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GENERAL DISCUSSIONS => Other Tools & Accessories => Topic started by: Michael Kellough on June 01, 2021, 05:19 PM

Title: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Michael Kellough on June 01, 2021, 05:19 PM
Is there such a thing? It seems all the “good” compasses only hold the most primitive drawing instrument of all, a wood clinched led pencil.

I want a tool with a strong joint that can securely hold a variety of different diameter instruments. Because want a sharp clear line that doesn’t change widths. Doesn’t seem like this is too much to ask...but despite looking, nothing like it has turned up.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: allthegearnoidea on June 01, 2021, 05:27 PM
There's this:

https://www.jetpens.com/Kutsuwa-Stad-Compass-with-Mechanical-Pencil-0.5-mm-Silver/pd/9215

But essentially what I think you're asking for is a normal (but solidly constructed/stiff) compass with a slightly larger diameter retaining ring with a screw in it. Which have I also unsuccessfully look for in the past no no avail.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: rvieceli on June 01, 2021, 05:28 PM
Michael here's a link to a fairly recent analysis of drafting compasses.

https://www.artnews.com/art-news/product-recommendations/best-drafting-compass-1202690854/

The top three have a single lead for the marking side. They also come with an adapter to clamp in a pen or pencil or even a Sharpie.

Ron
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Michael Kellough on June 01, 2021, 05:41 PM
There's this:

https://www.jetpens.com/Kutsuwa-Stad-Compass-with-Mechanical-Pencil-0.5-mm-Silver/pd/9215

But essentially what I think you're asking for is a normal (but solidly constructed/stiff) compass with a slightly larger diameter retaining ring with a screw in it. Which have I also unsuccessfully look for in the past no no avail.

This is the closest in that it will make a fine line and I can choose the lead. Despite lacking a couple of desirable I’ll buy one them.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Michael Kellough on June 01, 2021, 05:49 PM
The good old General pencil compass (https://smile.amazon.com/General-Tools-842-Precision-Compass/dp/B00004T7R7/ref=sxin_10?asc_contentid=amzn1.osa.4e4ae58a-17e5-4573-9bae-7c047c388a80.ATVPDKIKX0DER.en_US&asc_contenttype=article&ascsubtag=amzn1.osa.4e4ae58a-17e5-4573-9bae-7c047c388a80.ATVPDKIKX0DER.en_US&creativeASIN=B00004T7R7&cv_ct_cx=drafting+compass&cv_ct_id=amzn1.osa.4e4ae58a-17e5-4573-9bae-7c047c388a80.ATVPDKIKX0DER.en_US&cv_ct_pg=search&cv_ct_we=asin&cv_ct_wn=osp-single-source-earns-comm&dchild=1&keywords=Drafting+compas&linkCode=oas&pd_rd_i=B00004T7R7&pd_rd_r=639b265b-7107-436b-92e5-a8da2719d730&pd_rd_w=n0J8h&pd_rd_wg=cUKAn&pf_rd_p=2a3243ce-188f-426b-9a7c-cd22d207971e&pf_rd_r=A9D6SRRSX4R5HYMV0S55&qid=1622583894&sr=1-3-64f3a41a-73ca-403a-923c-8152c45485fe&tag=pur0e40b-20) would work if they just included a larger diameter loop. Might have to just make one. Not much more involved than bending a nail and threading the end.

Or maybe just opening up the existing loop...
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: allthegearnoidea on June 01, 2021, 05:53 PM
You could even possibly get away with bending the standard clip open a little wider...
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Michael Kellough on June 01, 2021, 05:56 PM
You could even possibly get away with bending the standard clip open a little wider...

Looks like we had the same thought simultaneously!
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: allthegearnoidea on June 01, 2021, 05:57 PM
Ah yes. Post back with how you get on and I will give it a go if you're successful.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: allthegearnoidea on June 01, 2021, 06:01 PM
Ah yes. Post back with how you get on and I will give it a go if you're successful.

Ha! they're £30 in the UK so what's that - $40? Maybe i don't need one that much! [blink]
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Michael Kellough on June 01, 2021, 07:35 PM
There is another way to go with the General compass, use a Fine point black pen refill (https://www.jetpens.com/Uni-ball-Signo-UMR-1-28-Gel-Pen-Refill-0.28-mm-Black/pd/1653) and make a holder that fits the compass. I’ll try that too.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Cheese on June 01, 2021, 07:55 PM
I prefer using this older model Starrett.

