By Joshua Farnsworth

In the above video I talk about the differences between mortise gauges and marking gauges for woodworking, and some common problems that you may encounter when buying antique gauges, and solutions for repairing them to working order.

A row of antique mortise gauges and marking gauges on a woodworking workbench

I’ve bought a lot of marking gauges & mortise gauges over the years, especially last year prior to opening my woodworking school. I was lucky to buy a whole box of quality marking gauges at a tool swap, for only $20. They were almost all in need of rehabilitation, but now most are fully functional with just a little work. As you’ll see in the above video, the most common issues that I’ve found while rehabbing dozens of marking & mortise gauges are:

  1. Cutters and pins need to be sharpened
  2. Pins are broken off or filed off
  3. Thumb screws won’t tighten down

In the video I talk about how to sharpen & transform a pin marking gauge into a cutting gauge, how to bring back a broken pin , and how to get the thumb screws to tighten again, with a very simple & quick trick.

Sharpening mortise gauge pins with a file

Have you encountered other problems & solutions with your antique mortise gauges or marking gauges? Please let me know in the comment box at the bottom of this page.

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