How to Repair a Danfoth Compass

by Eric Cedric

Danforth Compasses are made for marine use. If you have a Danforth in need of repair, use a few methods of returning the compass to its original state. Some repairs are simple enough to do at home, such as refilling the compass fluid, fixing the bracket mounts and tightening the angle pivots. Danforth Compasses are now owned by Viking Optics, which also sells replacement parts for Danforth repairs.

1.

Work over a sink and unscrew the retaining bolts on the clear dome of the Danforth compass. Do not remove the dome, just pull it up to let the remaining fluid drain out of the compass.

2.

Grip the compass direction plates with tweezers. Do not use your fingertips as they have oil on them which will affect the weight of the plates. If the plate pivot is off the center rod, put it back onto the rod. There is a small hole in the center of the plate that fits onto the rod.

3.

Tighten the dome back onto the compass. Tighten all screws.

4.

Slide the fluid intake nozzle open using the tip of a flathead screwdriver. These nozzles are on the lower side of the compass.

5.

Insert the funnel tip into the intake nozzle and fill the compass dome with the fluid-oil. Consult your manual for the precise amount of compass fluid needed for your particular Danforth compass. Close the intake nozzle once the dome is full.

6.

Wipe down the compass with a rag. Tighten the pivots and brackets with a screwdriver.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver
  • Tweezers
  • Compass fluid
  • Small tipped funnel
  • Rags
  • Epoxy

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.