My First Tool Build (Quasi Panel Gauge)

I had a little extra time while I waited for the finish to dry on another project to get started on making a “Quasi Panel Gauge”. I say “quasi” because it isn’t large enough to mark out large panels like you would think of when you hear “panel gage”. I personally feel like you need 24″ minimum capacity for a true panel gauge.

This gauge has a max capacity of about 13.5″ which will work very well with most bee hive projects.


Its made completely from poplar, with the exception of the wedge witch is out of ash. I’d say the complete build took about 3 hours with no power tools just for fun. I think I might enjoy making tools more than the projects themselves. It is a long way from perfect, mostly because the stem has a slight twist in it that I missed before I had everything fitting correctly. I don’t think it will hurt the way the tool performs, but it bugs me a bit.

My goal when I set out to build this was to use things that I already had around. I ended up just using a simple 1-1/4″ fine thread wood screw for the pin cutter. I sharpened it on the end just a little, and it does a great job marking the wood. I hope you enjoyed this. It was for sure a new one for me. I hope you will subscribe, and if you have any questions please leave them in the comment section. There is a full gallery below.

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Posted in Winter work, woodworking
3 comments on “My First Tool Build (Quasi Panel Gauge)
  1. Andrew says:

    Very nice! One of the goals for the MakerSpace principles that I try to teach is that “tools make tools make things” — that any MakerSpace (whether carpentry shop, print shop, sewing shop, theatrical prop-shop, whoever) should make some of its own tools. It helps keep alive the idea that even if the tool you need doesn’t exist, it can be made.

    • Brian says:

      You’re on par 100%. Another thing I’m finding is that most tools can be made with little to no investment. You will love the next tool making post that I have coming. Thank you for your comments Andrew.

  2. That is very nice. I have a few old ones here that I am supposed to be servicing, but they have not reached the top of my todo list.

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