I don’t often need to use my trammel set, but every once in a while I do need to
layout a curve beyond the reach of my largest dividers. I found this set in an
antique shop about 25 years ago. They were laying, dismantled, in a
patternmaker’s tool chest that had been well plundered without regard to whether
the tool was complete or not. There was a full set of curved bottoms but the
plane body was missing. The trammel bodies were there as was the beam, but no
points. I brought the trammel parts and a user made 14 inch mahogany bevel home
This is a big set, the beam is 31 inches long. So I made the points six inches
long as that seemed to fit the scale of the thing. I found some mild steel rod
that fit the brass clamps. Holding one end in a vice I filed the other end to a
four sided taper ending in a point. That then became an eight sided taper and
then sixteen. You know the drill. Then I chucked the tapered points into a drill
press an ran the file against the spinning point till it was all nicely rounded.
Then polished with fine papers. Being finely polished, even after all these
years there has never been a spec of rust. One nice feature of the trammel is
that you can replace the point with a pencil when needed and it fits just fine.
Photos are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/77280442@N.../albums/721577199832
The last pic in the album is an early trammel set. I always thot they were
Stanley, but looking at the drawing in Walter’s big book they appear to be
different. I find no manuf. marks. Anybody recognize these? FYI, the short
center shaft screwed into the beam is a pencil holder that can replace one of
I saw that last set at an auction in Robesonia PA probably 5-6 years ago. I
didn't get the bid. Buyer did think that they were Stanley.
On Fri, Oct 8, 2021, 15:10 Bill Ghio via groups.io
Do I trammel? Of course! I'm a sucker for them
Many years ago Satanley trammels were 100+ on the 'bay, but on the drafting
tool side you could get micro adjustable steel beam trammels for 15% of
that. That has changed now.
After many years, I've got a fair number of them.
From trammels you may likely translate into ellipsographs!
Fair warning....tis another slippery slope....been there and done that.
That's lovely Scott! You must really get happy when a compassing job comes
best to you; gam in OlyWA/USA
How horrible it is to have so many people killed!---And what a blessing one
cares for none of them!
On Saturday, October 9, 2021, 09:19:03 AM PDT, scottg wrote:
Wow Bill, this is a cool set! Massive!
I see trammel fixtures but seldom a beam to go with, and this is a
really honkin big outfit!
I had one lonely orphan clamp and decided I needed an "in between"
(I have lots of regular compasses and an ordinary Starrett trammel set)
So I grabbed a scrap of rosewood and built this around it.
Box 409 Happy Camp, Ca 96039
Nice save, Bill!
I have a set similar to your last pictures. They came mounted on an 18"
beam, likely walnut, and stamped "E.J.Young". I probably found them 20
years ago in a garage sale in St. Paul. (Also possibly from a MWTC meeting,
but I think I'd remember that more.)
I haven't cleaned these up in all that time, but I dug them out of storage
to compare to your picture. One point looks soldered in; the other is
threaded for removal and I don't have the pencil holder.
A little north of Seattle
On Fri, Oct 8, 2021 at 12:10 PM Bill Ghio via groups.io wrote:
> On Oct 8, 2021, at 3:10 PM, Bill Ghio via groups.io
> I don’t often need to use my trammel set, but every once in a while I do need
to layout a curve beyond the reach of my largest dividers.
I have not had the good fortune to find a nice set of trammel points in the
wild. I was inspired by a beautiful set made by Brian Buckner. When I bought a
miniature metal lathe with a mill column, I decided to make my own.
This was a learning project, as I have had no formal machinist training. I made
two hardened steel points, and I also made a drafting lead holder patterned
after my drafting compass. All of the parts and screws were machined from either
bar stock or recycled materials. It doesn’t have the elegance of the early
Stanley trammels or the ones Brian made, but it gets the job done.
Still working with those miniature machining tools, and wishing I had room for a
larger lathe and mill.
David Sobel wrote:
>I have not had the good fortune to find a nice set of trammel points
>in the wild. I was inspired by a beautiful set made by Brian
>Buckner. When I bought a miniature metal lathe with a mill column, I
>decided to make my own.
Those came out really well. I'm impressed.