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Jobsite Magic: Draw a Circle with a Framing Square?

Five ways to draw circles
July 05, 2016

Matt runs through the standard ways of drawing circles: compass, bigger compass, beam compass, trammel beam compass, stick, and stick with a notch—before he gets to a groovy little tape measure that makes it easy.

And then he draws a circle with a framing square.

Wait, what?

"This method is limited to the size of the smallest leg of the square, or 14 inches for a framing square." Notes Matt...

Drawing circles step by step:

  • Drive nails at a distance equal to the circumference of the circle.
  • Rest the short leg of the square against both nails.
  • Put the pencil tip into the square's corner
  • Rotate the square around the nails, keeping each leg against a nail until the second leg is in contact with both nails.
  • Voilà: a semicircle.
  • Repeat.
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