If you absolutely, positively layout mortise and tenon joints
the Glen-Drake Tite-Mark (TM) though not inexpensive (as
opposed to "cheap" which implies "crappy tool") is THE handiest
M&T marking gauge out there, including Lee Valley's less
expensive clone. Get a pair of the Mortise "wheels" when you
buy or order it - they'll save you all kinds of grief.
One of the MANY uses for this tool is laying out M&T joints with
those "mortise wheels. Set them anywhere on the rod - the
distance between them being the width of the chisel you will
be using - flat faces in for mortises, flat faces out for tenons
and tighten their set screws to keep them there. Then slide
the rod out from or in towards the big brass "fence" to the
distance you want your mortise to be from your reference
face. Just get sort of close then "micro adjust" by locking
the rear locking nob? then turning the gnurled thing to move
the fence "in" or "out" - very precisely. When you've got
EXACTLY where you want the "mortise" wheels tighten the
Keep one of you're scribed with the TiteMark mortise layouts
handy. Remove the "mortise" wheels which were Face To Face
and turn them around facing away from you. Don't set the
set screw yet. Set the "fence" on the reference face of your
mortise and move the "mortise" wheels so the "drop into the
scribed lines for the mortise - then tighten the set screws.
Really nice to be able to use the scribed lines from the mortise
to set the wheels for the tenons.
The TiteMark with a pair of the "mortise" wheels lets you
keep their spacing while still being able to move the fence
- for say an apron set back from the leg's reference face.
Real handy being able to do that.
This thing has so many other uses - scribing the bottom of the
sockets for dovetails and finger joints, rabbets etc. AND
can be used as a depth gauge/blade or router depth of cut
"settings copier", . . .
This is one of those extremely well thought out tools I really
appreciate - along with the Festool DOMINO, the AKEDA
dovetail jig and the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System (router
fence plus precision fence positioner) and the Veritas
Twin Screw vise. Start with a blank sheet of paper, think
a great deal about what the tool is supposed to do, then
think of additional things it could do - THEN design the tool
and make it to do all you designed it to do AND be easy and
intuitive to use. Oh, and make sure the tool actually
meets or exceeds your expectations.
An indication of how well thought out the TiteMark is are
the nobs on the "fence" part and the other sliding brass
thing. They're kind of big - which is good - for two reasons
1. you can tighten and loosen them with one hand
2. they keep the damned tool from rolling of the phreakin'
bench, chipping the carbide wheel then landing under
something heavy, next to the things that bites, stings,
stinks or all three.