What Are Compasses Made Speciffically for Woodworking Called

If you’ve ever wondered, “What are compasses made specifically for woodworking called?” then you’re in the right place. Woodworking compasses, also known as beam compasses or trammel points, are essential tools for anyone working with wood. These specialized compasses are designed to accurately measure and mark circles, arcs, and other curved shapes on wood, making them an indispensable tool in any woodworker’s arsenal.

Woodworking compasses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of features and capabilities. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out in woodworking, understanding the importance of using the right compass for your projects is crucial to achieving accurate and precise results.

In this article, we’ll explore the types of woodworking compasses available, discuss the qualities to look for when choosing a woodworking compass, learn how to use one effectively, discover famous woodworking compass makers, and even explore some DIY woodworking compass projects. By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to choose the best compass for your woodworking needs and elevate your craft to new levels of precision and accuracy.

The Importance of Using the Right Compass for Woodworking

Accuracy in Woodworking

When it comes to woodworking, precision and accuracy are essential for achieving the desired outcome. Whether you are measuring, marking, or drawing circles, arcs, or curves, using the right compass is crucial. Without the proper tool, inaccuracies may occur, leading to imperfect cuts and joinery.

The Role of Woodworking Compasses

Woodworking compasses are specifically designed to assist woodworkers in creating perfectly measured arcs and circles. These specialized tools come in various designs and sizes to accommodate different woodworking needs. From scribing lines for mortises to drawing circles for tabletops, a woodworking compass is an indispensable tool for any woodworker.

Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

The importance of using the right compass for woodworking cannot be overstated. The wrong type or quality of compass can lead to imprecise measurements and flawed designs. This is why it is crucial to understand the different types of woodworking compasses available and their specific uses. By selecting the appropriate compass for each task, woodworkers can ensure that their projects are executed with unparalleled accuracy and craftsmanship.

Types of Compasses for Woodworking

Woodworking compasses, also known as beam compasses, are essential tools for woodworkers to create precise arcs, circles, and other curved designs in their woodworking projects. There are several types of compasses specifically designed for woodworking that cater to different needs and preferences. Here are some common types of woodworking compasses:

  • Beam Compass: This type of compass features a long beam or rod with adjustable points on each end to create large circles and arcs. It is ideal for drawing or scribing circles larger than what a traditional compass can achieve.
  • Wing Compass: A wing compass, also known as a pencil compass, has two steel legs that end in fine points and can be adjusted to various distances. It is often used for scribing arcs and circles directly onto the wood surface.
  • Divider Compass: This type of compass has sharp points on both ends and is used primarily for marking measurements or dividing lines rather than drawing circles or arcs.

When choosing the right type of woodworking compass for your projects, it’s important to consider the specific tasks you will be using it for and the scale of your woodworking projects. Each type has its own advantages and limitations, so understanding their differences will help you make an informed decision on which one best suits your needs.

Woodworking enthusiasts and professionals alike often have different preferences when it comes to the types of compasses they use. Some may prefer the versatility of a beam compass for creating large arcs, while others may find a wing compass more practical for smaller, detailed work. Ultimately, the choice of woodworking compass will depend on individual preferences and project requirements.

Qualities to Look for in a Woodworking Compass

When it comes to woodworking, having the right tools is crucial to achieving precision and accuracy in your projects. One essential tool for woodworking is the compass, specifically designed for this craft. Choosing the best woodworking compass can make a significant difference in the quality of your work. Here are some key qualities to look for when selecting a woodworking compass:

  • Adjustability: Look for a woodworking compass that is adjustable, allowing you to create various sized circles and arcs with ease.
  • Durability: A high-quality woodworking compass should be made from durable materials such as stainless steel or brass, ensuring longevity and resilience through heavy use.
  • Precision: The ability to make accurate markings is essential in woodworking. Choose a compass with fine adjustment capabilities to ensure precise results.
Woodworking With Ash

In addition to these qualities, it’s important to consider the overall design and comfort of the woodworking compass. A comfortable grip and easy-to-use mechanism can greatly improve your woodworking experience. Furthermore, look for a compass that offers versatility in its use, such as the option to attach a pencil or scribe for marking purposes.

When shopping for a woodworking compass, keep these qualities in mind to ensure that you are getting a tool that will enhance your craft and help you achieve professional results. By investing in a high-quality woodworking compass, you are setting yourself up for success in all your future woodworking projects.

Overall, using the right tools can make all the difference in your woodworking endeavors. With careful consideration of these qualities, you can select a woodworking compass that meets your specific needs and enhances the quality of your work.

How to Use a Woodworking Compass

Woodworking compasses are specifically designed tools used to create arcs and circles on wood in a precise and accurate manner. These tools come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, but they all serve the same purpose – to help woodworkers achieve their desired measurements and shapes on their projects. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced woodworker, knowing how to properly use a woodworking compass is essential for achieving professional results in your woodworking projects.

To use a woodworking compass, start by selecting the appropriate compass for the size of circle or arc you need. Some compasses come with interchangeable points for different purposes, such as marking or scribing.

Once you have the right compass for your project, place the pivot point on the center of where you want the circle to be. Then, use the other end of the compass to scribe around the pivot point, ensuring that you maintain constant pressure and keep the compass perpendicular to the surface of the wood.

