I've currently moved over to blogging at http://mathcraft.wonderhowto.com/

Here I will be posting about 4 times per week and will have a project every week with more in depth information and a how to component and templates. There will also be a user forum for people to submit pictures and ideas.

Thanks! I hope to see you there!


I've been a big fan of George Hart's geometric sculptures for a while now and so a few weeks back I decided I would build his Frabjous (title based off the nonsense poem The Jaberwocky by Lewis Carol) since he actually gives the template for it on his site. He also says that it's a tricky puzzle...which I probably should have listened to. All along I wanted to build it out of wood...but I knew that it was going to take quite a bit of time and effort so I started out building a model of it out of paper. This was a bad, bad idea because the paper bends and it is really hard to see the shape as you are weaving everything together. I wasted several hours over a multi-week period before I re-attempted it in wood. I eventually built it out of 1/8 inch thick Baltic Birch plywood which I cut using my scroll saw and "stained" using permanent markers which does allow the grain to show through. The following pictures show some of the process and the results.

In particular I'm proud of the tab connection system I came up with that really helped keep the thing together while maintaining flexibility. I also like the pointillism style of decorating them, though this took longer than I thought to do. Liz says that it looks like fireworks as a result.

After looking at my pictures you really should check out some of George Hart's other sculptures. http://www.georgehart.com/sculpture/sculpture.html

And if you want to give it a try here is a link to the paper where he shows the template. http://www.georgehart.com/frabjous/frabjous.pdf

The finished product.

Another angle

Close up

The individual units that must be woven through each other. There are 30 of these.

The signature. Note it is claimed to be a copy.

Close up of a completed piece. Note the tabs which allow everything to go together nicely. Since they are made of card stock they are pretty stiff but do allow some flexibility which really helps when weaving it together.

Putting it together...the start.

Showing everything is made up of standard pentagrams.

Now it's getting complicated! There's only one correct way to build this so that all the pieces remain planar!


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