Humans have been using handheld, rudimentary stone implements for some 2.5 million years, but it wasn’t until around 11,000 years ago that humans began to develop their tool production skills. Instead of simple, cone shaped chipped stones, tools became highly polished axe shaped implements, ideal for a hunter-gatherer life style. This was the beginning of the Stone Age, the period in human history that marks the advent of tool production. The name comes from the fact that most of the period’s cutting tools are made from stone.
Let’s face it marking gauges are not flashy, cost very little and after the piece of furniture is produced, there is little evidence or much thought given to what part the marking tools played in its production.
But in my opinion, one of the most important tools used by woodworkers, and the one that I reach for in most of my projects, is the humble marking gauge.
On a recent trip to England I was taken to a very Parisian style café. Hanging on the wall were several exquisite large bread boards of varying shapes.
You’ve probably seen them – 45cm in diameter with a narrow handle. They fascinated me, how could something so wide and thin not be warped?
As luck would have it, my sister has a couple tucked on a high shelf in her kitchen. It wasn’t until I had the chance to take them down and give them a good assessment that the warp-free secret was revealed.
The term cope is probably familiar to you, it’s the term given when cutting crown moulding or skirting board profiles so that one piece perfectly matches the profile of the other intersecting piece. Typically this profile is cut with a coping saw.
Cope and stick construction is a technique used in making panel doors and window frames. Rails and stiles are given a decorative profile, using paired router bits.