My SO desires a couple 'perfect' oval tabletops she can mosaic
One about 2 feet wide the other about 20 inches.
Is there a desired width to depth shape that is more eye appealing than others.
I'm not really sure how to draw a perfect oval?
Or any oval for that matter.
Is there an easy way to do this. Knowing my SO this won't stop at two.:)
You're probably wanting to draw an Ellipse, which is a mathematic
description of an oval.
There sure is. Get a piece of plywood for practice, and two wood
screws. Put 'em, let's say, 12 inches apart. Now, get a piece of
string, in this case 12+4+4 inches long... trust me, that'll make sense
in a second. Tie a loop in each end, so the useful length is that 20
inches. Loop each end over one of the screws.
Now, you just put your pencil/marker/pen/whatever on the inside of that
string loop, and use that distance to trace your oval. It'll go 4
inches beyond your focal points (that's the +4+4 above) on either end of
the oval, giving you the 20" overall length that you specified. You can
change the shape of this ellipse by moving the focal points (screws), or
by changing the length of the string. Once you have a nice oval that
you like, make a cardboard template so you can do it again without
playing with string if you don't want to.
If you google for "ellipse string" you'd probably find pictures of
someone doing just this.
Not really a response to anything, but you can make a jig for an ellipse
by using two grooves at right angles to each other to guide a stick having
two guide rods sticking down into the grooves and a pencil at one end.
Put the intersection of the grooves at the center of the proposed
ellipse and just crank the stick around. Max length between the rods is
limited to the length of the smaller of the grooves but max size of the
ellipse is limited only by your ability to control the pencil end.
Oval or elliptical?
An oval has a radius and an overall length, the difference between twice
the radius and the length being the length of the straight portion.
NASCAR's website should have links to quite a number of ovals.
An ellipse is drawn the usual way, with a string and two points.
What I'd do is get a couple slices of poster board and draw an oval and
an ellipse "about 2 feet" wide and let her tell you which she prefers.
ONLY after you get her approval (signed in her own blood. I wish I were
kidding) do you use the posterboard as a template for your tabletop.
I think your are looking for an elipse, which is symmetrical on two axis.
Oval just means egg shaped, and is only required to be symmetrical on one
I like the other response. Let HER decide what an oval is, get it in
writing, and let us know how it comes out.
Thanks guys, I think I have the picture. Perfect is in the eye of the beholder.
Trust me, it will be signed in my blood so she can absolve herself of all
responsibility. Unless everyone loves it, at which time she will take all the
The things we men have to put up with to get sex once a month.:)
Well ... if you're talking about an ellipse, you might try a ratio of
1.618 to 1 (about 8 to 5). That's what's called the "Golden Ratio",
which turns up in all sorts of mathematical areas.
The ancient Greeks(*) called rectangles and ellipses with that ratio the
"Golden Rectangle" and the "Golden Ellipse" ... which were reputed to be
the perfect ratio for beauty. For rectangles, a much larger ratio (like
2 to 1) looks "too long and skinny" whereas a lower ratio (like 3-to-2)
looks just a bit too "stumpy and squat".
Of course, it's all up to personal preference.
For the obscenely curious ... the Golden Ratio is (1 + SQRT(5)) to 2.
(*) Did you ever notice that no one ever references the "modern Greeks"?
I wonder why not?
On Fri, 07 Oct 2005 13:57:57 -0600, mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:
Different people. I looked it up once, back when "looking it up" meant
going through the card catalog. Apparently, too, the modern language,
while it uses the same alphabet, is a different language from the
classical tongue. It's all Greek to me. ;)
For those who haven't yet written the Golden Ratio on the workshop wall,
just remember that 1/x = x - 1, and do the math. Writing it on the wall
is easier. Wish I'd thought of it earlier...
Ovals are oblique sections of cylinders. They don't have any
straightaways. Racetracks are just called "oval," but they're not. But
what the heck, OP's SWMBO might like the look, so he'd better include a
racetrack in his menu, along with the Golden Ellipse and an oval. Ya can't
be too careful around wimmin. They're dangerous when they're cornered. ;)
Oval = ellipse?
An ellipse will have one long axis and one short.
"Perfect" at the end, below.
To draw a cardboard template:
Method 1. A decent CAD program will draw to scale or to real
Method 2. Draw two concentric circles. Draw the axes, horizontal and
vertical to divide them into four. You need only one quarter of the
ellipse, since you can flip it on the item [table top] to draw the
From the common center draw a line anywhere in the quarter to cut both
circles. From where it meets the outer draw a line vertically
downwards. From where it meets the inner draw a horizontal line ot
meet the first. Where they meet, mark the point. That's one point on
the quarter ellipse.
Keep doing those steps to get more points.
Join the dots.
Cut out the ellipse and along the axes. Line it up with two axes
drawn on the item and sketch around it. Flip for the whole ellipse.
"Perfect" will mean in the Golden Ratio: 1: (1 + sqrt5)/2 = 1:1.618
Make the two circle radii in that ratio. If one is 24" the other will
be 38.8". If one is 20" the other will be 32.4"
I found this Ellipses for Dummies. It's perfect for me.
I'm Canadian so if I get busy on this tonight I might get to eat turkey on
Thanksgiving after all.
Thanks to everyone.
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