A Little Geometry

Here’s a small commission for another artist, who needs a 36″ table surface. She’ll be learning lots of new skills, including how to apply edges and pour epoxy. She doesn’t need to learn to cut plywood. She had the retailer make the first cuts so that I could start with a 38″ square. I had to mark the circle. So… I used a board to strike lines corner to corner, to find the center. Didn’t we do something like this in tenth grade? Those of you who were good in math did this in 9th grade: opposite angles are equal, two lines can only intersect at one point… Once I had an approximate center, I used the state-of-the-art String Method. This is, by the way, the fussiest part of the operation, to get the loop to be exactly 36″ around and thus 18″ long. I put a thumbtack where X marks the spot.

A piece that size weighs over 15 pounds and it’s awkward to get through the saw even though the blade has no difficulty cutting the material. I did a rough cut, staying outside the lines, to decrease the bulk. Was I going to be able to get those corners through the saw throat? Well, I could have subtracted “r” (18″) from the full distance from the center to the point, that being 1/2, of course, of the square root of A squared plus B squared… I measured it.

Some woodworkers build extension tables for their bandsaws, and some of those also install a sliding pin so that they can put a small hole in a board and then spin the board on the pin for a perfect circle. I am not one of those woodworkers. But I have a rolling table, as you well know if you’ve read my entries about putting wheels on everything. I have a former drawer which, on top of the table, gives me a surface as tall as the bandsaw table. Thus I can put the weight of the plywood up on the table and move it easily.

Only one splinter.

Now I’ll wait until I know more about the legs for this table. I’ve put the cut corners aside to create pads where the legs will attach, to allow for better connection. So far, so good.

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