Jonathan the Great


We recently returned from a wonderful trip to Thailand and Hong Kong. Upon arrival at my practice I discovered two packages delivered from the US of A. One of them was a Peck, Stow & Wilcox slick that I bought from Jim Bode, so it was expected. The other turned out to be a present from my woodworking friend Jonathan White of the Bench Blog. Jonathan is famous for several things including the neatest shop in the history of woodworking and the so called “White milk bottle trick” (as apposed to the Charlesworth ruler trick).

It was incredibly humbling to receive such a present from a woodworking mate that I have never even met in person. It reminded me once again of the incredible camaraderie amongst the woodworking bloggers and the value of our online community. It is something that I have become increasingly aware of. My exposure to other woodworkers around the globe via their websites has inspired me to push my own boundaries.

Any way this post is not about me, it is about my first blog brother.

The parcel included this stunning marking gauge which Jonathan reconditioned himself. He wrote a post on the restoration, which is a riveting read. It is the most wonder tool you can ever imagine. The brass gives it that wonderful luxurious weight. The Ebony is absolutely flawless and shiny. Jonathan filed the pins in order for them to cut rather than scrape, which makes a world of difference then using the tool.


He also sent me this set of bench dogs he made himself. If I am not mistaken it looks like Sapele. This set of dogs is J. White signature work. It is simply perfectly made.


As you can see the face of the dog was cut at an angle, which is the type of attention to detail that one can expect from a craftsman of his statue. The face also features a perfectly cut piece of leather to improve grip and protect the your work from being marred.


As you can see here they already did duty on my bench while working on a shop made sector (post to follow in the next few weeks). They work like a charm, I can tell.


Jonathan thank you so very much, you are a legend mate. Thank you also for inspiring me and many other woodworkers to improve our work. It has been and will continue to be an absolute pleasure to correspond with you around this mutual passion of ours.

6 thoughts on “Jonathan the Great”

  1. Ok, ok, enough of this! All this praise is going to go to my head. I am very glad that you like the gauge and the bench dogs. You are correct it is sapele. I suppose in hindsight I should have used something American or at least something other than an African hardwood, seeing as where I sent it. Haha. It is some well traveled sapele.

    I just published a post with all the steps and pictures from the restoration. You can see it here:

    All the best,

    Jonathan (a mere woodworker, for whom listening to Gerhard might bring delusions of grandeur)

  2. Yap, that’s four 🙂

    The screw lock system is typical of English marking gauge and i also happen to prefer it because most of the time i leave my gauges preset throuhout a project. Enjoy my friend 🙂

    Bob and Rudy

  3. Been quiet for some time now on your blog, Gerhard! Apologies, just been a bit busy surviving…
    Got quite a few photos of various projects (remember we played around with such an idea?), but to give the added description lies like a mountain in front of me, probably because I need to do it in my second language….!
    Great gauge you have there, beautiful restoration work, really! Just different to use (and care for) these antique user tools.
    Currently busy restoring a 1940’s Disston D-12, to replace a D8 lying around in my shop, for everyday use (and abuse). And for my son to use……. Do have a set of #12’s in my tool chest though, but I’m a little bit more careful with them!
    Best regards to you all!
    Cape Town

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