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  1. #1
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    St James Tool Co

    Has anyone bought or used tools from this company? He seems to get good reviews on other sites.

    I would like to buy a marking gauge and this seems like a good deal:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stanley-91-...-/392171287043

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    Zach, Unles youíre looking at this tool out of nostalgia, the current Lee Valley dual marking gauge is going to perform significantly better.

    Here is the Anniversary version. The standard version is less expensive. Closer to this eBay sellerís price.




    http://www.leevalley.com/us/Wood/pag...41&cat=1,42936


    http://www.leevalley.com/us/Wood/pag...66&cat=1,42936
    Last edited by TENdriver; 12-07-2018 at 12:59 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    TENdriver, what makes the Veritas significantly better? Is it the locking mechanism?

    I’ve never used a marking gauge, but after seeing it used on a few woodworking shows, it seems like it would be quicker to use than a pencil/pen and combination square. I’ve also read conflicting advice about a pin or a roller, so I thought the replica version would allow me to try both.

  4. #4
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    I don’t have the St. James or the original tool it was copied from so I’ll side step any absolute comments on their performance.

    I do have tons of marking gauges in both pin and wheel. I also have two slicing gauges. I don’t have all of these because I hoard marking gauges or can’t find one I like. I believe you need more gauges in a similar way to needing more clamps. I generally use multiple settings while working on a project. It’s easier (using multiple gauges) to leave a gauge set than it is to try and use one gauge and constantly change settings.

    I rely heavily on gauged stop cuts for marking. It’s more efficient and for me, much more effective than trying to follow a pencil line. My interests are late 17th to early 19th century pieces. Using gauges is also a period correct method but I use them because they work.

    Buy a good pin gauge. They work well with the grain and are still usable across the grain. A pin gauge can be manipulated to make a shallow mark or a deep cut. A pin gauge can be modified to tweak it’s function and performance. I have some nice rosewood Crown/Marples, traditional Stanley, a few Harbor Freight and until recently, a home center Stanley made of plastic. I say buy a nice one so you don’t end up with a defective gauge that leads you to conclude that pin gauges don’t work. I have one defective (and some good) HF gauge and a broken plastic Stanley. I liked the Stanley until the plastic lock broke.

    Buy a very good wheel gauge. A HF pin gauge can be fine, but a quality wheel gauge makes all the difference at a variety of levels. If they still make it and you can afford it, get the Tite-Mark. My next choice would probably be the Veritas Micro-Adjust version. The exact reasons are probably too complicated to tap out on a phone, but people smarter and more experienced than me would agree.

    Finally, to answer your original question, Veritas tools are almost always very good. They spend time looking at old tools and then use the most modern manufacturing to try to build a better product at a reasonable price. There is also some subtle engineering that does affect performance and use. The wheel retracting into the gauge face and the screw that holds the wheel are two (and there are more) things that come to mind. As to the locking mechanism, yes, that can be a weak point in wheel gauges and Veritas has clearly tried to make that work. They do offer (and I recommend) a shaft clamp as an additional locking mechanism.

    Lastly, the difference between a pencil line and a marking knife is why I also use a cutting/slicing gauge. Unfortunately, I’m really passionate about hand tool use, and as it turns out, also marking and measuring tools! I literally could (and would enjoy) going on for hours about this stuff.


    BTW, I’m no “fan boi” of any company. The utility of the tool trumps everything and I’ll use a HF or a homemade tool as quickly as any other. As long as it works. Works often translates to literally making me smile while I use it.

  5. #5
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    I bought a scrub plane from him along time ago. By the time I got it I had forgotten I ordered it. It was a scrub plane and it worked, lol. I would give it a good review, nice finish and felt good in the hand.

    Seeing as it's ebay, at least your item should be in stock and not something you need to wait for. Not much of a marking gauge guy so can't answer that part of it.

  6. #6
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    Steve, That’s interesting. Over the years I came close to buying one of those St James scrub planes. St James definitely filled a niche at a time when original tools (and replacement parts) weren’t as readily available.

    I ended up getting a LV scrub with a PM-V11 blade.

  7. #7
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    Thank you both for the information!

  8. #8
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    I ended up ordering a pin mortise gauge:

    869FBD20-F1C3-40C6-8D3C-592EEDBF6A44.jpeg

    I was somewhat influenced by Seller’s opinion of the disc gauges:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/paulsel...d-and-new/amp/

    I lack the experience to have an opinion at this point about pin/disc/blade, but I thought I’d try the more traditional gauge first and then go from there.

  9. #9
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    I lack the experience to have an opinion at this point about pin/disc/blade, but I thought I’d try the more traditional gauge first and then go from there.[/QUOTE]


    I have the pin type, the most basic disc type, and the knife type marking gage. They all have some advantages over the other styles so maybe in the long run its worth thinking of having several around.

    Below is the cutting gage with an exacto knife installed. It is designed by Steve Latta and its my go to gage. I do use the others but most of the time I use the one below. I like to make each one with a different wood so when I use them at the same time with different depths set, I don't get mixed up.









  10. #10
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    Thanks Dan!

    I planned to copy your modified Latta design with some of my scrap ipe.

    Did you use inserts for the blade holder screws?

  11. #11
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    Quote Originally Posted by zdorsch View Post
    Thanks Dan!

    I planned to copy your modified Latta design with some of my scrap ipe.

    Did you use inserts for the blade holder screws?
    No I found that mod to be unnecessary. I've had a gage that I have used heavily and it has held the blade tightly in the slot. I've seen folks that have "over-engineered" theirs and they were happy doing it so.. its up to the individual.

    You can see the one I made doesn't really need the brass wear plate on the block or the adjustment bar. It just adds something I guess.

    Bottom Line: its a nice gage and I encourage others to take a look. The price is nice too.

  12. #12
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    Thanks Dan!

    I started cutting components last night for the marking gauge. Planning on a ipe stem and a cherry fence.

    I think I need to start a new thread as I’ve veered away from my original question!

  13. #13
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    Re: St James Tool Co

    Zach
    There are around 15-20 gage makers here on the site that made one of these gages. They might chime in if you post it as a new thread and stir some interest.

    You will be happy with the gage. Its a winner for a number of reasons. Here are some photos of the gage being built.

    If you have questions, please let me know and I will try to address them to help the build.

    till then












    Where to place the adjustment screw????



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