Introduction: 26 Geometry, Rulers & Patterns Workshop Tips - Featured Maker: Jimmy DiResta

Picture of 26 Geometry, Rulers & Patterns Workshop Tips - Featured Maker: Jimmy DiResta

Hi Instructables Community,

its been a while since my last release but finally here is part four of this Instructables collaboration series between Jimmy Diresta and me. One of the reasons why it took longer to create this Instructable was the use of GIF's created to help illustrate some of the tips & tricks. Some of them are relatively large in terms of file size so please bear with us and be patient while the page is loading.

This time it is all about Tips and Tricks around Geometry, Rulers & Patterns.

Users of the mobile App may use this link to watch the video.

Please check out Jimmy Diresta's channel and feel free to subscribe if you like him and his projects.

Don't forget to check the last page of this Instructable for my monthly Giveaway (And while you're at it you might want to check my other Instructables or the videos on my own channel.

Please give us a like and a vote if you learn at least one new trick from this Video or Instructable ;)

Cheers Alex

Step 1: Tip 1: How to Draw Straight Lines Without a Ruler

Picture of Tip 1: How to Draw Straight Lines Without a Ruler

If you want to draw a line along a parallel edge you can use this simple trick that only requires a little practice to learn.

Hold your pencil in your hand and try to keep the fingers in exactly the same potion while you follow the edge with the tip of your finger.

Step 2: Tip 2: Drawing Parallel Lines

Picture of Tip 2: Drawing Parallel Lines

This one is similar to the first trick but is more suitable for parallel lines that are further away from the edge.

You can use a yard stick, ruler or just a piece of wood for this trick. Even a tape measure would work for this but is getting more difficult the further away you get from the edge.

Step 3: Tip 3: Keep Your Tape Measure on Your Belt

Picture of Tip 3: Keep Your Tape Measure on Your Belt

I don't know how many tape measures I've bought over the years. I used to keep lots of them around the shop so I would always have one nearby. Over time I developed the habit to keep my tape measure always on my belt. This way its always ready to use and I'm less likely to lose it somewhere.

Step 4: Tip 4: How to Find the Rough Center on Dimensional Lumber

Picture of Tip 4: How to Find the Rough Center on Dimensional Lumber

If you want to quickly find the rough center on a piece of dimensional lumber or a length of trim work you can use this simple trick.

Simply find the balancing point with your fingers as shown in the pictures. The balancing point is at the same time the rough center.

Step 5: Tip 5: How to Find the Center on a Rectangular Plane

Picture of Tip 5: How to Find the Center on a Rectangular Plane

To find the center of a square or rectangular plane simply connect the corners with a straight edge. The point were both lines cross is your center.

Step 6: Tip 6: Find the Middle - the Simple Way

Picture of Tip 6: Find the Middle - the Simple Way

To quickly find the middle on a work piece with odd lengths you can use this trick. The edges of the work piece have to be parallel to each other for this to work. The end of the tape measure is being used as an anchor. Now measure a length that is easily divisible by two and mark the middle of that.

Step 7: Tip 7: the Easiest Way to Divide Into Equal Parts

Picture of Tip 7: the Easiest Way to Divide Into Equal Parts

Do you know what one fourth of seventeen is? No?

Well you can use the same trick as before but instead of choosing a measurement that is divisible by two you choose one that suitable for what you need. E.g. If you want to divide into three parts you could use 15" and mark the 5" & 10".

Step 8: Tip 8: the Equal Divider Tool

Picture of Tip 8: the Equal Divider Tool

This is a nice tool to quickly divide spaces into equal parts. Most are bit pricey but they come in handy from time to time.

Step 9: Tip 9: What's Half of Your Measurement? Without Math!

Picture of Tip 9: What's Half of Your Measurement? Without Math!

Want to quickly divide your measurement in half? Use a tape measure and fold it in the middle this will give you a fairly accurate result.

Step 10: Tip 10: How to Keep Your Pencil Sharp

Picture of Tip 10: How to Keep Your Pencil Sharp

To keep your pencil sharp start to roll it between your thumb and index finger while drawing. With a little practice you can keep your pencil sharp for longer times before having to use a sharpener/knife again.

Step 11: Tip 11: How to Draw Large Circles

Picture of Tip 11: How to Draw Large Circles

If you do not own a large compass tool you can use a piece of cardboard. Use a nail (or icepick) to pin the card board at the center of what is going to be your circle. Next use a pencil or carpenters pen an pierce it through the cardboard (alternatively you can make the hole with a nail). Using this hole you can now draw a perfect circle. Alternatively you can use a piece of string or wire to create your radius.

For a more sturdy version you could use a thin piece of plywood and drill holes a specific distances from the center point.

Step 12: Tip 12: How to Draw Circles With Your Tape Measure

Picture of Tip 12: How to Draw Circles With Your Tape Measure

Some of you may have noticed the notch at the end of your measuring tape. This is specifically designed to hook into a screw head either for measuring or with a little practice to draw large circles.

