







Volume of liquid remaining in a tilted cylinder 
20161108 

From Brian: I am trying to determine the amount of a liquid remaining in a 55 gallon drum when it is tilted at 45 degrees and the liquid level is low enough so that the liquid does not completely cover the bottom of the drum.
Your help is greatly appreciated. Answered by Harley Weston. 





A deck that is half an ellipse 
20160228 

From Steve: On your website, I was reading a question and your response from a girl named Angela in which you provided a formula by which her father, a welder, could figure out points on an arc corresponding to equal 3' intervals on a 30' chord where the vertex was 1' off the chord. Is there an equivalent formula when working with an ellipse? I suspect this change will make the calculations significantly more complex. I am building a deck that is half an oval, and would like to be able to mark out the perimeter by measuring the distance from regular intervals on the primary access to a corresponding point on the perimeter. I will then connect the points on the perimeter and cut a reasonably smooth arc. The length of the primary access will be 22' and width of the deck at the vertex is 9'. I would like to be able to know the distance from the primary axis to a point on the perimeter at equal intervals of 6" along the primary axis. Can you help? Answered by Penny Nom. 





Filling a pool with dirt 
20150501 

From Mike: I have a hole which a 24 ft pool in it is 10" deep in the the centre and goes to 1" inch at the edge want to fill it in with dirt how many yards of dirt would I need to fill it in Answered by Penny Nom. 





A wireless fence 
20150418 

From Dave: I'm buying a wireless fence to keep my pet in my yard. It has a half acre range. In a straight line how far would that be? Answered by Penny Nom. 





Bricks around a fire pit 
20150305 

From Jayson: I have a round fire pit. It measures 25 inches in diameter. I have 12 inch long square bricks to go around it . My question is what degree do I cut the ends of these bricks to make them fit around this circle? The brick dimensions are 12"Lx6"Wx4"D. Answered by Harley Weston. 





Cutting a round cake so that it doesn't dry out 
20140826 

From James: I'm wondering if there's a simple way to calculate the area between two parallel chords of a circle equidistant from its diameter, or if I have the area, to find the distance between the two chords.
Here's my "problem". You may have heard of the way of cutting a round cake so that it doesn't dry out  make two parallel cuts (chords) the length of the cake, take the middle piece, then push the two pieces together.
So I know the area of a 12" cake, and I want say, exactly an eighth of the cake. How wide do I cut the centre piece?
Now to get even more difficult, the next day I want another eighth from the centre. How wide do I cut the next pieces, and so on...?
Thanks,
James Answered by Harley Weston. 





An oval pool 
20140621 

From steve: I have a 16' x 28' oval pool that is buried 24" deep inground. The dig site is dug
2' wider all the way around the pool. I need to back fill this area with stone. I want to fill this area with 6 to 8"
of stone. How many tons of stone will this take?
Thanks you
Steve Answered by Penny Nom. 





An octagonal pad 
20140425 

From George: Hi,
I need to pour a cement pad in the shape of an octagon that allows
for 12" of clearance around the tank I will be putting on it.
The tank has a radius of 16'. Answered by Penny Nom. 





A sand trench around a pool 
20140413 

From steve: How sand is needed to back fill a trench around a 24ft dia. pool that is 26" deep by 2ft wide. Making the outside dia. 26ft.
Thank You Answered by Penny Nom. 





Cutting a hexagon from a disk 
20140405 

From Paul: I am a machinist and sometimes need to make a hex from
round material.
If I know the distance of the flat sides opposite one another
of my hex, how can I calculate the size of material I need to turn
to give me the right diameter to finish the part with six sides? Answered by Penny Nom. 





The area of a 5 sided lot 
20140315 

From Michael: Question from michael:
This lot is in feet. 59x154x109x188x137 per the plot plan Answered by Harley Weston. 





Rolls of window film 
20140214 

From Travis: This question is probably close to the same question as "roll of paper"
We have Rolls of Window Film that we are trying to figure out an equation for a spreadsheet that we can use to "inventory" our window film.
We use a caliper tool to measure the thickness of the roll in millimeters.
the core thickness = 1.90mm
Full Roll thickness(including core) = 9.08mm to 9.12mm
Film thickness = 0.06
Full Roll of Film is supposed to average 1200" of film
What equation could we use to get the approximate inches left remaining on the roll if we measured the roll including the core with the Caliper tool in Millimeters? Answered by Harley Weston. 





conical lamp stand/staved wood 
20131207 

From Henry: need to make lamp stand that is wooden staved; need it to be 25 inches at bottom and 10 inches at top; need to know angles for staves to be cut; the lamp stand will be rounded on a lathe and will be 40 inches tall John Lucas built one and it is pictured on his web page. thank you for any help/direction; I checked out the answered for cone shaped objects on your page but didn't find what I could use. thanks again. Henrywoodturner, parent teacher student . . . . . Answered by Harley Weston. 





A square inscribed in a circle 
20131014 

From Jenn: Hello! I am about to buy a 7'9" round rug, but I want to have it cut down into a square. What's the largest square I can obtain from this? Thank you! Answered by Penny Nom. 





