any type of hand-cut joinery is a wise investment.

Find out more and purchase the Veritas Dual Marking Gauge

View More Marking and Measuring Tools at Highland Woodworking

You can reach Justin by email at justinmoon79@gmail.com and you can also visit his website oldlinecraft.com

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