How to cut wood into a perfect hexagon

Written by franklin brewer
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How to cut wood into a perfect hexagon
A hexagon is a common geometric shape. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Cutting wood into a perfect hexagon may seem like a difficult task, but it is actually quite simple. The most difficult part of this task is drawing the perfect hexagon. Luckily, the perfect hexagon, also known as the regular hexagon, is one of the simplest to draw. A perfect hexagon has six equal sides and six equal angles. Using a compass, you can eliminate the need for complex geometry. After laying out the hexagon, cutting it is a breeze.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Compass
  • Ruler or straightedge
  • Scrap wood
  • Carpenter's clamps
  • Jigsaw

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Instructions

    Preparation

  1. 1

    Decide what size hexagon you would like to draw.

  2. 2

    Once you decide on the size, set your compass to that size and lock it into position so that it maintains the same radius throughout the procedure.

  3. 3

    Start by drawing a circle with the compass. Once the circle is drawn, move the pivot point of the compass to a point on the edge of the circle you just drew. Rotate the compass so that you draw a portion of a new circle that intersects the original circle. You need to draw only a small arc that will give you a starting position for the next arc.

  4. 4

    Move the point of the compass to the point where the arc you just drew intersects the original circle. Draw another arc that intersects the original circle to give you the next pivot point. Continue this process until you have six equidistant intersections around the original circle.

  5. 5

    Use a ruler or straightedge to connect these six marks along the perimeter of the circle to form a perfect hexagon.

    Cutting

  1. 1

    Place the wood with the hexagon template at the edge of your work table. Position the wood so that one edge of the hexagon approximately lines up with the edge of the table. The portion with the hexagon should be on the table with the excess material hanging off the edge.

  2. 2

    Position a scrap piece of wood with a perfectly straight edge along one side of the hexagon. Align it carefully and clamp it into place at both ends. This will provide a guide for the jigsaw.

  3. 3

    Begin cutting with the jigsaw, using the scrap piece of wood as your guide. Once you remove the excess material, reposition the wood and continue onto the next side of the hexagon.

  4. 4

    Repeat this process for the remaining sides. This technique will give you an accurately cut, perfect hexagon.

Tips and warnings

  • If your compass is not large enough, you can make your own with a nail, string and pencil. Tie the string to the nail. Measure the appropriate length of string and tie the pencil to the other end. This will give you a homemade, one-length compass.
  • The scrap piece of wood should be thin enough to allow the blade of the jigsaw to extend well past the wood you are cutting. Plywood is preferable, as it will not raise the jigsaw too far off of the surface.

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