Dirt to fill a pool 
20130713 

From Neil: I had a 24 foot diameter pool. The perimeter of it was at ground
level. The pool sloped 1 foot deeper to the middle. In other
words "a 1 ft. dish. How many cubic yards of dirt do I need to
fill this hole? Answered by Penny Nom. 





A gravel pile in the shape of a triangular pyramid 
20130404 

From Casey: Hello
Right now I am stuck and I feel embarrassed because I feel like the answer is so easy I should know it.
I am working on a project and need to find a volume of gravel it will take to occupy this triangular prism like area. I am not sure what formulas I should use whether it be that for the volume of a pyramid or something more complex? Basically it forms a right triangle at one side then from there all points slope to one singular point about 10412mm away.
I am attaching a picture drawn up in paint with the actual dimensions to clear up any confusion.
Thank you for any help.
Casey Answered by Penny Nom. 





Question 
20130404 

From Casey: Hello
Right now I am stuck and I feel embarrassed because I feel like the answer is so easy I should know it.
I am working on a project and need to find a volume of gravel it will take to occupy this triangular prism like area. I am not sure what formulas I should use whether it be that for the volume of a pyramid or something more complex? Basically it forms a right triangle at one side then from there all points slope to one singular point about 10412mm away.
I am attaching a picture drawn up in paint with the actual dimensions to clear up any confusion.
Thank you for any help.
Casey Answered by Penny Nom. 





A label to cover a plastic cup 
20121023 

From Kevin: I'm trying to make a label to cover the entire outer area or a plastic cup. I know there must be a way to figure out the dimensions needed, but I can't seem to figure it out. The circumference of the bottom of the cup is 21.4cm and the circumference at the top of the cup is 29.8cm. The cup is 14.5cm tall. What should the height of the arc from the plane connecting the two ends of the 21.4cm arc. I attached a diagram where x is the value I'm looking for. I'm guessing there is some simple relationship between the length of a line and the arc needed to turn that line into a perfect circle, but I don't know what it is. Can you figure this out and share it with me? Thanks.
Kevin Answered by Penny Nom. 





A tank with an inner walled compartment 
20121012 

From don: I have a tank 20 feet diameter, 19' 8" tall with an inner walled compartment that has a 7' 6" radius arc with in the tank. I need to figure out the volume of the inner area and the volume of the larger area. Answered by Harley Weston. 





Making a wind sock 
20120828 

From John: I am trying to build a wind sock and need to be able to lay the shape
out on cloth. I need the wind sock front opening (diameter) to be
3 1/2" and the rear opening diameter to be 1". The windsock needs
to be 9 1/2" long. I tried using the example of the person trying to
make a crayfish trap but got confused and could not figure out my
numbers. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
John Answered by Penny Nom. 





Measuring the liquid in a horizontal tank 
20120228 

From Philip: I have a steel gas tank that is 3' dia X 5' length. The total volume is 1000 litres.
But how much is left when I use a stick and measure 6" from the bottom or 12" or 24" ??
Is there a formula to use for this task?
Thanks. Answered by Harley Weston. 





Geometry Related Careers 
20110901 

From Richard: Good morning,
I am hoping to find a list of careers that would relate to geometric constructions and tessellations.
I have searched the internet some and some of the sites I have found are a bit questionable or dated. Are there sites that Math Central would recommend?
I could not find anything when I did a search on the site.
Thanks in advance,
RVD Answered by Walter Whiteley. 





Calibrating a conical tank 
20110205 

From Bill: Hi, I have a round tank with tapered sides where I know the diameter at the top and bottom. Is there a formula I can use to calculate the volume by measuring from the bottom up the side (at the angle of the side) to any given point? Thanks, Bill Answered by Stephen La Rocque and Penny Nom. 





liquid in a 3/4 inch pipe 
20090630 

From junior: We are in dilemma at my job. We need to figure out the formula for how much water can our pipe hold. It's inside diameter is 13/16" and is 50ft. long? Answered by Robert Dawson. 





Concrete around a pipe 
20090114 

From Doug: How much concrete will i need for a hole that is 20 feet deep 20 inches in
diameter with a 8inch pipe in it. I need to know how much concrete
on the outside of the 8inch pipe. Answered by Penny Nom. 





A barrel on its side 
20081113 

From Dave: Question from Dave:
How many gallons are left in a 36x60 in. barrel (laying on its side) and has 16 in. of gasoline left. I have attached a diagram. Answered by Harley Weston. 





A perpendicular intersection of two barrel vaults 
20060721 

From Neal: I'm wanting to build a series of architectural models of different roman and medieval buildings out of cardboard. Once I have perfected the models I want to print them out on card stock so that school kids (or anyone else) can make the buildings.
A feature of many of these models is the cross or groin vault (a perpendicular intersection of two barrel vaults).
A single barrel vault is easy to imagine as a plane (a rectangular piece of cardboard) that will be folded into a semicircular arch.
The intersection of a second barrel vault and this one is presenting me with problems. The second plane needs to have an ellipse cut into it so that when it is folded into the arch, it will mate up with the curve of the first barrel vault.
Given that the two pieces of card have identical widths (and therefore identical arcs in cross section) is there a way to calculate the ellipse that needs to be cut so that it can be cut before the second arch is folded? Answered by Edward Doolittle. 

