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Am I looking for a "protractor"?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by INVISIBLEKID, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Might be a thread for the Garage Journal,but gotta ask here...... So I make holes in numerous things....(keep it clean 'cause I need an answer:D). Basically a fixed point at one end(spike,screw,what have you,) and a sliding other "point" to make a circumference.... circle. Would like something say from 2'' to 6'' or larger. Basically i've been to hardware stores,and have to describe the ol'e movie deal where the bad or good guy makes a hole in a window in a perfect circle....Get it? Hope not to sound dumber than I am,but that's the way I can describe it. I keep making my own which works out fine everytime,but i'de like to get a "real" tool that would have a slide in it for numerous dimmentions. I know there out there,and a lot of HAMBER'S use them,just want the correct name,and possibly where to get one.
    Thanks,and go easy on the uninformed!
  2. TomWar
    Joined: Jun 11, 2006
    Posts: 727


    If what you want to do is "Draw" a circle, I have a set of trammel points that go on a dowel. One end is a sharp point the other holds a pencil you can adjust it from about an inch up to as long as your dowel.
  3. RopeSeals???
    Joined: Jul 2, 2007
    Posts: 444


    Like this?

    Compass Dividers

    Beam Compass

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  4. phlyntstone
    Joined: May 22, 2011
    Posts: 25

    from Texas

    its called a compass
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  5. No, buddy you need a set of DIVIDERS, not a protractor. Believe it or not Harbor Frieght has a very good set and they are stainless steel. Belive it or not, NOT made in China, but India. They are really good ones with a steel scribe that can be replaced with a small lead pencil tip too. I paid $10 for mine and have had them for over 10 years. They are quite precise too, and in no way junk. I'm a Engineer, and highly recommend them, best of luck, TR
  6. Kornflake
    Joined: Jan 7, 2012
    Posts: 8

    from Pella IA

    You can get a compass at any dollar store. May not be great quality, but it will work for circles up to about a 3.5" radius.
  7. I went on the H/F site, the new ones are diffrent than what I have, probably not the same quality as the ones I have, but you decide what you need. Part # 96439 for the 6", and 96440 for the 12". If your going to use them only a few times, this might be the deal for you, both less than a 10 spot,

    Nice pictures by ropeseals, TR
  8. Yes! The bottom pic is what I was trying to describe! I bought one like in the top pic but it didn't have the thumbscrew to hold a scribe, would rather use that than a pencil.Plus, I'de rather be able to scribe "flat" than have angles.... The bottom is the deal. Just thought there had to be one out there....Say a one foot ruller with a slot down the middle. One end fixed,the slot for adjustability.-Thanks!
  9. Thanks TR! I will check that out! I knew I'de get the info!
  10. FWIW, dividers also come in INSIDE and OUTSIDE types. These are made for Inside Diameters and Outside diameters of many types of objects. They differ from a set of calipers because they do not have a scale to read from. They are simply designed to " transfer " the dimension of what you are measuring to a scale { ruler }, and you would read your dmension from the scale. Not something for accurate and critical work of course, TR
  11. realkustom51
    Joined: Nov 14, 2005
    Posts: 664


    I have a trick.
    I went to a sign making place and got them to cut some nice square and rectangle shapes out of flexible magnetic sign material. I chose white for the color so I could use a sharpie marker to "ID" them. I center punched my holes in the flexible magnetic material and then made the holes more visible with a sharpie.
    Now I walk up to the job, throw the magnetic sign on my project, then use a level to place in the right place, then "prick" my holes for drilling.

    Only works for steel though. Make sure you lay them flat for storage. Watch out for drill and grinding dust. Cold weather makes them kinda stiff too.

    Accuracy is surprisingly good. The magnetic signs can flex but will not stretch. I have some that are now 20 years old.
  12. Understand completelly. Sometimes(not always) I have to be 50 thou or more over,so critical doesnt always apply. BUT,calipers have been my friend for a while:D
  13. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,712

    from Burton, MI

    In a pinch a piece of paper ( poster board works great) can be used. Pushpin at the inside of the arc and whatever for the outside. Just measure carefully and let er rip!
  14. realkustom51
    Joined: Nov 14, 2005
    Posts: 664


    Also the good thing about a cheap trammel is that you can modify it. I have one that slides over any 3/8 round stock.


  15. Actually,a good idea for "fixed diameters" ,and I just happen to have a bunch of it! I'll let my bud cut it on his machine for perfect fit,but an excellent idea to have several dia's stored for future use.

    Thanks to all that have answered my Q!

  16. That looks like a nice piece there- Do you know who might carry it?
  17. realkustom51
    Joined: Nov 14, 2005
    Posts: 664

  18. 201
    Joined: Dec 17, 2002
    Posts: 344


    I have a set like realkustom showed and the point holder can be switched out with a holder that takes lead from mechanical pencils.
  19. Never2low
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,118


  20. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,529


    I use a yard stick that I drilled holes through at each inch mark and at zero. Just stick a pin in the zero hole and a pencil at the radius and draw the circle.
  21. designs that work
    Joined: Aug 29, 2005
    Posts: 411

    designs that work

    General tool makes a circle cutter which is very similar to a beam compass and is great for boring different size holes. You don't need to buy a bunch of hole saws.
  22. barry wny
    Joined: Dec 31, 2009
    Posts: 451

    barry wny

    Office Max has drafting tools where I get my stuff. There was an ol timey archetuctual engineer in town that had a small store in front with all the real stuff they used, sadly they fall to the times.

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