Veritas Dual Marking Gauge – Mortise & Tenon Work
This gauge is most commonly used for laying out mortise and tenon joints. Unlike typical mortise gauges, the cutters are used independently, scribing one line at a time. As a result, this gauge can be used anywhere a project requires repeated marking of two dimensions.
Setting the wheel spacing directly from the width of the mortise chisel is most effective because variation is always possible when using a ruler.
It’s best to cut the mortise first because its width is determined by the fixed width of the chisel. The tenon is easier to fit to the mortise than the other way around. Once the mortise is cut, it is never adjusted. All fitting adjustments are done to the tenon.
The crisp line struck with a knife or wheel is more accurate than a pencil mark because its width never changes. Moreover, the incision enables the sharp edge of the chisel to be precisely and securely located.
You can highlight the scribed line by carefully dragging a fine, soft lead pencil through it.
Scribing Tenons is Different from Scribing Mortises
For both mortises and tenons, the bevel of the wheel must be in the waste. This is so that the chisel cuts into the waste and doesn’t alter the dimension of the joint.
Sequencing your work will help. Mark out all the mortises that are the same dimension on a project first, from one setting, with the bevels facing in. Change the setting for the corresponding tenons so that the bevels on the gauge are facing out.
If you have mortises and tenons on a project that are different sizes/spacings, do one group, then the next.
The accessory shaft clamp can be a real time saver if you’re cutting joints that are offset to create a reveal, since it permits you to reposition the fence while maintaining the alignment of the cutters.
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