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Veritas Pocket Marking Gauge

Courtesy of Lee Valley

Lee Valley are now offering this mini gauge with wheel cutters at each end. It is intended to be used where one has multiple setups.

Since it retains two separate measurements at once (up to 3-1/4" combined), you can alternate between them as you work without having to reset the stops. It is particularly convenient for transferring and marking repetitive dimensions such as those needed for mortises and tenons”.

I have been asked by some whether this marking gauge by LV is useful or a toy ..

I have a half dozen marking gauges, all of which get used. The ability to keep on hand gauges with different settings is very helpful. For example, with dovetails, mortice-and-tenon joints, etc. ... and especially if you are working with boards of different thicknesses (which is usually the case when they are hand thicknessed).

Not all gauges are equal. I prefer cutting gauges for cross-grain work and have a few, ranging from the wheel cutters of LV and Titemark to the more traditional knifed ones of Colen Clenton, Japanese and shopmade.

Depending on the size of the fence, some suit larger work and some suit smaller work. While they can be used for any size work, the original LV and TM wheel cutters are best suited (in my opinion) to medium sized work, that is, boards about 1/2" thick. Now I often work with thinner boards, some 1/4" thick, where one is working closer to the edge. This is also a feature of hinge mortices, where the depth may be between 1/16" to 1/8". These markings are quite delicate and would benefit from a gauge that offers a delicate touch. The size of the fence is important here (in my experience) - you actually want less of it as it just obscures the view and, thus, accuracy. Because you are marking a shallow depth, a small fence will offer sufficient registration.

How does the size of the Pocket compare with the full sized LV and TM versions?

Length of rod

Diameter of shaft

Diameter of fence

LV Pocket Gauge

4 ½”



LV Wheel Gauge

7 1/8”


1 ¾”

TM Wheel Gauge

7 ¼”


1 ½”

In use

Today I was building a box that was made of boards 4" wide and 1/4" thick.

Marking around the edge is difficult with a large gauge and its wide fence. For this particular task the pocket gauge was just perfect.

A tip: the knobs are identical. I scored a cross on one (with a Dremel) to aid in differentiating the ends.

Regards from Perth


November 2009