Step 13: Tip 13: Three, Four, Five Rule

Picture of Tip 13: Three, Four, Five Rule

For laying out large 90° angles you can use the 3,4,5 rule. This is rather easy to accomplish. Measure from one corner to three feet and measure from the same corner to four feet. The resulting hypotenuse is always five feet if your corner has an angle of 90°. This also work with multiples of those three numbers (e.g. 6,8,10; 9,12,15).

EDIT: Thanks to Peter Sanders for the heads up with regards to my math mistake! Seems like I took one too many math shortcuts here ;)

Step 14: Tip 14: How to Draw a Large Ellipse

Picture of Tip 14: How to Draw a Large Ellipse

To draw large ellipse create two focus points for example with two wood screws or pins. Next use a piece of string an tie it to a loop. With a pen or pencil simply pull the loop taut to form a triangle. If you move the pen you will start to draw an ellipse.

Step 15: Tip 15: How to Create Large Ellipse Patterns Pt.1

Picture of Tip 15: How to Create Large Ellipse Patterns Pt.1

To create large ellipse patterns you can tape four sheets of paper together. Fold them over so they are the size of a single sheet. You can now use your desired measurements for the final shape to sketch a curve.

Once you have checked that the curve is fair you can cut the pattern out.

Step 16: Tip 16: How to Create Large Ellipse Patterns Pt.2

Picture of Tip 16: How to Create Large Ellipse Patterns Pt.2

If you want to make a frame for a mirror (Just to name an example for this) you can use the pattern you just created. With a ruler or other spacer draw another curve on the inside that is parallel to the edge. Once you are happy with the curve cut it out and you have a large template for the next step.

Step 17: Tip 17: What to Do With That Pattern?

Picture of Tip 17: What to Do With That Pattern?

Use some spray adhesive to glue the pattern to your wood template.

Use spray paint to trace the pattern to your wood. The paper template can be removed easily due to the thinners in the paint.

Step 18: Tip 18: How to Trace Complex Patterns

Picture of Tip 18: How to Trace Complex Patterns

To create a pattern from a more complex shape you can make a rubbing of the surface. Use some spray glue to glue some parchment paper to your surface. With a pencil you can now create a perfect rubbing of the surface.

EDIT: Thanks to CathyNoyb for the heads up with regards to the pics being in the wrong order!

Step 19: Tip 19: How to Transfer Complex Patterns Pt.1

Picture of Tip 19: How to Transfer Complex Patterns Pt.1

If you want to transfer more complex shapes or patterns onto a piece of wood you can create your own carbon paper by drawing heavy lines on the back of the paper with a pencil and then tracing the outlines of your shape with a pencil or pen.

Step 20: Tip 20: How to Transfer Complex Shapes Pt.2

Picture of Tip 20: How to Transfer Complex Shapes Pt.2

Alternatively you can use some spray paint to cover the back. Wait a few minutes for the paint to become dry enough (This means its too dry to come off from simple contact but still tacky enough when pressure is applied).

Step 21: Tip 21: Transferring Fonts

Picture of Tip 21: Transferring Fonts

Try to print your fonts as large as you need them (either on your own printer or a plotter in a copy shop). Glue it to your surface and cut it with a utility knife.

Step 22: Tip 22: Create Complex Patterns From Negative Spaces Pt.1

Picture of Tip 22: Create Complex Patterns From Negative Spaces Pt.1

Sometimes you want to create a pattern on a floor but there are unmovable objects that make it difficult with other methods (Represented by the steel weights in this example).

Use painters tape to create this complex pattern which can then be transferred to wood once you're finished.

Step 23: Tip 23: Create Complex Patterns From Negative Spaces Pt.2

Picture of Tip 23: Create Complex Patterns From Negative Spaces Pt.2

If you have a surface such as a dirt or gravel floor in which case you can't use tape you can simply hot glue pieces of cardboard together to create the negative pattern.

Step 24: Tip 24: Bisect an Angle Without Math Pt.1

Picture of Tip 24: Bisect an Angle Without Math Pt.1

Use two equally wide strips of cardboard and place them along the edges of the work piece.

Make sure they overlap and glue them together. Once the glue has dried cut the cardboard at the two points where the strips overlap. You can now use the patterns to determine the angles for your cuts on your chop saw.

Step 25: Tip 25: Dividing an Angle Without Math Pt.2

Picture of Tip 25: Dividing an Angle Without Math Pt.2

You can use the previous tip also without gluing the strips together. Simply connect the two points where they cross each other and you will get an accurate template for your cuts.

Step 26: Step 26: How to Get the Inside Angle From an Object

Picture of Step 26: How to Get the Inside Angle From an Object

Cut two cardboard triangles with each being smaller than the angle you are looking for.

One piece becomes the bottom part whilst the other is moved into position to close the angle. Holding both together you can now remove the template which is an accurate negative of the inside angle.

Step 27: Giveaway

Picture of Giveaway

You can win one of three Let's Prep "Tinder" Skill Builder Kits including a 3-Month Instructables Pro Account.

