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Sewing needle into a compass

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by DKR, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe


    A fun project if you have kiddos. Having them 'make' their own compass, then use it in the filed is a great leaning opportunity and a way to further strengthen those bonds that make a family - a family.

    The video offers a good way to do this bit of science.

    needle compass without a magnet or battery
  2. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Good knowledge to have. That's a very reliable technique.

    A magnetized needle can be stored in the seam of a knife sheathe, the top edge of a boot, the spine of a wallet--or taped to a credit card, plastic window, or inside the zippered cash pocket.
    The needle can be used to extract splinters, sew buttons back on, fix small tears in clothing, and even to sew up wounds in an emergency.

    Carry a yard or so of strong thread in a pinch of aluminum foil or a gum wrapper, and you will be always be able to get the most out of your needle.

    Another way to make a quick compass is to tie the needle to a thread (balanced to hang level) and let it point. That isn't reliable in wind, but you can lower the needle into a bottle and cover the mouth with your thumb. That works fine, even in a driving rain.

    Use a timber hitch to tie the thread to the needle. It will be secure, adjustable, and stay adjusted. You can make the needle hang level very easily.
    STGThndr and Hanzo like this.
  3. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    you can magnetize a needle end by stroking it on certain smooth cloth like silk - and it'll float piggyback on a small leaf or ride the water surface with natural body oil found on the scalp ....

    I'll make sure to have a compass >>>>
    SB21 and Hanzo like this.
  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Did it as a cub scout oh so many years ago. Needle, magnet, cork and a bowl of water. Scout master had us make a compass, lay out a pointer to the North Star at night and paint it on the parking lot, also used some trick with a stick, shadow, two separate sighting times and get east west, then use a string to make a right angle and that gives true north, forgot how that worked, and showed the difference between true north and compass north. Guy was a WW2 vet and this was 1947, so he had a healthy respect for wood craft skills, we figured out tree heights, distances across rivers, made maps, sundials, hike at night with a map, compass, flash light and dead reckoning. It is amazing how much of it stuck.
  5. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    I grok that. My BSA Troop was run by combat vets. It was a true paramilitary uniformed youth organization as first envision by Gen Powell.
    offgrittyt and ghrit like this.
  6. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Did that with my children and grand children. They liked it.
  7. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Goodas long as the earth has a dipole and strongish field.
  8. offgrittyt

    offgrittyt You gonna eat that?

    awesome books, thank you for that
  9. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    If you are very, very careful, you can float the needle without leaves, cardboard or other boats. Yes, I KNOW this. The key is to make use of surface tension. If you can find it, mercury will work better, much higher surface tension to go with higher density.
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