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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.

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9,309 Posts
made yourself a real beauty there matt

need good tools
to do good work
 

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2,500 Posts
Beautiful tool. Nice looking tools make the work that much more enjoyable.
 

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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.
 

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19,698 Posts
well done
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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

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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.

Paul
 

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

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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.
 
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