The kit shown is the current work in progress of the Skill Builder kit which includes a number of natural and synthetic materials. The whole concept is still very much in development and I will publish Instructables & videos accordingly once I know where I really want to go with this.

All you have to do is to subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave me a comment at this video and include "I want to go out and learn something new!" & your Instructables username. You have until the 15th May 2016 1800 GMT to participate after which I will announce the winners on my FB, Twitter & Blog. (Only entries from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, USA & Canada are eligible to get the full package mailed (please understand that I pay for this myself), residents of other countries may only receive the Pro-Account).

Comments

jeanniel1 (author)2016-08-03

I learned SO MANY things in reading this! I was going to pass this onto my daughter who IS taking Geometry in high school, but this is way to PRACTICAL for her ... ha ha ha! I especially love Tip #22, and the last one, measuring the inside angle! Awesome elegant documentation. Bravo!

arduinomaster (author)2016-06-30

Keep up the good videos. Nice cat.

oreps19601962 (author)2016-05-17

Outstanding tips! Thank you.

frankjso (author)2016-04-20

Thanks!

rschoenk (author)2016-04-19

my cats like the shop too, till the loud power tools come on. Good instruct able, reminded me of some lost measuring techniques.

CathyNoyb (author)2016-04-19

Thought you'd like to know that the pictures for Tip # 18 are in the wrong order. Something you might want to correct. Thanks for all the info.

Alex 2Q (author)CathyNoyb2016-04-19

Thanks for the heads up I just fixed that! Seems like that slipped through my QC!

Cheers Alex

MicheleH4 (author)2016-04-19

Thanks!

Alex 2Q (author)MicheleH42016-04-19

Thanks for reading!

Peter Sanders (author)2016-04-19

Oops, looks like a typo. You mean 9,12,15 (not 8,12,15) :-)

Alex 2Q (author)Peter Sanders2016-04-19

Thanks I just fixed it! Seems like it took one too many shortcuts with my math :P

Cheers Alex

LeeS60 (author)2016-04-19

A handy equivalent to your equal divider tool might be a piece of kitchen equipment found in many bakeries for marking cakes for cutting. It has wheels on the ends of 6 (I think) of the marker ends, not sharp, but pointed to a degree. The tool is opened to the desired width, and the wheels are drawn across the frosting to mark it to be cut with a knife. With slight pressure, they could also easily mark a sheet of paper to use as a pattern, and would probably work as a scribe on soft woods. Easy to find on the internet under bakers supplies or tools.

Alex 2Q (author)LeeS602016-04-19

Interesting idea I will have to check that out!

Yonatan24 (author)2016-04-19

These are some great tips!

Thanks (not) Jimmy ;)

Alex 2Q (author)Yonatan242016-04-19

Thanks Yonatan24!

Cheers Alex

VanessaY (author)2016-04-19

Enjoyed every minute! Thanks!

Alex 2Q (author)VanessaY2016-04-19

Hi VanessaY,

thanks for reading, watching & commenting!

Cheers Alex

bill_brown (author)2016-04-19

All the tips are great to know. Jimmy, in one tips was drawing a circle, you used a ice pick looking spike. What is that and how did you make it?

Alex 2Q (author)bill_brown2016-04-19

Hi Bill_Brown,

that is Jimmy's "signature" icepick! Check out this video to see how Jimmy made it:

Cheers Alex

bruce.desertrat (author)2016-04-17

use an old yard stick (or piece of one) for a 'large compass tool', just drill a hole for your pencil at whatever size(s) you need on the divisions and put a small finishing nail at one end, on a division.

Voila: instant compass bar.

Alex 2Q (author)bruce.desertrat2016-04-17

Thanks for this Tip!

Cheers Alex

jaypal (author)2016-04-16

Thank you for this post Jimmy!

I am a long time follower of your youtube channel and I love your tips and videos!

Alex 2Q (author)jaypal2016-04-16

Hi jaypal,

like you I'm a long time follower and subscriber of Jimmy. He was actually one of the main inspirations for me to start my own YouTube channel.

Cheers Alex

jaypal (author)Alex 2Q2016-04-16

Uh... My bad, I've misread the post author! :D

Sorry about that. I'm going to check your channel also!

Cheers!

JoshuaGuess (author)2016-04-16

I've been a fan of Jimmy Diresta for a long time (enough to own one his ice picks!) and it's really cool to see you make this as an Instructable; good stuff man :)

fzumrk (author)2016-04-16

I like #24-26. Those should come in handy for doing mill work in my old house. Nothing is exactly 90 degrees.

Alex 2Q (author)fzumrk2016-04-16

Hi fzumrk,

thanks for your feedback. Maybe you could post some pics of yourself using those tricks and let us know how they worked out for you?!

Cheers Alex

amarx08 (author)2016-04-15

Nice work! I learned a lot of this while working as a carpenter for many years. Very useful info here as many people are more "hands on" than "book smart" people!

Alex 2Q (author)amarx082016-04-16

Thanks amarx08,

maybe you have some tricks yourself that you would like to share?

Like in the previous Instructable I would add an additional steps with tips from the readers.

Cheers Alex