Some of the tools I most enjoy using are either made in small numbers by artisan craftsmen or by me in my workshop in Newhaven, East Sussex. In fact a few of those tools have been used to make this gauge, so thank you for taking a look and adding to that tradition. The V2 gauge is a simple pin style gauge with a threaded hole for a pencil at the other end of the beam. The pin is made from high speed steel (HSS) and can be removed for sharpening. You can find out more about this on my blog.
The design brief for this tool and other Lowfat Roubo products is one of simplicity and economy in either materials or components, or sometimes both. I have a number of gauges in my everyday tool kit; some fancy and extremely accurate for generating baselines for dovetailing or shoulder lines for joinery and some for less critical early stage marking out. This gauge is one of the latter. The beam is married to the stock early on in the making and is made to be a loose friction fit whichever way round it is used. Most adjustments can be made while holding the beam in one hand and advancing the stock with a flick or push of the thumb in one direction or by allowing gravity to work for you in the other. The screw fastener has a leather pad on the end to resist marking the beam when tightened and to achieve a firm and reliable setting. I recommend you make sure the screw is fully retracted into the stock when swapping the beam round.
Keeping it simple
The pin on this gauge is made from 2mm dia HSS bar. It is very sharp and with a light touch can be used to make a very fine gauge line. Increase pressure and you will generate a wider groove suitable for tracking a pencil. The tip is circular in section and as such is less likely to follow the path of wood grain than a wheel or knife style gauge when used in the direction of the grain. It is not a cutting gauge and will not sever wood fibres efficiently when used across the grain. The beam is created with a generous half round profile so that you can roll into the sweep and drag the pin across the surface of the board at a low angle. The cutting angle can be adjusted by extending the blade its brass holder for even greater control. The circular pin also lends itself to applying accurate centre points for drilling or driving in screws or panel pins.
Spare Gauge parts
High Speed Steel is very hard and resists abrasion better than most other metals. It cannot be filed. Sharpening will need to be carried out on a grinder or diamond plate.
The beam is drilled and tapped with an M8 thread to accept a wooden pencil. I have supplied you with one pencil which has been threaded by driving it through a standard M8 nut. The lead in the pencils is soft so as not to gouge your timber, remember there’s a pin on the other end of the beam for that. Those supplied free of charge from the counter of Screwfix, Argos and Ikea are a perfect replacement!
These gauges are finished with a thin coat of very dilute blond dewaxed shellac before cutting back to a semi matt finish with a ‘shop made hard paste wax. The screw thread is made from Lemonwood, also known as Castello boxwood. It is an excellent alternative to European box and responds well to ebonising. In time you may notice the natural colour of the wood appear on the surface.