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Compass Set for Swap

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Project by HokieKen posted 11-12-2018 04:15 PM 938 views 2 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For the Fall Layout and Marking Tool Swap I made a couple of compasses and associated marking tools for fellow LJ BMichs75. a.k.a. Brandon

I had no idea what to make for this swap so I decided to take a look at some tools that seem handy but that, as a hobbyist, I can’t justify the cost for. One such tool is the pocket compass from Woodpeckers.

I thought that this thing would be pretty easy to mimic. I was mistaken… I ended up making 4 of these things. One went in the trash. The other 2 can be made into users but they weren’t acceptable for a swap package. With something so small and with moving parts that has to stay pretty rigid, it was necessary to incorporate some brass to minimize bending and twisting when trying to set or use the compass. For a sense of scale, here’s the compass next to a Sharpie:

But, eventually I got a good working version that was nice enough that I was okay with sending it to Brandon. It will draw circles from 1” up to about 7” in diameter. The hole in the base piece is sized for the anchor piece which I turned on my metalworking lathe. The anchor screws into the end of the compass when not in use. I also turned the locking thumbscrew that holds the compass firmly once it’s set. The other holes are sized for a 2mm lead. I included a 2mm mechanical pencil with the package and I also made a scratch awl with a hardened tip of 2mm for when that’s a more desirable option.

I had the brass ball so I drilled it out and turned a knurled sleeve from stainless and inserted it through the ball and peened it on the top. The sleeve was drilled to accept the 2 mm drill rod and the rod was deformed slightly to make a tight and (nearly) permanent fit in the sleeve.

Here are some pics of the compass in action:

The pocket compass is made from Brass and Cocobolo and has stainless steel anchor point and locking screw.

I didn’t really see the larger version in the Woodpecker’s set as being all that useful. The appeal (for me at least) of the smaller one is that it can go in a pocket or apron. I didn’t think the larger could. I also liked how the compass laid flat on the workpiece instead of something like a traditional drafting compass or a trammel point set.

So, I decided for larger circles, I would go with a beam compass design that was modularized and that allowed the compass to lay flat. The attachments were made from Cocobolo as well and I bored out some brass thumb screws and inset a Cocobolo cap. I took some 3/8” Stainless bar stock and cut two pieces about 6” and drilled and tapped 3 ends and turned a male thread on the fourth. Then I turned an anchor piece for this compass and threaded it into one end of one of the bars. The attachments accept the same pencil or awl that is used with the pocket version.

Using one of the bars, a circle up to ~12” can be drawn.

Threading the second bar on allows up to ~24”

Finally, I made a small box to house all of the bits and pieces of the set. The sides of the box are some spalted Maple I harvested earlier this year. The bottom and the lid are some Gummy Cherry gifted to me in an earlier swap by LJ Jeffswildwood and the battens are locally harvested Walnut. I used a Japanese toolbox style design because I’ve always thought it was a great design for shop tools but haven’t ever actually made one. I see more in my future :-) It was a simple build but it’s very handy IMO.

So, there you have it! My submission for the final 2018 swap. It was a bit more of a challenge than I anticipated but that’s good. I learned a great deal about making really small wood parts. The order of operations was a HUGE factor in finally successfully producing a working version of the pocket compass. And I just recently got my metalworking lathe so I was glad to have an opportunity to put it to use.

Thanks to all who participated in the swap. I had a ball, as usual! And thanks for taking time to check out my project. Comments and questions are welcomed as always.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!





26 comments so far

View Spikes's profile

Spikes

94 posts in 242 days


#1 posted 11-12-2018 04:21 PM

judging how amazing this one looks I’d be tempted to ask for those that ended up in the trash :P . hope one day to be good enough to participate in the swap, had never heard of it and looks like an awesome thing to do. cheerio

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2820 posts in 779 days


#2 posted 11-12-2018 04:34 PM

The order of operations was a HUGE factor in finally successfully producing a working version of the pocket compass.

I find if I’m not having problems with workholding, I’m having problems with the order of operations causing problems with workholding.

Good job working through it and coming up with a handy tool, Kenny. The storage box is a nice bonus, too. Brandon scored!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

5093 posts in 909 days


#3 posted 11-12-2018 04:41 PM

wow Kenny what a very nice set of compasses GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

3544 posts in 3380 days


#4 posted 11-12-2018 04:45 PM

That’s a really nice tool, looks tricky to get right. Wish I had one.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View PoohBaah's profile

PoohBaah

411 posts in 1737 days


#5 posted 11-12-2018 04:46 PM

Awesome work Kenny. Practical, surprising from you :) and something that everyone could use.

I missed not getting in this swap but my free time was non existent.

-- Neil, Indiana - Instagram: neilsalomon

View woodcox's profile

woodcox

2156 posts in 2208 days


#6 posted 11-12-2018 04:58 PM

Great ideas, Kenny. I like the box.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21709 posts in 3302 days


#7 posted 11-12-2018 04:59 PM

Great tool. The recipient will love it!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1891 posts in 2544 days


#8 posted 11-12-2018 05:47 PM

Primo work as always!!! BTW – I see you are teasing those of us that live in the colder climates with your lush green outdoors pictures.

P.S. Where is the glitter and vaseline?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

6999 posts in 1335 days


#9 posted 11-12-2018 06:13 PM

Thanks for the comments all :-)

To be honest, if I were making another pocket compass… I wouldn’t make another pocket compass :-) The $50 they charged for the One Time Tool, is looking like a friggin’ steal to me now. Unfortunately, I missed the boat :-( Now if I had a mill, I could be convinced to make a run of Aluminum ones…

Earl, that green grass and sunshine has gone the way of the Dodo since those pics were taken. There’s a chance of stinkin’ snow tomorrow :-(( Oh what a difference a week makes!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

715 posts in 1254 days


#10 posted 11-12-2018 06:40 PM

A complete package of useful tools all in one stylish box! Giving Earl a run for his money on quantity!!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

472 posts in 585 days


#11 posted 11-12-2018 07:22 PM

Such a cool tool group. I love the pocket compass…

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View doubleG469's profile

doubleG469

657 posts in 641 days


#12 posted 11-12-2018 07:24 PM

great work Kenny!

-- Gary, Texas

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

6999 posts in 1335 days


#13 posted 11-12-2018 07:40 PM



The order of operations was a HUGE factor in finally successfully producing a working version of the pocket compass.

I find if I’m not having problems with workholding, I’m having problems with the order of operations causing problems with workholding.

Good job working through it and coming up with a handy tool, Kenny. The storage box is a nice bonus, too. Brandon scored!

- Dave Polaschek

BTW Dave, that log that I used to stage my project pics…. Sweetgum ;-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

6999 posts in 1335 days


#14 posted 11-12-2018 07:42 PM

Thanks Bill! Glad you joined in on this one :-)) Your package was a welcome addition. I really liked those pinch sticks a lot.

Thanks Mike and Gary! Missed you guys on this one. Hopefully we’ll see y’all on the next go-round :-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View jeffswildwood's profile (online now)

jeffswildwood

3589 posts in 2174 days


#15 posted 11-12-2018 10:05 PM

Nice job Ken. That is one awesome set. I see a lot of uses for that tool. You said you made four and two were thrown away? I hope one is yours. Glad you found use for that cherry! It is some pretty wood. Nice work on a complex project!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

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