Introduction: Simple Homemade Compass.

Hello again!  I'm back to bring you my instructable on a simple compass.  It is fairly accurate and easy to make, but needs water to work.

Step 1: Materials.

Lid from milk jug or other drink.
Paper clip or needle.
Strong magnets(I got mine from an old speaker)
Pliers/wire cutters.
Scissors.
Awl.
The good old Sharpie.
 

Step 2: Magnetize.

Straighten the paper clip so it as straight as you can get it.  Use the pliers to help.  Now take your straightened paper clip or needle and stroke it on the magnet in ONE direction ONLY.  As you may have gathered, this is important.  Look to the pictures for help.  When you have reached the end of the paper clip, lift it off and start over.  Do this 10-20 times.

Step 3: Test.

Fill a sink or bowl with water and float the now magnetized paper clip on the milk jug lid. One end should point north.  Mark this end with the Sharpie. 

Step 4: Cut the Lid.

This part is a little hard to explain so use the pictures.  Make two cuts about 1/2 inch apart.  Fold this cut section down far enough to cut it off.  From here cut all the way around the inner circle of the lid.  Like I said, it's hard to explain. 

Step 5: Insert the Paper Clip.

To insert the paper clip, you first need to punch a hole with awl. If you are using a needle just push it through with a thimble.  Punch a hole just big enough for the paper clip to fit through.  Then go around to the other side and punch another hole.  Once you have the holes push the clip through until about 1/8 inch pokes out the other side.  Now on the other side use the wire cutters to cut the clip 1/8 inch from what's left of the lid.  Now your compass is done!  Toss it in a survival kit or something.   More 'ibles soon!

Comments

author
Phil B made it! (author)2010-12-14

In the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, Ohio there are displays related to daily life among POW's in different wars. The WW II display for US fliers imprisoned in Germany showed how the men had made compasses they could use after escaping. They did not have plastic bottle caps, but did have phonograph records. They heated part of a record over a candle flame until it was softened. They pressed a small cup with a blunt piece of broomstick, pressing it into an indentation in a piece of wood. They cut a disc of thin cardboard to fit in the pressed cup. They pushed a sewing needle into the cardboard so it almost lay on top of the cardboard disc. They magnetized the needle. All they needed to do was to place some water into the pressed cup and float the cardboard disc with the magnetized needle on the water. It is very similar to what you are showing, but a little different.

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Bio: As you have perhaps noticed, I have a fascination with weaponry. I particularly enjoy making and using old martial arts weapons, especially the meteor hammer ... More »
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