I keep trying new marking tools. My favorite for marking lines tend to be the wheeled cutters. They generally slide easy and cut well (as long as you keep sharp wheels in the cutters - and yes, they do get dull).
I do have a lot of them but I'm always short, it seems so I will often have them all on the bench during the layout phase of my projects. In the rack above, you will see 2 older style Veritas marking gauges (these don't have the wheels flat on the end), 2 newer style Veritas marking gauges (these are flat on the end), and 2 different mortise and tenon marking gauges. I've gone with the Veritas gauges instead of Tite-Mark because of the cost benefit. The Veritas are about half of the cost of the Tite-Mark.
The M/T gauges are what I'm talking about in this post. I originally bought the gauge on the far right. I got it from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. Lie-Nielsen carries the Tite-Mark brand of marking gauges. They have the highest reputation but cost a decent amount. I got the M/T cutters for the Tite-Mark with the hope of being very useful.
The tool works well enough but I found 2 big limitations with the method.
- These cutters are fixed to the width of mortise chisels. This sounds great on paper but I cut the tenon's first (it works great for me when it comes to fitting though I know most cut the mortise first). Cutting the tenon first means that the needed mortise may not be the exact size of the mortising chisel. In fact it almost is never the size of the chisel.
- The cutters must be used at the same time. It's actually quite difficult to cut two parallel lines at the same time while ensuring proper positioning. I usually fail.
When Veritas came out with a new M/T gauge, I was intrigued.
The marking gauge allows you to mark two lines but cut them individually and the two lines can be any distance apart. This solved my big issues with the Tite-Mark gague.
In practice, it was nearly perfect and I would recommend this tool.
It was simple to keep each line where it needed to be. The face on the gauge is larger than the standard though not on all sides. The larger surface gives a great registration surface though my one small complaint on the tool would be to have the larger surface equal on all sides.
I marked all the tenon's for all the aprons on the 2nd desk.