Dear Dr. Busch,

I apologize I goofed off during Geometry. I now see how learning it and actually retaining that knowledge might come in handy now that I’m a metalsmith. You see, tonight I’m attempting to construct a stand for my vessel. I want to create three rings with three tubes that run through them. The result will be something very retro and cool. However, I didn’t retain any of my knowledge of 10th grade Geometry. So I’m now attempting to figure out the diameters of my circles, dividing them into three parts, and figuring out what the angles should be for each set of holes so my legs stand straight. I’m creating a paper/cardboard mock-up but the results, so far, are less than stellar.

I’m a bit pissed about the whole math thing in general. I mean, how was I supposed to know I’d be needing to convert pennyweights into ounces and figuring the cost of precious metals? I really thought when you told us we’d need this knowledge someday it was a bunch of teacher BS. However, now that I realize its value, I want to apologize for not paying attention. Now, about that circle diameter…sure could use some help here.

Sincerely, Tammy Kirks, Greenwood Class of ’84

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According to my mom, what I want is the circle circumference, not the diameter. Thus proving I really don’t know my Geometry!

Your mom is correct, you do want the circumference. The circumference of a circle is the diameter multiplied by pi. That’s what pi is – the ratio between the diameter and the circumference of a circle.

A couple of ways to look at it:

C = ? * d

C = ? * r * 2

For example if you need a circle that is 10″ across it would be:

C = ? * 10

C = 3.14159265 * 10

C = 31.4159265

I’m glad I’m not the only person who doesn’t remember geometry! Good luck…