This is not a "gauge" in any modern sense of that term (it is not a measuring device). Rather, it is a work-guiding tool with which a punch blank or punch can be held vertically (and squarely to the stone) while its face is polished on an oilstone.
The naming of this simple tool is complex. I was first taught to call it a "Facing Gauge" in Stan Nelson's class in 2016. Moxon calls this the "Flat-Gage," which comes to much the same thing. Fournier calls it the "Equerre à polir," which would translate literally as something like "square for polishing" - a nicely descriptive name. Carter translates Fournier's term in blunt English as "Facer." In the circa 1919 Williams Engineering catalogue of typefounders' tools it is called a "Jointer" (presumably by a rather stretched analogy to the jointer in woodworking). Otto Furhmann, translating Paul Koch for an article in The Dolphin in 1933, calls it a "Facing Square." I like the simplicity of Carter's term, and will use it here (unless specifically referring to some historical tool called something else by its maker).
See also the Joynt-Flat-Gage in Moxon (used only by de Walpergen ("Walberger"); see p. 120 of the Davis & Carter edition of Moxon).
The Facer should not be conflated with the Face Gauge (in fixed or adjustable forms), which is a tool for an entirely different purpose. (Note that in his commentary to the modern edition of Carl Dair's film shot at Enschedé, Matthew Carter calls the Adjustable Face Gauge a "Facing Gauge.")
Joseph Moxon, in the second volume of his Mechanick Exercises , shows the "Flat-Gage" in Pl. 10, Fig. A. That figure is extracted below, from the Wellcome Library digitization of the photographic reprint of the first part of this second volume published in 1901 as a supplement to Caxton's Magazine (online at The Internet Archive at: https://archive.org/details/b24865400.
"The Flat-Gage is described in Plate 10. at A. It is made of a flat piece of Box, or other Hard Wood. Its Length is three Inches and an half, its Breadth two Inches and an half, and its Thickness one Inch and an half. This is on the Flat, first made square, but afterwards hath one of its Corners (as h) a little rounded off, that it may the easier comply with the Ball of the Hand. Out of one of its longest Sides, viz. that not rounded off, is Cut through the thickness of an exact Square, whose one side b f, c g is about an Inch and three quarters long; and its other side b d, c e about half an Inch long. The Depth of these Sides and their Angle is exactly Square to the top and bottom of the upper and under Superficies of the Flat-Gage.
"Its Use is to hold a Rod of Steel, or Body of a Mold, &c. exactly perpendicular to the Flat of the Using-File, that the end of it may rub upon the Using-File, and be Filed away exactly Square, and that to the Shank; as shall more at large be shewed in §. 2 ¶3." [Davis and Carter note that the correct reference is actually § 13, ¶3 (pp. 110-111 of their edition)]
"The inconvenience that this Tool is subject to, is, That with much using its Face will work out of Flat. Therefore it becomes the Workman to examine it often, and when he finds it faulty to mend it."
Moxon's Flat-Gage is made of wood, not metal. He says it should be a hard wood, and I can agree from experience. Just to do it, I tried one make from pine. It wore so quickly that I was unable to finish even one punch (admittedly, I was using a very coarse carborundum stone).
But Moxon is not using his Flat-Gage on a stone, as we would today, but is applying it to the Using-File. (This is a very large, heavy file, 3 to 4 inches wide, 9 to 10 inches long, and 3/4 inch thick with one side bastard-cut and one side smooth cut. Such magnificent files are no longer obtainable.)
I find it interesting that the shape of Moxon's Flat-Gage, with its curved side to fit the hand, indicates that it was used to push the punch over the stone. Perhaps this is the obvious way to do it with any facer, but when I started out I did it the opposite way. That is, I held the notch toward me - in this way I could better see the punch.
The model itself has been done in the "Onshape" (brand) "cloud-based" CAD system. You can view it in read-only mode without an Onshape account, at: https://cad.onshape.com/documents/f93018f07a261e3c40a823c4/w/aa3084265b74115120baf860/e/146ed3df9d7661a8f55914cc If you have an Onshape account, the model is public. You should be able to copy it into your own workspace and edit it there, if you wish. If the link above doesn't work, search the Onshape public model space for: Facer - Moxon's Flat Gage
The article by Paul Koch in The Dolphin (1933), translated by Otto Furhrmann and illustrated by Fritz Kredel, shows an entirely different form: a frustrum of a cone with one quarter notched out of it.
A rather rectilinear variation is illustrated by Fritz Kredel in the circa 1934 Klingspor Type Foundry specimen booklet for Jessen Schrift. It is not named individually, but is part of a group identified as "Schleif-und Meßwerkzeug," or Grinding and Measuring Tools (it is of course the grinding tool).
A third version is also associated with Klingspor. In their series of "Lehrtafel" (teaching posters), No. 1, "Der Stempelschneider," they show a patrix cutter (not a punchcutter) using a rectangular block with a notch cut out of it.
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