Beam Compass. One project leads to another.

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Project by CueballRosendaul posted 10-15-2012 12:35 AM 5514 views 26 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I did not set out to make one of these today, but lately it seems that one project leads to another. After struggling with a small compass and contemplating a hafass version of a beam compass, I decided to just make a nice one that will last. It’s been a while since I posted a project anyway, so here’s my Beam Compass. The ends are from a piece of tulip wood, the beam is walnut. Finish is clear satin poly from a rattle can. I did not finish the beam however, just a couple coats of wax. The point is a finish nail that I pounded into a pre-drilled hole then cut off with wire cutters and filed to a point. It’s 100% scrap material and hardware I had around the shop. I may pencil some dimension marks on the beam, but its very easy to set using one of my steel rulers that has the hash marks stamped into the metal.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

15 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


9135 posts in 3916 days

#1 posted 10-15-2012 12:42 AM

Very nice beam compass, good job.

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4680 days

#2 posted 10-15-2012 12:45 AM

made yourself a real beauty there matt

need good tools
to do good work

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View johnstoneb's profile


3190 posts in 3512 days

#3 posted 10-15-2012 02:14 AM

Beautiful tool. Nice looking tools make the work that much more enjoyable.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View rdjack21's profile


268 posts in 4266 days

#4 posted 10-15-2012 03:26 AM

You know I could really use one as well and yours looks so good I just may have to make one myself when the next project comes allong that requires it.

-- --- Richard Jackson

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4916 days

#5 posted 10-15-2012 03:46 AM

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 4937 days

#6 posted 10-15-2012 12:11 PM

You have a very nice looking tool there Matt! Simple, functional, easy to use, and beautiful…....What more could a man wish for!! Oh and an heirloom as well!!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 5126 days

#7 posted 10-15-2012 01:56 PM

Excellent tool. Favorited for use build.

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3393 days

#8 posted 10-15-2012 02:25 PM

that tulip wood look amazing

-- Joel

View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 3479 days

#9 posted 10-15-2012 02:30 PM

The tricky part was mortising the head to receive the beam. The piece was too small to make a typical tenon on the end of the beam and not a very deep mortise. I used a tiny forstner bit and a chisel to make the hole, then filled it with epoxy and slipped the beam into the hole. Drilled a tiny hole for a small brass screw to hold it together on the bottom of the head then clamped it up straight to cure.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 3742 days

#10 posted 10-15-2012 08:59 PM

Nice work, looking forward to making a set of these myself

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4143 days

#11 posted 10-15-2012 10:45 PM

Nice lookin compass.

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

View BigTiny's profile


1721 posts in 4227 days

#12 posted 10-17-2012 04:19 PM

Lee Valley carries self adhesive paper tapes that you can stick down in place on the beam then spray a finish over to protect.

Excellent looking compass. This is one item on my “gotta make me one o’ them” list.


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

View mbs's profile


1719 posts in 4279 days

#13 posted 11-09-2012 10:59 PM

I like your compass. I will add this to my project list.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Kristoffer's profile


675 posts in 4555 days

#14 posted 12-01-2013 04:54 AM

Very nice. I am also going to have to make one. I usually just use either a piece of string or some 1/2” scrap with a finish nail and a counter sunk hole for the pencil. But, I always just end out tossing the string in the garbage or the scrap in the burn bucket and have to make a new one every time. I’ve been meaning to make a keeper, but I haven’t seen a design that caught my eye until now. Thanks.

-- Cheers and God Bless

View Leonard5's profile


377 posts in 4032 days

#15 posted 09-05-2014 12:40 AM


-- Leonard H.

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