Measuring and Marking
A simple way to divide circles
It's easy to divide a circle into four equal parts. Just draw two perpendicular lines through the middle. But when you want to put five, six, or seven spokes in a wheel, how do you divide the circle into equal segments without making a lot of complicated measurements? Call your high school geometry teacher or follow along with this four-part procedure: 1. Draw line AB through the center of your circle, and divide it equally into the number of parts you want. (In the example shown, it's six.) 2. Set a compass at points A and B, scribe the two arcs as shown, and label their intersection as point C. 3. Draw a line from point C through the second mark AB and on through the outer edge of the circle, creating point D. 4. Set your compass to the distance AD and mark off equally spaced segments.
-- Vernon Raaen, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
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