The Compass

One more tool needs to be discussed before I launch into the actual geometric constructions.  The compass.  The compass is a certain type of divider where one leg of the divider is replaced with a drawing instrument, typically a pencil.

compass_general_toolsLike with dividers, you want a compass that is easy to adjust and that will hold that adjustment.  General Tools distributes a compass that is inexpensive and quite serviceable.  It is great for practicing constructions on paper and for keeping at the bench. This is what I would recommend you acquire first and it will fulfill most of your needs.  Later you can add a set of 6″ carpenters dividers to your tool kit.  With this type of divider one or both metal point legs can be removed and replaced with a pencil or a different style leg.  carpenter_dividersNew prices for carpenters dividers can be pretty high so check Ebay and other sources for a used pair.  Ones with the metal leg missing usually are the least expensive and your going to stick a pencil in there anyway.

Always, always, always keep the pencil point in your compass sharp.  A dull pencil will lay down a ‘fat’ line and lead to inaccuracies in your layouts.  One last thing.  KEEP THE PENCIL POINT IN YOUR COMPASS SHARP!

Greg Merritt

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