Tag Archives: pencil

In making a compass

My first attempt at a homemade compass failed. But I mulled it over for a day or two and with a bit M’s help, I made one today with a nail, a paint stirrer sticky thing, a drill, hammer, pencil and a small piece of round cardboard. The paint stick was the first idea, as it is sturdy, slim enough and long enough for circle-making.

Then, I (M) drilled holes in the stick that would fit a pencil, measuring 2cm apart. And a smaller hole at the end for the nail. My new sewing setup was put together by M and consists of two small sawhorses and an old door. Perfect. Originally, this table setup was not for me, but I may have encroached on pretty much the whole space. It is an excellent workspace. Mine.

homemade compass

homemade compass

So, this is where the nail bit comes in: I drove the nail through the paint stick and into the table top. Took it all back out of the holes, put a small round, hollow cardboard tube over the hole on the table, and then re-pounded the nail back in with the stick on top of the cardboard tube. This gave it the height needed to hover the stick over the fabric and to have a good distance between pencil and fabric. Now, I just fold material in half and swoop a half circle with my new gadget, cut the half-circle out, unfold and voila! Circle.

compass sm2

Cardboard tube between paint stick and table surface, with nail through the middle.

Cardboard tube between paint stick and table surface, with nail through the middle.

 

I can also make a full circle with the compass if I replace the nail with a small-pointed tack that can poke through the fabric and then swoop the arm all the way around the circle. Sorted.