|Last Updated: 10/21/2006|
Sliding bevel gauges are pretty important and most of the ones on the market are limited by their design. They're just wrong. They have a slot in one leg, and a pivot point at the end of the other leg. Compare that with this one from Starrett that has slots in both legs. This feature makes this gauge much more flexible than others, as does the little offset in one slot. If you use this gauge you won't want to go back to the other design. It's definitely more expensive (what Starrett tool isn't?) but sometimes, you know, you get what you pay for.
All the emphasis on tear-out free surfaces focuses on flat planes. When you're working with a spokeshave on a difficult wood, the chances of getting a really good surface diminish considerably. Traditionally, work like this called for "chairmaker's" scrapers. For a long time, the only way you could get one of these would be if you made it yourself. Hence, the scraggly looking thing in the photo, on the right, which was made a while ago, from a diagram in Charles Hayward's "Tools for Woodworking".
But now you can get beautifully made scrapers from WoodJoy. They really help, too, especially if you're clumsy with a spokeshave. Like me.