Hand Tools Archive

Re: Indeed, a Latta suggestion, but not for me

William Duffield
In old ones, the pattern was often designed to hide the compass points under other stringing elements. If the pattern didn't allow this, then they just let them show.

Steve Latta explains that his customers don't appreciate this "charm" of the originals. He has developed a simple tool to avoid leaving any compass point marks. It is a stick long enough to reach to the edge of the panel that can be easily positioned and clamped to the panel. protruding from one end, attached to the bottom in a wide rabbet, is a piece of clear plexiglas. The bottom surface of the plastic has a fine cross hair reticle scribed into it with a sharp knife. To use it, you simply center the location where you want to position the compass in the cross hairs, clamp the tool to the top of the panel, center the compass point on the top surface of the plastic over the cross hairs, and scribe your arc. If you need to scribe a full circle, you will need to reposition the tool once to complete it.

If this is not clear to anyone who needs to build one, I can throw one together, with photos of the process, in about 15 minutes. It'll take me less time than manipulating the photos and uploading them to this forum.

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