Make huge circles with a homemade beam compass. Woodworking shop project!

Today's show is brought to you by… CIRCLES! And by Microjig, maker or the GRR-RIPPER. Work safer. Work smarter. Think way, way back to a time when I said, "I may shoot an upcoming video on how to make this adjustable compass." Ah, it seems like it was just last Friday. Well, it just so happens that I have a big project planned for
next week in which I need to make a large circle. So the future is now! And i want to thank Jay Kopanski for
sending me this compass and inspiring me to make my own and share it with you. The only trick to making this is to make this sliding dovetail channel that makes it adjustable. One way to do that is to use a dovetail bit on your router. But I'm going to try a method on my
table saw that is safe and easy and uses an oversized board. This is a 3 1/2" wide piece of Poplar. I'm going to start by making the sliding runner To do that, I'm going to cut a
slot along the edge of this board about an inch deep and about half the thickness of the board.

Here's the set-up I'm using. I've got my zero-clearance insert plate in my saw I've got my fence moved over to half the thickness of this board. and I've got a feather board here which will press the board against the fence. I don't normally put a feather board on the outfeed side of the blade But in this case, I think it will
help keep the wood from coming out.

Making that slot is really the trickiest cut of this whole project. To make my dovetails, I'm setting my blade to 15 degrees. I've lowered the blade back down and I can move my fence over I've drawn a couple lines here to indicate
where I'm going to make these cuts. For the next cut, I need to spin the board around this way and this is also one of the rare occasions where
it makes more sense to have my rip fence on the left side of the blade. And now I can cut the channel to fit the size of this runner. It's a lot easier to do it that way, rather than cutting the
channel first and trying to cut the runner down to size. With my blade still set at that 15 degree angle I can lower it down to where it's the same height as my runner. And flip it around and adjust my fence. Now I can straighten out my blade and
cut out the inside of that channel.

Quick show of hands! Who saw what I did wrong with those cuts? Yeah, I made those bevels the wrong way. So yeah, that kind of a sliding dovetail doesn't exactly work very well. I think I've got enough wood on this side
so I can make the correct dovetail. Well, I discovered on my second time around that I don't need
to straighten that blade back out to gouge out that groove. And that's the way it's supposed to fit. My incompetence, saving YOU time and money! Now assuming you don't make the same mistake I made you'll have plenty of extra wood to rip this down to size. Okay, that's better. That fits into that channel just fine. Now again, if you didn't make that same mistake I made, you'll have plenty of extra wood here to make the sliding, locking mechanism. I don't have any more poplar, but I do have a
piece of cherry that's going to work out fine And you know what that means: EXTRA FANCY! It's a 3/4" thick piece of cherry that
I'm going to saddle over the compass.

I need to cut out a notch about like this. I'm going to use my crosscut sled to make that notch and I'll raise the blade up the same height as the compass bar. That seems like a pretty good fit It's got a little bit of play in it and it's not too tight. I'll cut a thin strip off the remainder of that board. And I'll glue these two pieces together. This hole is slightly smaller than a quarter inch diameter. I picked up this 1/4" diameter thumbscrew that I'll just twist into that hole. This will just cut its own inside threads. On one side of the channel, I'm drilling a hole for the pencil. I've discovered I can't drill a hole that's a perfect size for all pencils. Even though they look alike, some slide through really easily and other types of pencils have a more snug fit. So what I want to do is put a
couple of set screws on each side. These are half inch wood screws.

I'm drilling a pilot hole for the nail so it won't split this runner. It's important to note that this runner is slightly
higher than the sides of the channel. So when this piece goes on, it'll clamp down and grab that. So all you need to do is drop a pencil into that hole and tighten up these set screws. That holds it into place Now I can put this on and slide the rail into that channel. Then I'll just tighten that down to whatever diameter I need. If I need a circle that's smaller than that, All I need to do is flip this around. I want to thank Jay Kopanski one more time for sending me his shop-made compass and inspiring me to build this one. And I want to take a moment to thank all
of you who subscribe to my YouTube channel. This week I hit a milestone. A quarter of a million subscribers to Woodworking for Mere Mortals! That just is mind boggling to me because I
remember when I hit my first 1,000 subscribers I think I probably said the same thing then,
that I was just blown away by fact So thank you all for making Woodworking for Mere mortals a success.

I really can't do it without you and all of your support. And if you're new to this channel, welcome! And I hope you subscribe too. I have new woodworking videos every Friday on this channel. Thanks for watching and I'll see you next week..

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