If you’ve ever wanted to divide a circle into three, you can do it very easily with just a ruler and a compass. I’m working on a sculptural piece of furniture that has three blades radiating from a cylinder, and as many of you know, the Shakers have an iconic candle table which also has three legs radiating off of a cylinder, so this little trick could come in handy.
So if a circle has 360° and we want to divide it into three, how do we find the 120° of each section without a protractor? It’s really very easy. I’m going to use whole numbers to keep everything simple. My circle is 4″ in diameter. Mark the centerpoint and draw a line from one side of the circle to the other through the center.
The radius is 2″. You need to take half of the radius, in this case 1″, and mark the halfway point from the center of the circle on the centerline. Take your ruler and draw a perpendicular line from this point to the outside diameter of the circle. This will give you two points. Connect these two points to the center point and you have the circle divided into three.
If you are interested in building the Shaker Candle Table, we have a collection on sale called The Ultimate Shake Project Collection. It includes three books on CD. Click here to buy it today.