Varied curves from modified fairing sticks

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As a high school science teacher, I often experiment in my shop. Recently, I found that varying the height of the traditional fairing stick, as shown in the photo left, creates irregular yet controllable curves. That’s because the wider parts of the stick resist bending more, resulting in a broader curve there. The illustrations above show some fairing-stick shapes and their resulting curves. 

The top stick, a traditional same-height fairing stick, results in the parabolic shape shown. But cut the stick wider in the center and you achieve a more circular curve­—see second example. The third stick with a slight taper creates an irregular curve. And exaggerating that taper (fourth stick) increases the asymmetry. The variations are endless!

—Tod Jervey, Powell, Ohio

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