Shop projects – French marking gauge, saw bench and horse, and saw tote

ProjectsJust because I haven’t been posting too much lately doesn’t mean that I haven’t had any shop time.  Over the past month, I have had an opportunity to knock out 3 fairly quick shop projects.  First was the french style marking gauge at the front of the photo above.  I stripped out the thumb screw on a cheap gauge that I had and needed a new gauge for marking the width of pieces.  I happened to have a nice small piece of walnut kicking around the shop, so I decide to make my own gauge.

2013-12-09 21.43.13 2013-12-09 21.42.56 2013-12-09 21.43.01 2013-12-09 21.42.53The marking gauge was used to finish the second project.  A second sawbench and saw horse (they are holding the marking gauge and saw).  I now have two sets, which is really useful because I can saw long boards and planks with all four stands supporting the lumber and I don’t have to worry about half the board falling on the floor and tearing out the wood along the cut.  The sawbenches and saw horses I use were built using Chris Schwarz’s 2008 design, which can be found here.  There has been some ruckus in the woodworking corner of the internet about how saw benches with vertical legs are better than ones with splayed legs.  I don’t have a dog in that fight, but I have to say that in over 2 years, I’ve never had a problem with the splayed leg design.  The saw bench includes a “V” shaped ripping notch that avoids the legs of the bench.

2013-12-09 21.20.19

The final project, which I finished up tonight, is a new saw tote for one of my old rip saws.  This one is made of cherry.  A well designed tote is a joy to work with; add to that the fact that they are fun and fairly easy to make.  I don’t know why there are still so many saws with uncomfortable totes.  This project was my first chance to really try out my new Gramercy Tools Hand Cut Saw Handle Maker’s Rasp from Tools for Working Wood.  I picked up this rasp from the Tools for Working Wood booth at Woodworking in America in October.  I wish I had purchased one sooner.  It is fantastic for shaping the compound curves on the grip of a tote.  I only wish that Gramercy would make a finer grain version (which would leave a smoother surface.

While I don’t anticipate making any more sawbenches or saw horses, I will be make a couple more gauges and a few more saw totes.  I’ll be sure to get some photos and write some posts about the processes I use to make these tools.

Until next time . . .

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