The New England Pirate Museum

Make Your Own Compass

You will need a magnet, a cork, a nail, a shallow dish approximately eight or nine inches in diameter, a twelve inch square piece of oaktag, and a ballpoint pen or indelible marker.
  1. Mark the four points of the compass along the edges of the oaktag square. Include NE, SE, NW, and SW if you choose.
  2. Magnetize the nail by rubbling it, in one direction only, with one pole of the magnet.
  3. Press nail through the length of the cork until the cork is centered on the nail.
  4. Fill the dish with water and place it in the center of the oaktag square.
  5. Place cork in the shallow dish of water.
  6. Line up the north mark on the oaktag square with the pointed end of the nail.

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