For more information on Gauges, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.

I think that it helps to see hand positions on tools and my best thoughts are to show from photographs how best to arrange and then practice using them. With the gauge issue, I have come across hundreds of people who struggle to use great force when the opposite is what is exact to task. When I show them how simple and lightly they should generally be used they are amazed at the pleasure they suddenly develop. The picture at left shows the change in visibility I have by extracting the original pin and positioning it catty-corner on the beam as shown. I use this converted gauge more now as my regular gauge. Rolling the gauge forward and pushing it away from me so that the pin trails and is totally visible throughout shows the kind of pure clarity I gain in relation to my working.

 

Contrast this with the original pin position shown here and you can see the darkness hinders my vision and also, because the pin is more perpendicular, how it tends to stick in and trip the gauge in use.

Another problem I have found with a large percentage of users, even seasoned woodworkers is that they fail to recognise that in pressing down hard they don’t create pointed accuracy but effectively a thick groove. On fine work this inevitably shows as a gap. Especially is this so around key areas such as hinge recesses and through tenons, inlays and so on. Better the lighter pass where the pin barely traces its path than the gouging that causes bruising either side of the central pinpoint.

Here is a short section of video to help you see the simplicity in action more fully:

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