Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 1, Issue 3
March 2007
 
What Is It?
 

Adjustable Chamfer Gauge for Drawknives


The chamfer guide shown in use.
The chamfer guide shown in use with a straight–bladed drawknife.
  Intended for use on straight-bladed drawknives or drawshaves, these guides or gauges allow the user to create a controlled 45° bevel or chamfer on the edge of a square or rectilinear piece of timber. While there had previously been attempts to market this type of guide, this model is the one that lasted the longest in the commercial arena, being manufactured and offered from approximately 1880 until the late 1920s. Goodall-Pratt Co. manufactured the pair pictured here prior to
1930-31, when the company was taken over
by Millers Falls Company.

Bridge builders, millwrights and carriage makers needed this type of tool (or tool accessory), as the drawknife was an essential part of their toolkits. It allowed the gentle easing of the edge where the hand might fall. The stopped chamfer can be an elegant detail when added to large timber structures; on smaller surfaces it allows for some relief from a 90° angle.

Contrary to the misconception that by using this tool one might turn a square into a round, the 45°-angle construction does not allow for that. A much shallower angle is needed to fully allow the turning of a square into a circle.


Front view.
Front view.

  Back view.
Back view.


The tool (or a part of it) is often found singly, missing a thumbscrew and/or without the spacing bar – a lonely soldier in the corner of a drawer or the bottom of a toolbox. This discovery may evoke questions as to its possible use in the carpenter's toolkit.


 
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