1. The metal point & a traditional lead pencil for paper, soft woods & hard woods.

2. The metal point & another metal point for scribing/marking hard woods.

3. The metal point & another metal point plus Dykem for metals.

A very important added bonus round is that the 2 thumb wheels located on the bottom leg combine to be a fine adjuster that allows you to increase/decrease the diameter of the compass by thousandths of an inch.

Important...I would NOT recommend the Rotape Tape Compass, it's a real POS.

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Mr. Amateur on June 01, 2021, 08:11 PM
FastCap makes a pretty nice compass.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: ChuckM on June 01, 2021, 10:06 PM
Interestingly, I just needed to scribe the other day with a compass. I used one (marked Hong Kong) that can be fitted with a lead or a pin.

Another older compass I have is marked Eagle Pencil Co. No. 576 New York. Patent Jan 1st 1901.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: usernumber1 on June 01, 2021, 11:17 PM
Staedtler has like 4 pages of compasses.
Some hold drafting pens, pencils, second needle, universal holder, etc etc

https://www.staedtler.com/intl/en/products/technical-drawing-instruments/compasses/

I'm surprised you haven't heard of them?
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Michael Kellough on June 01, 2021, 11:50 PM
Staedtler has like 4 pages of compasses.
Some hold drafting pens, pencils, second needle, universal holder, etc etc

https://www.staedtler.com/intl/en/products/technical-drawing-instruments/compasses/

I'm surprised you haven't heard of them?

I have Staedtler compasses, among others, but I haven’t looked at their offerings in years. Maybe they’re updated? But no, essentially the same design for the last 70 years. None of them hold a mechanical pencil let alone a ink pen or Sharpie type marker.

Maybe I spoke to soon, depending on the capacity of the “universal adapter”. Can’t find any specs for it.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Bob D. on June 02, 2021, 04:24 AM
Jump over to Lee Valleys' site, you might find something that will work for you.

I found this article on the Instructables site, but the solution is such a hack I would not consider it. MacGyver could have fashioned something better than this with his pocket knife and some chewing gum. :-)

https://www.instructables.com/Marker-Pen-Compass/

But, that black plastic compass shown (looks like it's a FastCap item but they don't call it out) looks like it would be a good candidate to modify for a proper holder for a Sharpie. You could remove the existing holder and make a new one from wood to hold the sharpie which would look and function much better than the hack in the article.

If you jump over to the FastCap site, there are some detail photos of the AccuScribe Pro that show it holding a Sharpie and a mechanical pencil. Only problem is this being a scribe tool it has limited capacity as a compass. I've never seen this tool in person, no doubt some of you have one, but it looks to be 3D printed from the photos I have viewed.

Doesn't seem like a stretch for FastCap to make a compass of this same basic design but with longer legs for greater capacity and a few other tweaks. I bet it would sell.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Bob D. on June 02, 2021, 06:32 AM
Or download this from Thingaverse and print it out.

Sharpie Compass

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2760077
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: SDWW2019 on June 02, 2021, 08:59 AM
I purchased this one from Amazon a while ago https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TC3NNTH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (Offidea - ~$13). Comes in two sizes, locks in place, and is sturdy. It also holds both a PICA pencil and any 50-cent mechanical pencil from Bic or Papermate. It definitely does not fit any of the higher end pencils I have, but I'm sure it will hold many of the random pens and pencils in our home.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: SRSemenza on June 02, 2021, 09:15 AM
I have an older Accuscribe. The holder has been changed since I bought mine. There is a reducing insert for pencils. Remove the insert for Sharpie. The one I have is for a standard hexagon pencil. See the video on the Fastcap site.

Works fine as a compass, though you can't "twirl" it from the top like a drafting compass for a complete circle. More of a two handed operation. Which is no big deal since I find that on most wood / building material surfaces I need two hands to keep it in place for anything more than about a 1/3 arc anyway. Good for about a 6" radius like most compasses.

The one I have is not 3D printed, and I doubt current production versions would be either.

Seth
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Bob D. on June 02, 2021, 10:58 AM
"The one I have is not 3D printed, and I doubt current production versions would be either."

