Dovetail gauge lines do you like to see them or not. I like to see the knife marks left in when making drawers, It shows the drawer was made accurately and you did not have to plane the drawer excessively to make them a piston fit.
I do not like to see cutting gauge lines on the outside of cabinets or boxes but as with most of these things there are no right and wrong ways, only preferences.
I agree…I think it comes down to personal preferences. Traditionally, through dovetails did not appear on “fine” furniture pieces. Through dovetails were for utility type items and most the pieces that I have seen still show signs of gauge lines. Almost all of the antique pieces that I have seen show gauge lines on all of the half-lap dovetails on drawers and the like. I think the gauge lines on older pieces speak to the speed that these people were expected to work at more than their preferences. Today we have the luxury of time and can decide if want to have gauge lines on our finished pieces or not.
AS a side note…I find it interesting that today we like to show off the joinery. The Japanese, for instance, have spent centuries trying to hide all of the joinery in their pieces.
Good question Ken!