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Christopher Gabriel - London, UK

  Seaton's Mysterious "Butt" Gauge by Richard Arnold


One of the wooden tools that Benjamin Seaton made for himself is a small beechwood gauge that has two dovetailed sliding stems fitted with pins.

This is the gauge in the left side of the picture. The example on the right is a commercially made gauge with brass slides in a mahogany stock.

It has been suggested that these tools are for marking out butt hinges working from the rebate edge of the frame.

What puzzles me is why you need two pins. At first you may think it is to mark out the thickness of the hinge, but there is nothing to run the stock on.

Some suggest that this gauge was used for marking out cornice. As Benjamin Seaton was a cabinet maker this perhaps make more sense. Has anyone else come across examples of this type of gauge?

They seem to be quite rare, and I have only seen 3 so far.

Richard Arnold
April, 2017
Website: http://oldwoodplanes.co.uk/

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