Dividing a Circle

To practice this technique you will need a pencil, paper, a compass, and a ruler.

 

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STEP 1
Lay a rule across the circle so that
it touches center point A that was
created by the point of the compass.
STEP 2
Pull a line across the circle
with your pencil.  This will
automatically divide the circle
into two equal parts.  Mark the points
where the line intersects the circle as
B and C.
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STEP 3
Place the point of the compass at
point C.  Open the compass so that
it’s angle is greater than one
half the circle.
STEP 4
Draw a arc across the circle.
Allow it to extend well beyond
the circle’s edges.
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STEP 5
Using the exact same opening on
the compass, repeat Step 4 placing
the compass point at B.  Note where
the two arcs intersect.
STEP 6
Lay a ruler across the circle so
that it touches the arc intersections
and the center point.
Draw a pencil line.
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STEP 7
The second line you have created is automatically perpendicular to the original line, lying at a 90 degree angle to the first.
STEP 8
Mark where the second line
intersects the circle as points D and E.
You can now divide the pie slice of the
circle (shown in pink) by repeating
steps 4 through 7 and using points D and B.
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STEP 9
Again open the compass wider than one half the area to be divided.  Place the point of the compass at D and pull an arc.  Move the compass, don’t change the compass opening,  to point B and pull a second arc.
STEP 10
Place the ruler at the intersection
of the two arcs and so that it touches
the center A.  Pull a line with your pencil
all the way through the circle.
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STEP 11
Dividing one side of the circle will automatically give you the correct line for the opposite pie slice in the circle.
STEP 12
Each time you draw a line you create
a new slice of the pie.  You can
continue to work from the points
on the circle for each of these slice
and divide the circle as many times
as you need. You can see in the
lettering pattern above how this
technique is used in wood carving.
Lettering Layouts for Wood Carving
Dividing a Circle into Pie Slices