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Quick and dirty compass

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 01-22-2021 06:01 PM 953 views 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed a compass to draw a circle, and I couldn’t find any of the four I have somewhere in my shop, and none of the paint cans I have were the right size, so now I have five compasses somewhere in the shop.

Took a piece of oak from a pallet, and planed it roughly square. Cut two pieces, then used the bandsaw, a backsaw, and a spokeshave to shape the two arms. Sanded the edges smooth with a scrap of 60 grit that wasn’t completely wore out.

Drilled a 1/16 hole in the end of one of the arms and super-glued in a brad. Blue-taped a pencil that I planed one side flat on onto the other arm, then hand-riveted the arms together with a washer between the arms and drew the circle I needed.

Sanded the hinge ends round and hit it all with a coat of shellac. Done.

-- Dave - Santa Fe





21 comments so far

View Andre's profile

Andre

4279 posts in 2813 days


#1 posted 01-22-2021 06:11 PM

Flat stick with 2 holes, nail and pencil, at radius of circle works for me? For larger circles!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

4650 posts in 2229 days


#2 posted 01-22-2021 06:13 PM

Nice improv Dave! Can’t count the number of times I’ve been in the same situation, but never mustered the energy to just build one.

Now if you were at all like the LBD, you’d be hard at work making a nice fitted box for storage.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6829 posts in 1589 days


#3 posted 01-22-2021 06:20 PM

Andre, I have a handful of those around the shop too. None the right size, of course.

Thanks, Splint. It was a pretty easy build, and it beat cleaning up the shop!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2277 posts in 1595 days


#4 posted 01-22-2021 06:26 PM

In a pinch I mark circles with a ruler. Mark center, measure out radius and mark. Rotate 1/8 circle and repeat. Put in as many measurements as needed to define circle segments and then freehand the arcs between marks.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

2461 posts in 2573 days


#5 posted 01-22-2021 06:35 PM

That will do it.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

7732 posts in 3211 days


#6 posted 01-22-2021 07:41 PM

Well that’s better than running around in circles looking for them!

OMG not again!

-- Regards Rob

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile (online now)

wildwoodbybrianjohns

2646 posts in 554 days


#7 posted 01-22-2021 08:02 PM

Quick and dirty, I think like her.

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1632 posts in 3042 days


#8 posted 01-22-2021 08:13 PM

Good work!
I have one almost exactly like this in Maple somewhere in my shop… I found the scribe leg for it the other day, now if I can just find the rest of it.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6829 posts in 1589 days


#9 posted 01-22-2021 08:26 PM

Mark, I wanted better results than free-handing it.

Thanks, oldrivers!

Exactly, Rob. Plus, another shop-made tool.

Brian, I have no idea what you mean. ;-)

Thanks, Jim.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

285 posts in 2041 days


#10 posted 01-22-2021 09:28 PM

Congrats on the Daily top 3 Dave
You’re going to have to at least sand it now though ;)

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6829 posts in 1589 days


#11 posted 01-22-2021 10:00 PM

Thanks, Mike. I was figuring it would develop a patina over time. I just need to draw more circles.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

5042 posts in 2629 days


#12 posted 01-22-2021 11:00 PM

some fine looking blue tape there Dave 0 oh, and a really neat compass

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile (online now)

wildwoodbybrianjohns

2646 posts in 554 days


#13 posted 01-23-2021 12:47 AM

Another use for blue tape. So we are up to what now, like 3,847 uses? Somethin like that, anyway…........

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3164 posts in 3197 days


#14 posted 01-23-2021 01:10 AM

Make a tool to do a specific job or procedure when needed, the true meaning of craftsmanship.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6829 posts in 1589 days


#15 posted 01-23-2021 03:08 AM

Thanks, Dick, Brian again, and Tom. It was a lazy solution to the problem, since I could’ve cleaned the shop and found one of the other compasses I have. Or my trammel points. Or even my dividers.

I also took another piece of the same board from the pallet and made the little jig to hold the pencil so I could plane a flat side onto it. Will probably end up using that for something again, too.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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