Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by pls8xx, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. pls8xx

    pls8xx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    It's late in the afternoon on what has been a good day when the phone rings. It's a homeowner from a job I'm due to finish tomorrow. Says he want's to add something to the project and has the architect coming over. Can I be there too?
    (I hope some of you are starting to relate to this tale.)

    So I get there and my crew has left for the day; just the owner, the architect,and me. The homeowner points to two stakes he has driven about fifty feet apart and about 5 ft inside his back fence. He says "I want to add a bed between the stakes back to the fence. And I want the front edge to be one long uniform curve."

    The architect walks around a minute then says that a 100 ft radius curve should do the trick. The homeowner says it sounds good to him. I'm looking over the fence to where the radius point will be. There's a really big dog over there. His teeth are showing and drool drips from his mouth. The architect says he will get started on calculating the change and leaves.

    Homeowner "My job will still get finished tomorrow, right?"

    Me "Depends"

    "On what?"

    "On whether you and I stake out this bed right now"


    "Yes, you. You're the one that dreamed up this last minute change"

    "So what do I have to do?"

    I hand him a tape graduated in feet, tenths, and hundredths. I tell him I will set up my transit on one of his stakes and he should go find some string or wire and attach the zero end of the tape to the other stake.

    I set up and zero the transit pointed at the other stake and spend a minute doing some calcs. Finally he gets the tape hooked to the stake. I turn a 3 degree angle and I tell him to measure toward me 10.47 ft and hold a stake at the distance as I put him online.

    With the first stake set I change to a 6 degree angle and have him go the same distance again reading 20.94 on the tape with the tape laying on the outside of the first stake. I give him line and he drives the second stake. Using the stakes to keep the tape following the curve, he is now at 30.41 and I'm on a 9 degree angle as we set another stake.

    We continue with him adding 10.47 to each distance while I keep adding 3 degrees to each angle until the last stake is closer than 10 ft to me at the transit.

    Done. You didn't think I was going to send that homeowner over the fence with that big dog, did ya. LOL

    Bonus points to anyone that can come up with a similar distance/angle combination to do a 140' radius curve. And a gold star to anyone that can show why it works. (You can do the calcs to stake out a curve from two points on the curve in less than a minute if you know what the radius distance is.}
  2. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    What is this?

    I want to talk about Z turn mowers and Diesel trucks and Paver Pete!!!
  3. pls8xx

    pls8xx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Just trying to pass on some of the tricks learned from my 50 years in the field. Not for everyone.
  4. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Sorry man... I just looked at your posts....You are fairly new...

    I always assume that everybody knows I am being sarcastic...

    I was totally being sarcastic and I apologize... I should have used a disclaimer...

    That is actually super cool stuff....

    Did anything go into the bed? Shrubs? Flowers? Mulch?

    Any specific type of edge? There is a new company advertising here on L.S that makes aluminum edging and it looks preferable to the plastic to me...

    Actually some nice stone edging is the best but sometimes a nice clean deep straight edge works too...
  5. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    On a 140 radius 14 2/3 or 14.66 @ 3 degrees but that only works if the 2 points you're using are directly 180* across from each other. If theyre closer you will need the distance in proportion to the radius.

    Use 2pi (r) to find circumference of the circle. Then for 3 degrees change you divide by 120. And the result is your distance if your zero point is the center of the circle. In this example the points are across the circle which doubles the distance so multiply your answer by 2
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. tomsyardcare

    tomsyardcare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Thanks, Ive been having trouble sleeping lately but after reading your post, I think I'll have no trouble tonight
  7. pls8xx

    pls8xx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    You have a correct answer in 14.66 for 3 degrees of angle. I would have preferred a shorter distance between stake out points, such as 9.77ft for a 2 degree angle. The rest of what you said is incorrect. This method works from any two points on the circle. The distance and angle do not change.

    The calcs are to double the radius to get the diameter. Multiply the diameter times PI to get the circumference. Divide the circumference by 360 to get the circle arc distance for 1 degree at the radius. In the case of a 140 radius this is 2.4435 ft. Multiply this distance by a number that will give you something close to the distance you want between stake out points. In this case multiplying by 6 gives a stake out distance of 14.66, multiplying by 4 gives a stake out distance of 9.77. For whatever number you use to multiply, divide it by 2 to get the angle amount to be used when staking from a point on the circle.

    For accuracy in the stake out, never work from two circle points further apart than the radius distance. And always start measuring from the far point toward the transit.

    It's easy to try this method in a flat open field. Set a radius point then measure 100 ft to two points on the circle that are about 50 to 100 ft apart. Pretend that radius point doesn't exist and use the two circle points as I first described doing (a 3 degree angle for each 10.47 ft measurement). After setting all the circle points go back and check the distance from the radius point to each of the stakes set.

    You will find this method useful for all curves with a radius greater than a 100 ft or especially where the radius point is not accessible.
  8. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I'd have the wall built by the time I figured that out!
  9. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    I almost posted last night that after i thought more my answer was right but my reasoning was wrong. Good post though.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    Exactly! :laugh:

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