I don't normally show new tools that I buy, they just end up lurking in the background of my project pictures, but I was so overwhelmed by my most recent purchase I just had to share. Maybe not such a impressive tool purchase such as a SawStop or a Sauer & Steiner infill plane, but never the less, quality in even the simplest of tools is something to be appreciated. And quality radiates from these gauges from Hamilton Tools.
I never had a chance to view these gauges in person, I just had to rely on photos from the internet and good reviews from several sources, Chris Schwarz being one. So, I was expecting a quality product, but the actual gauges more than exceeded my expectations. That normally does not happen. So what is big deal about them? Well for one the wood is beautiful; in my case Cherry. The other is the details of the construction.
The small marking gauge (4") has a sliding dovetail joint between the beam and fence. It makes for a very secure fit.
The panel gauge is just beautiful, the pictures do not do it justice. The mechanism that secures the fence to the beam works fantastically. Once you the tighten the screw the entire gauge becomes very rigid. I could have bought the LN version for less money, but I have handled the LN and like this one much better.
Jeff Hamilton is a small tool maker from Springdale, Arkansas. I emailed him to explain how pleased I was with his products and he showed me pictures of a new type of marking gauge that he will be placing on his website soon, maybe next week. What makes his gauge work so well, beside how the beam and fence fit together, are his blades. The great thing is he sells the blades if you want to make your own. As for me, I already have too many projects on my honey-do list to entertain making any tools right now. I was happy to let someone do all the work and do it better than I ever could.