Thanks for that clarification. I based that comment on the appearance in the photos. The surface
has the look of a 3D printed object. I did not mean that to imply it was inferior, just that if that
was the method of manufacture it might be possible to make a compass with greater capacity
than the AccuScribe.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: usernumber1 on June 02, 2021, 01:40 PM
Staedtler has like 4 pages of compasses.
Some hold drafting pens, pencils, second needle, universal holder, etc etc

https://www.staedtler.com/intl/en/products/technical-drawing-instruments/compasses/

I'm surprised you haven't heard of them?

I have Staedtler compasses, among others, but I haven’t looked at their offerings in years. Maybe they’re updated? But no, essentially the same design for the last 70 years. None of them hold a mechanical pencil let alone a ink pen or Sharpie type marker.

Maybe I spoke to soon, depending on the capacity of the “universal adapter”. Can’t find any specs for it.

lol yes. some kits include the mechanical pencil and some include their fine point sharpies. been the same for 70years as you said
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: SRSemenza on June 02, 2021, 07:30 PM
"The one I have is not 3D printed, and I doubt current production versions would be either."

Thanks for that clarification. I based that comment on the appearance in the photos. The surface
has the look of a 3D printed object. I did not mean that to imply it was inferior, just that if that
was the method of manufacture it might be possible to make a compass with greater capacity
than the AccuScribe.

I am just guessing, that 3D for production of plastic parts is probably not the fastest or most cost effective.

I might get a new one so that I can put something other than a pencil in it. Might be handy.


Seth
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Cheese on June 03, 2021, 02:35 AM

I am just guessing, that 3D for production of plastic parts is probably not the fastest or most cost effective.


You are correct because 3D printing was never meant to be a production method for quantities larger than 10-15 items. The reason it came into being was it was to be a replacement for the traditional methods used for rapid prototyping. Prior to that, prototyping was done exclusively on traditional machine tools, knee mills, lathes, shapers, surface grinders et al. Check out some of Darcy's equipment, that's how engineering/manufacturing models were constructed in the formative years of our industrialization.

The only problem being, was that those methods were time intensive but more importantly operator intensive. If it took 16 hours to produce a prototype...that meant it took 16 operator hours to produce a prototype. The linkage between a prototype model and the machine operator was a direct one.

Enter 3D printing where you'd prepare the equipment, load the model config and then just walk away. Sixteen hours later you'd have a prototype that was suitable for engineering/manufacturing analysis. The machinist, in the interim, was free to work on other projects which sped other projects along. 

The first in-house 3D printer I became familiar with cost $125,000 in 1996, it had the same sized foot print as the current models but  it was a God-send. So it could be said that 3D printing has now progressed into an arena it was never initially designed to serve. Small quantities of manufactured product rather than limited quantities of rapid prototypes.  [smile]

It's all very interesting to see how the the simple inclusion of semiconductors into manufacturing equipment has changed the manufacturing world...as well as everything else.

Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: tomp on June 03, 2021, 06:47 AM
This set on Amazon Compass Set (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MJVSB7D/ref=sspa_dk_detail_6?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07MJVSB7D&pd_rd_w=5rqDO&pf_rd_p=91afecf5-8b2e-41e2-9f11-dc6992c6eaa1&pd_rd_wg=PxVTU&pf_rd_r=VR3W29MTFEZD0CS9HGGE&pd_rd_r=e4592e37-fed0-4be5-a306-408d6fb2a51d&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyRkE3RldCUlBONkpCJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwODcxMjE3MTNIN05QNkVTUkI5USZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNTk4NTU1MzBHV1dHWExWRVY2MSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbCZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=) shows using a Sharpie in the provided adapter. I was a draftsman for many years, compasses by Mars and others came with adapters to hold technical (ink) pens - e,g, Rapidograph - so you could draw lines of varying widths. I probably have a couple still in the box I brought home when I cleaned my desk out on retirement.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: AstroKeith on June 03, 2021, 07:08 AM

I am just guessing, that 3D for production of plastic parts is probably not the fastest or most cost effective.


You are correct because 3D printing was never meant to be a production method for quantities larger than 10-15 items. The reason it came into being was it was to be a replacement for the traditional methods used for rapid prototyping. Prior to that, prototyping was done exclusively on traditional machine tools, knee mills, lathes, shapers, surface grinders et al. Check out some of Darcy's equipment, that's how engineering/manufacturing models were constructed in the formative years of our industrialization.

