MAKE A PRECISION TOOL WITH HAMMER, FILE & FIRE
In Forging A Compass, expert blacksmith Peter Ross walks you through the steps–at the forge and the workbench–to create a reproduction 18th-Century square-head compass. Working with a coal forge, an anvil and a handful of files, Peter uses traditional blacksmithing techniques to forge the pieces, then assemble them and file the surfaces to create a beautiful, functional woodworking tool. You might imagine it takes high-end production machinery to make precision woodworking tools. But as our ancestors showed centuries ago, you can produce delicate and dead-accurate instruments with the most basic of tools.
About Peter Ross:
Peter Ross was introduced to blacksmith work while in high school, starting a lifelong interest in historic ironwork and the methods used to produce it two centuries ago. After attending the Rhode Island School of Design, Ross worked under Dick Everett, an accomplished smith specializing in the reproduction of 18th century work. In 1979 Ross became a journeyman blacksmith at Colonial Williamsburg, and three years later was made master of the shop. For the next 25 years Ross studied surviving artifacts and worked to re-discover forgotten historic methods. Today, Ross operates his own company making holdfasts, compasses and other tools for woodworkers, including Roy Underhill and Christopher Schwarz.