Introduction: The Pi of Agomotto

About: I am an Architect and Dad, based in Dublin, Ireland. Instagram @rob_salmon_1981

This small project is a number of things.It is a garden folly, a mirror and could be a portal to another dimension. It is my entry into the "All Things Pi" Contest. Is it an exercise in a tenuous link to a contest title? (I hear you ask).

Anyone familiar with Doctor Strange and the Avengers, may recognise this symbol. It is (as I understand!) the Eye of Agomotto, the containment of the time stone, a symbol emblazoned on the mansard style roof of Doctor Stange's home, the Sanctum Santorum at 177A Bleecker Street!

Pi is of course a mathematical constant, the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle.

So this project is circular...thats it?

No, there's more.... Just look at it, the pi symbol is everywhere, it's like a geometric puzzle - "count the pi's" - after 6 I lose count. You can see one faintly traced in red on the cover image.

But that's not all...

It's also a shameless pun. The Pi of Agomotto... Come on. Thats good punnage.


This is a recycled / upcycled project, that can obviously be created from scratch. Though I wonder why?


  • An old kitchen / Dining Table
  • Some Gold Paint - Preferably exterior grade.
  • Some 4mm Plate Mirror - Sized to suit.
  • A tube of external grade grab adhesive
  • A tube of clear multipurpose silicone sealent.
  • Joining Plates / L Brackets / Mirror Mounting Brackets For Mounting.
  • Some External Varnish


  • Jigsaw
  • Sander / Sandpaper
  • Paint Brush
  • Glass Cutter
  • Ruler, Measuring Tape

Step 1: Prepare the "Stuff"

After passing a discarded dining room table top in a neighbours skip, I could see an opportunity for some kind of weekend upcycling project that could involve my kids. At first glance, the table top appeared to be solid timber, alas, it was chipboard with veneer facing, and solid edging. Not a great start to the project, but undeterred, my son and I, after asking the permission of our neighbour, to rifle through their discarded belongings, carried the table top home.

The next step was to remove the superflous bracketry and suports. Great screwdriver practise for my 6 year old. You can also see him putting a bicycle pump to good use, blowing away the cobwebs.

I always try to get both my sons and daughter to help (to varying degrees of success) - The project is not important, it's the process, the fun, and the memories.

Step 2: Mark It Out

With the cobwebs blown off, the tabletop was laid flat. (You can see here, that it's in two halves).

Using a nail, a stick and a pencil, I made a primative compass, to inscribe the circle. this involved drilling a series of holes at various points along the stick, wide enough for the tip of a pencil to pass through.

There are a number of more obvious ways, that I could have laid out the eye of agamotto motif on the circle.

1) Draw in CAD, and print at 1:1 - Spray mount the paper to the surface of the wood, then cut.

2) Fancy CNC stuff:

I chose however, that it would be more appropriate to draw the eye of agomotto, by eye. Thats right I "eye-balled it" using some straight lines to form a geometric guidance grid. The broad sweep of an arm somehow formed curves that were mostly symmetrical. In fact, it was so close to being right, that at this point, I believed that i probably should have followed step 1, and drew it correctly! .

The pencil marked the table top very well, you can see that it actually took the top layer of varnish off, leaving a clean legible line. However, after drawing this by eye... there were far too many stray lines, as such I marked the correct line with a black marker, hatching out the areas to be cut.

Step 3: Cut It Out

The fun part:

Well actually not that much fun at all.

This thing was quiet heavy, thankfully it was split in two. I cut this out by jigsaw, keeping my kids away from the noise and the dust (lucky for them!) The first cut was to simply cut out the circle.

There are lots of ways that one could cut a more perfect circle, however in the spirit of the project, again this was done by eye.

After the circle was cut, a forstner bit was used to drill relieving cut holes. The reason for these were two fold. 1) somewhere to pass the jigsaw blade through. 2) perfect little tight radii at sharp corners.

The piece was required to be clamped down, to avoid vibration, during the arduous cutting task.

Take a look at the last few photos and you can see that nasty chipboard core!

The last photo, the two halves are stuck together using the original table top dowels (which happened to be in appropriate positions). You can see that it's almost finished!

Step 4: Route It Out

Goggles on, mask on, vaccum cleaner on.

I used a palm router with a small "Roman Ogee" bit to add a little bit of visual depth to the frame. This also went a long way towards tidying up some of the haphazard jigsaw cuts.

After this, I sanded any existing varnish off the surface, using a random orbital sander.

Step 5: Assembly & Finishing


Glued with Exterior Wood Glue - CHECK

Dowelled - CHECK

Pocket Hole Screws to tighten - CHECK

And some steel reinforcing plates - CHECK

A lot of things may happen to our Eye of Agamotto, but IT WILL NOT SPLIT IN TWO!


As mentioned, unfortunately I was dealing with veneer faced chipboard here, guaranteed to swell, buckle, rot and disintegrate if exposed to any modicum of moisture let alone, live outside in the elements.

Using external grade multipurpose filler, I filled the exposed edges with a liberal slathering of filler. I also filled any holes at the rear of the table top (ably assisted by my son - 2nd picture).

After this, the process was as follows:


My daughter helped with painting, we used a tin of gold paint and applied with brush. We knew it was finished, when it glistened (and we were tired of painting).

There comes a point in a project, where what seemed like a good idea, starts to become too much work...The fun was going, but we were nearly there...

Step 6: DANGER: Mount the Mirror



The Danger here is not breaking a mirror.

Its not 7 years bad luck.

Its not cutting your self on sharp glass.

The danger of course, is getting trapped in the Mirror Dimension! Please take every precaution against this, if ever assembling your own Eye/Pi of Agomotto.


Now the obvious thing here is to get a circular mirror , ~10-30mm smaller in diameter than the frame, and simply let common sense prevail.

I had a number of small 4mm plate circular mirrors (see photo) and an old glass cutter.

I simply traced around the cutouts using a white chalk marker, and very roughly cut out corresponding polygonal shapes. This was my first time cutting glass, here's the steps:

1) Wear Gloves

2) using a ruler, trace a straight line leaning relatively forcibly to create a small etch in the glass.

3) Support the glass, and break by hand as gingerly as possible.

4) Somehow I managed to not accidentally break any mirror during this process. So no 7 years bad luck I suppose.

When the pieces were cut, use exterior grade mounting adhesive (eg. "no-more nails") and stuck the piece of mirror to the frame. After this, I used clear silicone sealant to seal in the edges on the front face.

Step 7: Enjoy

Thats It, screw a couple of brackets on the back, simple as 3.142....

This looks great in our garden, I'm unsure how long it will last, but this was all about having fun.

Again, before taking on a project like this, please beware of the dangers of interdimensional travel when creating mystical artefacts, and when dealing with this many pi's.

Thank you reader!

All Things Pi Contest

Runner Up in the
All Things Pi Contest