The only problem being, was that those methods were time intensive but more importantly operator intensive. If it took 16 hours to produce a prototype...that meant it took 16 operator hours to produce a prototype. The linkage between a prototype model and the machine operator was a direct one.

Enter 3D printing where you'd prepare the equipment, load the model config and then just walk away. Sixteen hours later you'd have a prototype that was suitable for engineering/manufacturing analysis. The machinist, in the interim, was free to work on other projects which sped other projects along. 

The first in-house 3D printer I became familiar with cost $125,000 in 1996, it had the same sized foot print as the current models but  it was a God-send. So it could be said that 3D printing has now progressed into an arena it was never initially designed to serve. Small quantities of manufactured product rather than limited quantities of rapid prototypes.  [smile]

It's all very interesting to see how the the simple inclusion of semiconductors into manufacturing equipment has changed the manufacturing world...as well as everything else.

Initially it was true that 3D was only used for prototyping and small volumes. However the ability to make parts lighter and stronger than otherwise now has driven it into mainstream manufacture. An Airbus750 has more than a 1000 3D printed parts. Of course they are not made the same way as your average home or college 3D printer!
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Packard on June 03, 2021, 08:23 AM
Groz makes three sizes for pencils; you would have to use a stick pen if you wanted  to use a pen.  A drafting pencil will probably fit too.

https://www.grozusa.com/products/wing-compass

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1310/1823/products/GROZ_01550_WingCompass_Main_1024x1024.jpg?v=1593095296)
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Bert Vanderveen on June 03, 2021, 09:46 AM
The Rotring compass set I have been schlepping with me since middle school had an add on specifically for mechanical pencils, drafting pens, etc — a ring that could be tightened and would hold anything upto maybe 14 or 15 mm. That design may still be around.

Correction: found it! Not part of that set, but still… Works with up to 12 mm, so no Sharpies. But, to be fair, I have had this for about 40 years, so no guarantee that it is still around.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Cheese on June 03, 2021, 10:05 AM
Here's what Dick Blick offers, there's about 6 or 7 that fill the multi marker capabilities test.

https://www.dickblick.com/categories/drawing/drafting/compasses/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1Z-9l8_78AIVGAutBh0t7gS8EAAYAiAAEgJHBPD_BwE
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Michael Kellough on June 03, 2021, 04:16 PM
Been sorting through my stash of drafting equipment mostly inherited from my father) and haven’t found a Staedtler compass but a bunch Alvin and Post (the Post stuff is so beautifully crafted) but none of them will do what I want. One of the Alvins will accept a proprietary Rapidograph type pen.

So I just bought a Staedtler 551 02 on eBay set. Might not hold a Sharpie but it will do most of what I want. FYI there are hundreds of listings for “lots” of drafting equipment at scrap prices.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Packard on June 03, 2021, 04:24 PM
Staedtler used to be a high end maker, but they have either transitioned to cheaper products or have parallel lines that are cheap. 

I saw my old high school drafting set ($12.00 in 1962) selling for $225.00 on Ebay.  I still have the compass, ruling pen and dividers. 
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: squall_line on June 03, 2021, 05:13 PM
I saw my old high school drafting set ($12.00 in 1962) selling for $225.00 on Ebay.  I still have the compass, ruling pen and dividers.

Even with inflation (in today's dollars, around $106.11), that's still a little more than a 100% increase in value!
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Bob D. on June 04, 2021, 06:15 AM
"Rapidograph type pen"

I have the whole set packed away somewhere. Last time I used them
was probably 1984 when I drew up floor plans of my old house.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Packard on June 04, 2021, 08:32 AM
I saw my old high school drafting set ($12.00 in 1962) selling for $225.00 on Ebay.  I still have the compass, ruling pen and dividers.

Even with inflation (in today's dollars, around $106.11), that's still a little more than a 100% increase in value!

Back when a loaf of bread was about $6.00 (2001 or so), my dad said to me complaining about the price, "Right after the war in 1944 a loaf of bread was 5¢ each.  Now it is six dollars.  If I had bought 200,000 loaves of bread back then I'd be a millionaire now."

I replied, "They might have gone moldy or stale in 55 years, don't you think?"

