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Woodworking with P. Michael Henderson


Compass Rose with 45 degree triangle

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A while back, I published a tutorial on making a compass rose. That compass rose was easy to do but required a special 22.5 degree template, which many people probably didn't have.

After thinking about the problem, I came up with a slightly different compass rose which can be done with a standard 45 degree triangle. While this compass rose doesn't require any special tools, it's a bit more tedious to do - but anyone with some experience working with veneer should be able to do it.


If you find this tutorial useful, I'd really appreciate if you would send me an e-mail with the subject line of "Compass Rose 2" so I can get some indication of how many people are reading it.  Here's a picture of the original compass rose and the compass rose of this tutorial.

The original Compass Rose which requires a 22.5 degree template.

The new Compass Rose which only requires a 45 degree triangle

I'll start, as I did before, by reminding you of the two primary rules of veneer work:

1. Always work (cut) from the glue face.
2. Veneer tape only goes on the show face.

We'll start by looking at the tools and supplies required for this project:

From the left we have:

  1. Two different colors of veneer. Here, I'm using holly and wenge.

  2. A 45 degree triangle.

  3. Blue painter's tape. I mostly use 3/4" tape.

  4. A pencil.

  5. Veneer tape.

  6. A sponge in water to wet the veneer tape.

  7. A straight edge.

  8. Two Japanese marking knives. You can use almost any knife of your choosing.

  9. A veneer saw.

  10. A sanding block. This is a piece of MDF with P150 sandpaper glued to it.

  11. A 6" rule. You can use a 12" if that's what you have.

  12. A compass for drawing circles.

  13. And, of course, a cutting board.

While I chose wenge veneer for this rose, I want to warn you that wenge is a "difficult veneer".  It's hard to cut and splits easily. If you've never worked with it before, I recommend using something like walnut instead.

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D. R. Barton

L. & I. J. White


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