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How to draw perpendicular lines
using trammel heads

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Like compasses, trammel heads can be used to construct perpendicular lines. This makes them suitable for use in the laying out stages of a range of woodworking tasks. Like compasses, trammel heads can be used to construct perpendicular lines. This makes them suitable for use in the laying out stages of a range of woodworking tasks.
   Wonkee Donkee says: 'Lines that are perpendicular to one another intersect at a right angle.'
Step 1 - Draw a primary line Draw a primary line of the desired length using a ruler or straightedge.

Step 1 – Draw primary line

Draw a primary line of the desired length using a ruler or straightedge.

Step 2 – Find midpoint

Half the length of the line to find the approximate midpoint. Mark this midpoint on the line.

This will be the point at which the secondary perpendicular line meets the primary line.

Step 4 - Set up your beam compass Set up your beam compass by clamping each of your trammel heads to a beam. The distance between the two trammels on the beam is not critical, although they should be more than half the length of the primary line apart.

Step 3 – Set up beam compass

Set up your beam compass by clamping each of your trammel heads to a beam.

The distance between the two trammels on the beam is not critical, although they should be slightly under half the length of the primary line apart.

Step 3 - Draw reference marks Draw reference marks on either side of, and an equal distance from, the midpoint mark.

Step 4 – Draw reference marks

Using your trammels, scribe arcs “A” and “B” at each end of the line from the midpoint mark.

Step 5 - Scribe two arcs Scribe an arc from each of the reference marks. The point at which the arcs intersect one another is where the perpendicular line will start.

Step 5 – Scribe two arcs

Reset your trammels so that they are slightly longer than half the length pf the primary line apart.
Scribe an arc from each of the reference marks “A” and “B”.

The point at which the arcs intersect one another is where the perpendicular line will start.

 Step 6 - Connect the point where the arcs meet to the primary line midpoint Connect this point to the midpoint on the primary line.

Step 6 – Connect points

Connect the point where the arcs meet to the midpoint on the primary line.

Step 7 - Rub out the arcs and reference marks Using an eraser, rub out the arcs and the reference marks. You will now have two lines perpendicular to one another.

Step 7 – Erase marks

Using an eraser, rub out the arcs and the reference marks.

You will now have two lines perpendicular to one another.

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