He retorted, "Spoil-sport". [big grin]
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Michael Kellough on June 06, 2021, 08:34 PM
This inexpensive compass holds a Sharpie and lets you draw a circle a little bigger than 12”. (https://www.amazon.com/Wenko-Lam-Professional-Compass-Geometry-Compasses-Drafting/dp/B08WPY6BKL/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=Wenko.Lam-Professional%2BCompass%2Bfor%2BGeometry&qid=1623025699&sr=8-5&th=1)

Made of “metal” and the joint is stiff enough, at least when new.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/711tqk1kSoL._AC_SL1500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Bert Vanderveen on June 07, 2021, 08:22 AM
"Rapidograph type pen"

I have the whole set packed away somewhere. Last time I used them
was probably 1984 when I drew up floor plans of my old house.


When looking for that compass I found my immense collection of drafting pens: Rapidograph, Rotrings, MecaNorma, Staedtler — some of them never used (bc you always have a favourite that works all of the time). I used to be an illustrator and layout artist and one of the jobs I had was drafting layouts for those metal cards that attach to machinery and will be stamped with serial numbers and such. Paid really well, but you had to be absolutely exact (DIN and such). Those were the times…
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Michael Kellough on June 07, 2021, 11:37 AM
I had a love/hate relationship with that kind of pen. They were by far the best at making clear consistent opaque black lines of precise width but you had to use them all the time or the ink dried and required a lot of work to restore that was often futile. Gladly technology has made them pretty much obsolete.

Currently I’m working on a commission that requires a mix of old tech and current tech. Reproduce a small unique form in a larger scale. I was tempted to suggest the client get a 3D scan done and find someone with a 6 axis CNC rig but he offered me good money to make it by hand so I’m photographing the original with a 300mm lens on a Micro4/3 camera (makes 600mm equivalent) then uploading the images into an iPad Pro and tracing with a fine mechanical pencil onto very smooth tracing paper (if my old cad software could import a jpeg at high resolution I’d skip the tracing paper) then taping the tracing paper onto the screen of a MacBook Pro and using a capacitance stylus on the good sized track pad tracing into the cad app.

It works because the tracing is done at more than three times the size of the original. Once in cad I can discover all the angular relationships etc. and then print full sized (for the new scale) templates and get to work on the wood using bandsaw, lathe, drill press, belt sander, and hand tools.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Bob D. on June 07, 2021, 02:37 PM
You're right it was a PITA to clean those Rapidograph pens.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Bert Vanderveen on June 07, 2021, 04:10 PM
You're right it was a PITA to clean those Rapidograph pens.


I used an ultrasonic bath to clean them. Perfect for the purpose.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Bob D. on June 07, 2021, 04:16 PM
You're right it was a PITA to clean those Rapidograph pens.


I used an ultrasonic bath to clean them. Perfect for the purpose.

I don't think ultrasonic cleaners even existed back when I was using those pens.
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Michael Kellough on June 07, 2021, 08:13 PM
Staedtler has like 4 pages of compasses.
Some hold drafting pens, pencils, second needle, universal holder, etc etc

https://www.staedtler.com/intl/en/products/technical-drawing-instruments/compasses/

I'm surprised you haven't heard of them?

I have Staedtler compasses, among others, but I haven’t looked at their offerings in years. Maybe they’re updated? But no, essentially the same design for the last 70 years. None of them hold a mechanical pencil let alone a ink pen or Sharpie type marker.

Maybe I spoke to soon, depending on the capacity of the “universal adapter”. Can’t find any specs for it.

Bought a Staedtler compass kit with Universal Adapter. It holds a Sharpie perfectly, and anything smaller just about as well.

 Problem solved!
Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Milvus on June 08, 2021, 05:01 PM
Staedtler made one. I happen to have one my father bought 30+ years ago.

Title: Re: Drafting compass that holds a pen or mechanical pencil?
Post by: Bob D. on June 08, 2021, 09:21 PM
Don't waste your time with the Noris® 550 01/02. The 'universal adapter' as they call it will accept a regular Sharpie or a Retractable Sharpie but in both cases the lock screw can not clamp down on the pen as the threads will not engage. The screw is not threaded up to the end so only the very first thread starts to engage and that is not enough. I did a 'try before you buy' with a friends 550 compass. No joy.