Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How to build a large Compass

A compass is often used as a symbol of  precision and discernment.                                             
make a large wooden compass


                                         I like to use a compass for woodworking, the points
                                         make it easy to get  precise measurements and for
                                         marking distances repeatably and very accurately.                      
                        How to Build a Large Wooden Compass !

compass oak table saw
To start I found nice piece of oak with some interesting grain, I will cut this for the legs. Since the compass will be large I will cut them to 13" in length. To get a clean cut  I will use my table saw miter gauge .
table saw strips for compass
 On the table saw the pieces are cut into strips 5/16"x 1 1/8".
compass prototype

 I sometimes build a prototype to see if a project will work.  I built the one shown here in about 15 minutes and was happy how it turned out, and know I was ready to build a larger one.

I will actually keep and use the smaller one because it works fine.
It will be another addition to my woodworking tools.

large compass legs oak
The strips of wood for the legs are marked and ready for the band saw and the drill press.

large compass
Cutting the shape on the band saw....
,large compass nail hinge
A small hole is drilled and a finishing nail is used as a center pin to make the hinge.
make large wood compass hinge
Since the hole is slightly smaller than the nail the nail should  be carefully pounded in. A small drop of lubricant can be added so the parts move smoothly.
large compass drill threaded rod
Time to drill the hole for the threaded rod. Since the piece is spring loaded a clamp should be used to secure the piece while drilling.
drilling legs large compass
The same finishing nails for the hinge can be used for the compass points. I have moved the drill press table over and used a screw clamp to hold the piece secure. Use a small level or eyeball the leg to make sure it is vertical prior to drilling.
pump pliers compass legs

The head of the nails are cut off and pushed into the base of the legs with a pair of pump pliers.

Large wooden compass

                               A threaded rod is installed and a knurled brass nut is put on. A
                              couple of nuts are put on the ends to keep everything together.
                              This was a very simple woodworking project and one that I will
                               certainly use often. The reach is slightly over 1 foot.  I really like 
                               many different measuring tools  and this one is a keeper. An easy 
                               woodworking tool that can be made in less than 1 hour.

See Also:

Vacuum Hose Holder             Make a Spray Can Rack            Make a Dowel Stop Gauge

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Making Dowels with a Jigsaw

                            A simple project made with some basic woodworking tools.

                           You can easily build this with a jigsaw, drill, some drill bits, 
                           clamps and  some sandpaper.

Making different size dowels

I wanted to see if I could make dowels using a jigsaw and came up with this idea.  I have seen and tried many ways but wanted to make one using some smaller tools.

 Also I wanted to be able to make many size dowels and still  keeping the jig easy to make. 

                                                          This was my first attempt  and it turned out great, if 
                                                          I could  make this size then I am sure the smaller ones
                                                          would  be easier.  

To make the jig- On a piece of 3/4 inch plywood  I drew an outline of the front of the jigsaw, this piece will be the plate that will slide along the base of the saw.

Here everything is marked and ready to be cut.
This can all be done with the jigsaw.

I cut several boards so I can have many on hand for making many different size dowels.

The plate in tapped onto the jigsaw until it hits the blade. The saw is then turned on and now the blade will leave a score mark. Then the plate can  be laid down on a bench and ready to be cut. This will make it easy to cut a perfect straight line with the jigsaw.

This is the cut for the blade... it is made with the jigsaw.

The plate is now ready for drilling. I keep the drill as close to the line as possible. This mark is for a 1/2" bit.

Many holes are drilled and I was ready to make dowels....

                             I made several plates and now I can make many size dowels. The 
                             ones I made are,  6mm, 9mm, 13mm, and 42mm. This will be handy 
                             in my shop and having made extra plates I can quickly drill new 
                             holes for any new size I may need.

The drill did shake a bit when I making the dowels but this was not a problem. Of all the
ways I have made dowels I find this is the best way because the jig is small and easy to set
up and and able to make many different sizes. Here are a few ways to make dowels.

My other dowel jigs-

See Also:

Make a Quick Stop Block                Circle Cutting Jig                          Table Saw Safety Feature


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Shelf with round corners

                                  A new shelf on my wall.....  I took this photo in my workshop
                                  but will be moving the shelf into my house.

After making the Miter kerf jig  in my last video I wanted to make a project
 using the jig. A shelf with round corners would be a good test. I didn't know 
how hard it would be but I am always up for the challenge. 

I carefully marked a piece of plywood using my dowel stop gauge  
getting ready to cut the kerfs.  The shelf will be 12" x18", and 
every corner will have 12 kerf cuts and they will be 1/4" apart.                                                                               

The first kerf is cut at 8 1/4" from one end. This cut is made 
without the kerf jig so it can fit the jig. After 12 cuts the next
 set will be 12" further down the board then 18" and so on.... 

In the last video I tried bending this piece and although  it did 
bend it started to splinter. To avoid this I needed to  add some

  A simple solution for steam is with a kettle. Within a few 
minutes of steaming  the board bent effortlessly.

 I forgot this step ealier but the two ends have to be cut at 45
 degrees so they can be glued together. Here I am using my

I thought cutting this might be somewhat difficult but it was no 
problem. The blade was set at 45 degrees and a miter gauge was 

Some blocks are used to support the frame and to make sure 
everything is lined up and square. When everything looks good 
I get ready to apply some shims.

To make shims I will use the table saw. The blade it set at a 
slight angle and a bunch of shims are cut. They are cut thin and 
random giving me various sizes to fit the many different kerf cuts. 

After the shims and glue are dry the excess can be chisled off. 
A little bit of sanding and the corners will look nice and this
will be a strong corner and a solid frame.

A shelf is added to the middle giving it a pleasing look. I used
 some blocks and wax paper  for clamping so there is no mess with 
glue sqeeze-out and no marks from the clamps.

Filling, sanding and paint...

I did more filling and sanding then gave it several coats of black spray
paint. I was not happy with the paint, it had primer in it but did not take
 well on the plywood. It was suggestted to me from my hardware store. 
Over all it turned out nice.

 If anyone has any experience with painting plywood please let me know!!

                          If you enjoy my Youtube Videos and Posts let me know what you think so please comment and don't forget to sign up. Cheers!

See also:                                                                                                                              

                        Bending Wood                Centerline finder         Cutting perfect grooves