1. ## Real-world dissection problem

Too many years since plane geometry was easy for me to visualize!

I have a sheet of material, exactly 3 feet by 5 feet = 15 sq ft.
Can I make a few straight cuts and reassemble it into a 4 ft square with a 1 ft square hole in the center (15 sq ft, net)?

Thanks for the help; my tile tabletop budget thanks you, as well!

Dave

2. ## Afterthought:

I should clarify that request.

There's the trivial solution, dicing the sheet to 1 ft squares, and the better one of cutting it into 4, 18x30" tiles. Is there a cut that would yield two "L" shaped pieces that would assemble to a square with a hole?

What about assembling to a 48" square, with a 16" hole?

Dave

3. Originally Posted by dbell
I have a sheet of material, exactly 3 feet by 5 feet = 15 sq ft.
Can I make a few straight cuts and reassemble it into a 4 ft square with a 1 ft square hole in the center (15 sq ft, net)?
5 cuts will do it.
Get a piece of cardboard and cut out a 3 by 5 inches rectangle.

Cut 1: cut out from one of the 3inch sides a 1 by 3 rectangle;
so you're left with a 3 by 4 and a 1 by 3

Draw a 4inch line on the 3 by 4 splitting it exactly in half; so the
3 by 4 is now divided in two 1.5 by 4 rectangles (but not cut).

Draw two 3inch lines, each 1.5 inches from the 3inch sides; so the
3 by 4 now "shows" two 1 by 1.5 rectangles "down the center".

Cuts 2,3,4: cut out one of these 1 by 1.5 rectangles.

Slide down the one you cut out by 1 inch: that leaves a 1 by 1
square exactly at center of the 3 by 4, and leaves the 1 by 1.5
an inch "out" of the 3 by 4; and we see 2 empty 1 by 1.5 areas
needing to ne filled to complete the 4 by 4.

Cut 5: cut the 1 by 3 (from cut 1) in half: gives you two 1 by 1.5

Place them to fill the 2 empty areas.

Hope you were able to "follow" all that...IT WORKS!!

4. Originally Posted by Wilmer
Draw two 3inch lines, each 1.5 inches from the 3inch sides; so the
3 by 4 now "shows" two 1 by 1.5 rectangles "down the center".

Cuts 2,3,4: cut out one of these 1 by 1.5 rectangles.
I did get lost in this pair of steps, but I see how it works out in the end.

More cuts and small pieces than I was trying to achieve, but clever...

I think I'll end up cutting th four 18"x30" pieces, and adding th extra framing bits, but I'll give it a day or so, to see if any brilliant insights show up.

Thanks!

Dave

5. Originally Posted by dbell
Too many years since plane geometry was easy for me to visualize!

I have a sheet of material, exactly 3 feet by 5 feet = 15 sq ft.
Can I make a few straight cuts and reassemble it into a 4 ft square with a 1 ft square hole in the center (15 sq ft, net)?

Thanks for the help; my tile tabletop budget thanks you, as well!

Dave
You need 2 (= two) straight cuts, along the mid-parallels of the rectangle.

Re-arrange the 4 congruent rectangles (see attachmant). Equal colours indicate equal rectangles.

6. Here comes a 3-cut-version - but I suspect that it is nothing but Wilmer's solution ...?

(The cuts are painted in red)

7. Originally Posted by earboth
You need 2 (= two) straight cuts, along the mid-parallels of the rectangle.

Re-arrange the 4 congruent rectangles (see attachmant). Equal colours indicate equal rectangles.
That's the (non-trivial) one I started with, and most likely what I'll end up using. This is a cutting pattern for tile backer board for a 4'x4' table top. I have a 3x5 sheet of board, and am putting a firebowl in the middle of the table. Before going out and buying a second sheet and butchering both to cut two 2'x4' pieces, I thought I'd put some effort into the problem...

Thaks for the suggestions!

Dave