Shop made compass

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Project by Tinnocker posted 03-06-2011 04:36 AM 7763 views 30 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am currently working on a project that will require me to swing an arc with an 18 in. radius. I have trammel points with a scribe on either end but won’t hold a pencil or marker and I also have a couple of smaller compasses. So this is what I was able to come up with. Everything was made from scraps and or recycled stuff. I can now swing an arc with a 24 in radius. I love making tools! made with oak dowels, and oak scraps from an old dresser.

-- Ted, Browns Mills, NJ Darn! I cut it 3 times and it's still too short! I get ideas for things that I can make to make things easier for me to make!

12 comments so far

View Chris Moellering's profile

Chris Moellering

227 posts in 4103 days

#1 posted 03-06-2011 05:04 AM

Very nice. I made a compass once…out of a clothes pin and some tape and a screw…not nearly as big or nice looking as yours, but it was all I had to work with where I was at the time and I wanted to draw some arcs.

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 4148 days

#2 posted 03-06-2011 05:31 AM

Very nice.
It’s funny… every time I think of a tool that I need, someone posts one that they made.
This place is filled with great ideas.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View Doug's profile


1304 posts in 4216 days

#3 posted 03-06-2011 05:45 AM

Looks good. That should definately get the job done. Thanks for the post.

-- Doug

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

226 posts in 4146 days

#4 posted 03-06-2011 05:56 AM


-- Stephen Mines ([email protected])

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 4143 days

#5 posted 03-06-2011 07:22 AM

Very well done. I need one of this too

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4570 days

#6 posted 03-06-2011 07:57 AM

nothing can´t be compared to used homemade tools
congrat´s with the new toy :-)

how did you made the locking mechanisme ?

take care

View BigTiny's profile


1721 posts in 4343 days

#7 posted 03-06-2011 08:59 AM

First you make the tool to make the tool to make the tool to make the… what was it I was going to make in the first place? I forgot… :)

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4259 days

#8 posted 03-06-2011 02:01 PM

that will surely “strike an arc”

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Tinnocker's profile


107 posts in 4456 days

#9 posted 03-06-2011 02:01 PM

Thanks for the nice comments guys!
I made this to be able to layout a pattern (using radial line development) on cardboard for a shop built cyclone I am planning to make soon.
One other thing I want to do to the compass is move the pencil thumbscrew up a bit and counter bore the hole to accept a sharpie pen.
Dennis, the locking mechanism is simply a lid stay I scrounged a while back from an old record player TV console someone had thrown away. I had to remove the part that attaches to the lid and place a screw there instead.
I keep a hammer, Flathead and phillips screwdrivers, pry-bar in the car at all times so that whenever I see some one throwing away old furniture (or even new junky furniture I can salvage the hardware off it. I have hinges, screws. and all sorts of hardware in coffee cans in my shed just waiting for an opportunity to be re-used or re-purposed. In most cases the hardware is the most usable part of the furniture, if the wood is solid and not particle board I will take that apart too. Sometimes even MDF furniture if it hasn’t seen any weather will make it’s way to my shop. I don’t have a big shed so I have to cull the junk in it from time to time and this spring I really have to get it organized.

-- Ted, Browns Mills, NJ Darn! I cut it 3 times and it's still too short! I get ideas for things that I can make to make things easier for me to make!

View MasterSergeant's profile


1441 posts in 4143 days

#10 posted 03-06-2011 02:57 PM

great invention!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4570 days

#11 posted 03-06-2011 05:15 PM

Thank´s Tinnocker
for reminding me of this with the recycling thing ….. LOL
I always seems to forget it when I drive around and see a cointainer people is filling
when they empty a house ….not that I don´t pick up things but this with
only hunting the hardware as you have done I always forget outside my own premisis

take care

View Edwardnorton's profile


203 posts in 3382 days

#12 posted 05-08-2015 01:27 AM

I have a pair of old lid supports so I may make a couple of dividers like this myself. Just a note, your link is a dead one. (

-- EdwardNorton

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