Mostly three main types of gauges used to mark the timber. These three are of equal importance. All the three gauges have their own pros and cons. Three gauges are:
– Marking Gauge
– Cutting Gauge
– Mortise Gauge
Usually all the three gauges are used in similar manner. They have a stem and a stock which are to be held in right hand with a thumb on the stock. Place the stock on the edge of the timber in such a way that the blade or a pin angled to a surface of the timber. Now you can simply push the pin away or pull it towards you. The gauge should remain in contact with the timber during the process. First make a slight mark and then make a slight firm push to make the mark more prominent.
Marking gauges have a stem with a pin on one end and a stock fixed with a thumbscrew and move along the stem. It is considered as the basic of all the three gauges.
It is easy to set the gauge measure. Unfasten the thumbscrew and place a ruler against the stock firmly. To obtain the desired measurement, slide the stock along the stem. Fasten the thumbscrew cautiously, stock should not be moved. After fastening the thumbscrew, check the settings again and readjust if required.
Marking gauges are used to prepare the timber for different usage. Besides this, this gauge is also used to set the rebates or various other joints. Uniformity in width and thickness of timber can be achieved with this gauge.
Cutting gauge is pretty much similar to marking gauge except it has a blade instead of a pin like marking gauge. Adjusting of the blade follows the same method as we use to adjust the pin of the marking gauge. The blade of the cutting gauge can be sharpened by removing it from the gauge. Blade is fixed to the gauge with the help of a brass wedge. Cutting gauge is used to cut the thin materials like plywood, veneer and plastic. This is so because it has a blade to cut the surface of the timber, which enable you to saw the surface without chipping it.
As the name of the gauge suggests, this gauge is used to mark mortises and tenons for joints. The stem of the mortise gauge has two pins. One pin is very much resembles the pin of marking gauge. The second pin is attached to a movable brass strip. This brass strip is then connected to the screw thread and a thumbscrew. Stock made of rosewood or beech is held in position with a set screw. Screwdriver is needed to tighten or removing the stock.
Remove the set screw on the stock to adjust the measurement on the mortise gauge. Removing that screw is important to move the brass slide, otherwise it may damage. Now adjust the distance between the two pins by turning the thumbscrew. Replace the set screw carefully and check for the adjusted measurements again. The set measurement can be used for both mortises and tenons.