It’s important to practice using a woodworking compass on scrap pieces of wood before using it on your actual project to get a feel for how it works and ensure that you achieve precision. A woodworking compass can be used for simple tasks such as drawing circles or arcs for decorative purposes, as well as more complex tasks such as laying out joints or creating precise measurements for intricate designs.

No matter what your woodworking project entails, using a woodworking compass correctly will help you achieve professional results every time.

Type of CompassDescription
Wing DividerHas two metal legs with pointed ends that can be adjusted to create various sized circles.
Bow CompassConsists of two metal legs connected by a spring-loaded bow-shaped frame, making it ideal for larger circles.
Pencil CompassAll-in-one tool with a pencil holder at one end and an adjustable pivot point at the other; great for drawing precise arcs and circles.

Famous Woodworking Compass Makers

Woodworking compasses are essential tools for anyone involved in precision woodworking. While there are various types of compasses available, those made specifically for woodworking have distinct features that make them ideal for the craft.

Traditional Woodworking Compass Makers

Some of the most renowned woodworking compass makers have been in the industry for generations, each passing down their knowledge and expertise to create high-quality instruments. These traditional compass makers often use time-tested techniques and materials to produce durable and reliable woodworking compasses.

Modern Woodworking Compass Makers

In recent years, there has been an emergence of modern woodworking compass makers who incorporate new technologies and innovative designs into their products. These contemporary compass makers aim to improve accuracy, ease of use, and overall functionality, catering to the evolving needs of woodworkers.

Notable Woodworking Compass Brands

Several brands have gained recognition for their exceptional craftsmanship and dedication to producing top-notch woodworking compasses. These brands have become synonymous with reliability and precision, making them go-to choices for both amateur and professional woodworkers alike.

Suga Woodworking

When it comes to selecting a woodworking compass, understanding the reputation and expertise of these well-known makers can guide your decision-making process. Whether you opt for a classic wooden-handled tool from a traditional maker or a cutting-edge design from a modern brand, the commitment to quality remains a common thread among famous woodworking compass makers.

DIY Woodworking Compass Projects

Woodworking compasses are an essential tool for anyone working with wood, as they allow for precise measurements and marking of circles and arcs. But did you know that you can also create your own woodworking compass? DIY woodworking compass projects are a fun and practical way to customize your tools and add a personal touch to your woodworking projects.

One popular DIY woodworking compass project is making a wooden compass from scratch. This project involves using basic woodworking tools such as a saw, drill, sandpaper, and wood glue to create a simple yet functional compass. By choosing the type of wood, size, and design of the compass, you can tailor it to fit your specific needs and preferences. Not only is this a cost-effective option, but it also allows for creativity in the design process.

Another DIY woodworking compass project involves repurposing everyday items into a functional compass. For example, you can use a sturdy wire or metal rod and affix it to a base made from scrap wood or acrylic to create a unique and adjustable compass. This type of project not only showcases your resourcefulness but also demonstrates how innovative solutions can be found within ordinary materials.

For those who prefer working with metal rather than wood, crafting a metalworking compass may be an appealing DIY project. By utilizing metalworking techniques such as cutting, bending, welding, and brazing, you can fashion a durable and precise compass that is tailored to your specific measurements and requirements.

DIY Woodworking Compass ProjectKey Features
Wooden CompassCustomizable design options; cost-effective
Repurposed Item CompassShowcases resourcefulness; adjustable functionality
Metalworking CompassDurable material; precise measurements


In conclusion, when it comes to woodworking, having the right tools can make all the difference in the outcome of your project. This same principle applies to compasses specifically made for woodworking. These specialized compasses, often referred to as “woodworking dividers,” are designed with the specific needs of woodworkers in mind. Whether you are a professional woodworker or an amateur hobbyist, using the right woodworking compass can significantly enhance the precision and accuracy of your work.

When choosing a woodworking compass, it is essential to consider factors such as durability, accuracy, versatility, and ease of use. Look for a compass that is made from high-quality materials such as stainless steel or brass to ensure its longevity and sturdiness. Additionally, a good woodworking compass should provide precise measurements and allow for easy adjustments to accommodate various project requirements.

In addition to purchasing a quality woodworking compass, you may also consider exploring DIY woodworking compass projects as a way to personalize your tools or create a custom solution for your specific needs. By taking the time to carefully select or create the best compass for your woodworking endeavors, you can improve the overall quality and craftsmanship of your projects.

So whether you are measuring arcs and circles, scribing lines, or creating intricate designs in wood, having the right woodworking compass will undoubtedly contribute to achieving better results in your craft.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Compass in Woodworking?

In woodworking, a compass is a tool used to draw or measure circles and arcs. It consists of two adjustable legs with a pointed end to mark the wood accurately.

What Is Another Name for a Drafting Compass?

Another name for a drafting compass is a divider. This tool is commonly used in technical drawing to measure distances and transfer measurements from one scale to another.

What Is Another Name for a Beam Compass?

A beam compass is also known as a trammel. It is a larger-sized compass that consists of a beam or rod with movable points on either end, allowing the user to draw larger circles and arcs in woodworking and drafting projects.

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