Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Tom:

Hi! I am a woodworker who needs some help finding a formula. I have to make a cylinder shape column that butts up against a sloped ceiling using bending plywood. I need to figure out how to cut the shape on this flat piece of material. The diameter of the column is 54.375". The tallest point is 9 13/16" and the shortest point is 4 7/16". Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Tom,

We have answered similar questions and an exprression for the curve is contained in my response to another Tom. I copies one of the images and labeled it according to your dimensions. ($9 \frac{13}{16} - 4 \frac{7}{16} = 5 \frac{3}{8}$)


Using your measurements $\tan(\phi) = \frac{3.375}{54.375}$ which seems quite strange to me. Is the column only $9 \frac{13}{16}$ inches high?


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