Beam Compass

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TReischl
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Beam Compass

Post by TReischl »

I have been working on this one for a while now. It is a gift for my brother in law. He is a really good guy who is not only a talented wood worker but also a very talented bird carver. This started when I decided I had enough of my crummy el cheapo beam compass trammel points. As it progressed I figured it would also make a nice gift. Most of us would never take the time or spend the money for a tool like this.

This is a three part post because it has quite a few pics, enjoy!
1.jpg
The box is from some walnut I have had stashed for about 20 years now.
2.jpg
It took a while to do a redraw of the scroll but it was worth the effort.
3.jpg
4.jpg
5.jpg
There are three beams, one for 24 inch arcs, another for 12 and a third at 8 inches. All of them engraved both sides.
"If you see a good fight, get in it." Dr. Vernon Jones

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TReischl
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Beam Compass III

Post by TReischl »

11.jpg
Engraving a trammel. One of the keys to doing this successfully was to flatten the surface after it was placed in the vise jaws.
12.jpg
Engraving the other trammel body.
13.jpg
Set up for the hinge pockets.

A bit more about this project:

The finger joints on the box are 1/8. The box sides are 5/16 thick. The top and bottom are 1/4 thick glue ups of three boards each. The finger joints were done with a vertical jig on the front of the machine.

The interior dividers are dovetailed into the box sides. (sliding dovetails)

The setup for the hinge pockets worked well. The center pine strip was milled precisely in place on the machine. Used a 1.5 mm end mill to cut them out and mark where the screw holes went for later drilling. These are small hinges, 3/4 wide and about .25 of the leaf rests on the box side. I like to use chalk to mark where things will go more or less so I can spot any gross errors quickly. The chalk disappears as soon as finish is applied.

The top of the box was engraved after the box was built and sawed in half. Anyone who has built boxes knows that sawing a box in half creates some issues no matter how careful one is. So after sawing it in half I mounted it back on the machine and leveled the sawn pieces. Then flipped it over and did a very light leveling on the top surface to make sure it was deadly flat. The engravings on the front are a max of .035 deep but the accents are vcarvings that trail out to nothing. So flat was really important.

Ah, yes. The metal engraving was done with a .25mm tapered ball nose from china. It held up through all six sides of aluminum engraving.
"If you see a good fight, get in it." Dr. Vernon Jones

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TReischl
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Beam Compass II

Post by TReischl »

6.jpg
Another shot of the open box.
7.jpg
The material is aluminum purchased at a local hardware store.
8.jpg
9.jpg
The depth of engraving is .025 deep
10.jpg
The back of the trammels are hatched.
"If you see a good fight, get in it." Dr. Vernon Jones

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highpockets
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Re: Beam Compass II

Post by highpockets »

Beautiful work Ted!!

Thanks for sharing....
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Re: Beam Compass II

Post by Leo »

Ted,

Just to be clear, you made the beam compass?

WOW - beautiful.
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Re: Beam Compass II

Post by garylmast »

That's one cool project. Your brother-in-law will be very happy.

Gary

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Re: Beam Compass II

Post by gkas »

Superb work. It's a great idea. I don't think I've ever seen such a beautiful beam compass. Shades of Old World Craftsman...

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Re: Beam Compass III

Post by gkas »

This is a tutorial on how to build something very accurately..... not just beautiful.

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TReischl
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Re: Beam Compass II

Post by TReischl »

Leo wrote:Ted,

Just to be clear, you made the beam compass?

WOW - beautiful.
Yup. The trammels were made from scrap I picked up at the local scrap yard. The beams came from the hardware store.

The point is an interesting piece to make. Bought some brass knurled thumb screws. On the mini mill I drilled and tapped a piece of scrap alum. Without moving the mill I screwed the brass thumb screw in and then drilled it for the stainless steel pin which is a press fit into the thumb screw.
"If you see a good fight, get in it." Dr. Vernon Jones

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Re: Beam Compass I

Post by gkas »

The thread came up backwards. Now I like it even better after I see the outside. I love the Mark Twain...

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TReischl
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Re: Beam Compass III

Post by TReischl »

Thanks Gerry.

The dividers are dovetailed in for a reason: to keep the sides from flexing during and after building. The box is 28 inches long, the sides are about 1 inch tall after being sawn and only 5/16 thick. The dovetails help to stabilize those thin sides nicely.

The key to getting good results is always starting with flat and square stock.

Another thing that is really helping with projects like this is that el cheapo $18 microscope mounted to Z axis. It did a couple of things: Allowed me to pick up a spot very accurately and to see how the engraving tool performed.
"If you see a good fight, get in it." Dr. Vernon Jones

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Re: Beam Compass III

Post by mtylerfl »

Very cool and interesting/informative!

There are three separate threads on this - they should be combined into one single post. Info is “scattered”.
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TReischl
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Re: Beam Compass III

Post by TReischl »

I hear ya Mike, but it seems to me the last time I tried to post more than about 5 pics I got told NO! Not sure if that is the case anymore?

But, while I was sitting around doing nuttin' it occurred to me that I had not posted a closeup of the engraving, so here goes.
a.jpg
b.jpg
"If you see a good fight, get in it." Dr. Vernon Jones

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Re: Beam Compass III

Post by mtylerfl »

Absolutely beautiful!!
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Re: Beam Compass I

Post by scottp55 »

WOW.....OMG.....A Master's Toolbox....were the first thoughts in my head.
But only on first sip of first cuppa...sure I'll come up with better words shortly Ted :)
Reminds me of "And then I went Crazy!"...only maybe more so:)
Should be a interesting Christmas.
Pic of your Brother-in-Laws face....Priceless!!! :D
scott
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GMH


scott

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