Atomic Compass- Kinetic Sculpture employing magnetic suspension

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Project by Strombergm posted 11-25-2013 11:30 PM 9881 views 69 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Atomic Compass is a new variation on the compass them I have been working on for a few years now. As with all of my sculptures, I utilize magnetic suspension to keep the pieces afloat.

To truly appreciate this piece, you should check it out in action. It is truly memorizing.

Here is a link:

The compass is made from walnut, Purple Heart and maple woods. The frame is bent maple, and the base is made with walnut.

There is a 2” magnetic gap between the compass and the attracting pendent.
This compass is rarely still. It twists and turns, while floating in space, with the slightest provocation (wind, earthquakes, your breath you, and my favorite- a nudge..).

The compass, is 14 inches wide. the stand is 20 inches high and 1 inch wide.

Thanks for looking!

Any and all feedback is appreciated. Without feedback, it is hard to push the limits.



-- Mike

19 comments so far

View EggMan's profile


70 posts in 2899 days

#1 posted 11-25-2013 11:45 PM

Really cool. It doesn’t point north does it?

And is there a magnet in the cross and the pendant?


View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3663 days

#2 posted 11-26-2013 02:20 AM

Wow, that us amazing! Hats off for that one.

-- I never finish anyth

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


21259 posts in 4800 days

#3 posted 11-26-2013 02:37 AM

Awesome! What kind of magnet did you use to hold across a 2” gap?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 3562 days

#4 posted 11-26-2013 02:47 AM

Another cool build!

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30620 posts in 3463 days

#5 posted 11-26-2013 03:23 AM

Absolutely love the uniqueness of your work. Stunning. I would love to see a blog on your work.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View doubleDD's profile


10442 posts in 3168 days

#6 posted 11-26-2013 04:53 AM

What a great idea. Super nice.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3018 days

#7 posted 11-26-2013 07:27 AM

This is really cool and totally AWESOME! What kind of magnets did you use? Rare earth? What size? Absolutely love the and the video is awesome. Great job and thanks for sharing. Welcome to LJ’s

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2949 days

#8 posted 11-26-2013 11:22 AM

Very cool and very unique….. excellent job.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View shopdog's profile


582 posts in 4610 days

#9 posted 11-26-2013 12:40 PM

Love it. Great idea and build

-- Steve--

View Strombergm's profile


10 posts in 2768 days

#10 posted 11-26-2013 01:12 PM

Edit (for another 60 minutes)

Hello everyone- I gotta say, I am blown away by the support and encouragement here…. I never would have thought there could be so many creative, talented and supportive people in one place….. Thank you Jim Arnold, for turning me on to LJ!

A couple people asked about what kind is magnets I use for these sculptures. I use large rare earth magnets. They are strong enough that they will crush your finger if your not careful. They are also extremely tricky to work with. As you all know, magnets are attracted to just about every tool we use in our craft. At some point in every project I do, a part will get ripped from my hand and sent flying across the room… I started working with smaller rare earth magnets when I began designing Kineti-Go Magnetic Shuffleboard. Once I had figured out how to embed and shape the small wooden magnetic pucks, I was able to fathom some of the bigger stuff I am working on now….


-- Mike

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2892 days

#11 posted 11-26-2013 01:12 PM

Looks great. Did you used a unipolar magnets? If not, I wonder whether it would make any difference in result.


View redbaronstoys's profile


45 posts in 3647 days

#12 posted 11-26-2013 01:12 PM

I love this sculpture. I like how it appears to float.

View JC_WW's profile


26 posts in 3050 days

#13 posted 11-26-2013 03:57 PM

That truly is amazing. How do you attach the magnets? Are they simply glued in place or do you drill a hole and plug it so the magnet is hidden?

-- Justin C.

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3610 days

#14 posted 11-26-2013 06:39 PM

Well that’s just stinkin’ cool.

-- Brian Timmons -

View facecarver's profile


154 posts in 2800 days

#15 posted 11-26-2013 09:19 PM

Beautiful woodwork,and way cool ….

-- Dennis Stallings; I am what I am,And that's all what I am...

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