For more information on Gauges, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.
It cost £12 with free shipping and the design intrigued me. It comes from an era when manufacturers wanted different because different was patentable and patentable meant protection and protection might well lead to profit if the design was liked. Even without cleaning and oil it works well enough despite the broken piece that I’ll repair easily I’m sure.
The threaded brass rod has been milled with two rebates that retain the rod in the wooden stem by a groove. It’s compact and neat, neatly done and effective. It would be easy to replicate with rod of all thread in brass and a brass nut with grooves filed into it. So here I am with yet another mortise gauge I may well keep as it is rather than convert it to a combination gauge. It does need a little restorative work to make it feel good in my hand. 15 minutes work I should think. Yes, I’ll use it, but alongside my others. I have always liked gauges made by Mawhood, and Rosewood always look lovely no matter the tool.
This one was evidently dropped and that’s what cause the split.
Judging by the pins and the wear-face of the stock it was never used much by its owner. This is very typical of tools made over a 50 year period prefacing the postwar era when the machine would ultimately take over to replace almost all hand work. That’s why we, certainly in the UK, have this plethora of woodworking hand tools to kit out with for peanut prices. £12 is really a small amount to pay for a lifetime tool and you can get tools like this for less if you wait and bide your time.