Although there are many different styles of plumb bobs, they all, in essence, do the same thing: they enable you to establish a vertical line. Plumb bobs are one of the earliest tools know to man.
The Egyptians made use of them building the pyramids, and the essential design of the bob has remained unchanged since about 1500 BC.
You can use a solid block of wood from a single species (any hardwood will do nicely) or you can glue up a lamination of several species, as I did. I used a piece of acrylic for the toe. The acrylic is glued on with a tenon for added strength. This way there is more surface being glued than just butt gluing the toe onto the wood body. Most bobs follow basically the same shape, although you can alter that slightly.
Size tenon on acrylic toe
Project parts ready to assemble
Turn bead on toe
Turn tenon on top
Finish toe with skew chisel
Finish top with skew chisel
Drill hole for brass eyelet
TIP: Beads can be cut with almost any tool, but the skew is the best at cutting beads cleanly. If you cut the bead properly, no sanding will be required.
Besides making a functional measuring instrument, this project is a great practice exercise in tool work.