How to Cut an Octagon From a Square

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An octagon is a geometric design with eight sides of equal length. Most familiar as the distinctive shape of a stop sign, octagons are also popular in arts and crafts projects and are regularly seen as wall tiles, paving stones and pieces of furniture. The following method of converting a square to an octagon uses the principles of Pythagoras but does not require any advanced mathematical knowledge.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Cutting implement
  • Draw two lines connecting the opposite corners of the square, forming a large "X."

  • Set the point of the compass on one of the corners of the square and open it to the center of the "X."

  • Use the compass to draw an imaginary semi-circle. Carefully mark the two points where the circle crosses the edge of the square.

  • Move the point of the compass to the next corner and repeat the process. Continue until there are a total of eight marks on the edge of the square.

  • Use the ruler to connect the two marks at each corner of the square with a straight line to form a triangle. Using the appropriate cutting implement for the material the square is made of, cut away the corners along the lines. The resulting shape will be a regular octagon.

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