Perhaps you have learned to sew on a button. Take a close look at the sewing needle. One end is a point. The needle gets thicker the farther up the needle you go. This is one kind of wedge.
Find a door stop, one of the brown rubber kind that is pushed under a door to keep it open. Look at it from the side. It has a point and gets thicker farther from the point. this is another kind of wedge.
Maybe you know someone who carves wood. Ask to see a flat chisel. Look at it closely top and from the side. It starts at a broad point and gets thicker as you go away from the point. A chisel is a wedge.
Question: How does a wedge work?
Piece of cloth
Look at the piece of cloth observing the thread pattern
Hold the piece of cloth
Push the needle through the cloth
Observe what the cloth does
Describe and draw part of the piece of cloth
Describe how the cloth threads change as you push the needle through
Special Section on Wedges:
Look at the pictures of a splitting maul. Does it look like the other wedges? Why do you think so?
Splitting mauls are used to split firewood. Usually the maul is swung down so the head hits the piece of wood. This is repeated as the crack in the wood widens until the piece splits into two pieces.
For this I used the maul as though it did not have a handle to show how the maul splits the wood. First I tapped the maul until it stood up in a piece of wood.
Then I hit the top of the maul with a sledge hammer. This applies force to the top of the maul. Where does this force go?
The maul goes down into the piece of wood so some of the force pushes the maul downward.
The crack in the wood gets wider. Does some of the force go sideways? Why do you think so?
When you push on a needle, you are applying force. Where does that force go?
How is a wedge like an inclined plane?
How is a wedge different from an inclined plane?
What I Found Out:
My piece of cloth had threads running up and down and other threads going across. The threads went over and under each other. They were tight so the threads did not shift.
When I pushed the needle through the cloth, the point went through between the threads and pushed them apart. After the needle went through the cloth, the threads tried to go back into place but left a small hole where the needle had been.
The splitting maul has a broad point and gets thicker going away from the point. It is a wedge.
The force goes into the maul. Part of the force goes down and pushes the maul further into the wood.
Part of the force pushes the wood apart. There must be force pushing the wood apart. The only place any force is being applied is on the top of the maul. Some of it pushed the wood apart.
An inclined plane has a broad point at one end and gets thicker going away from that point.
An inclined plane sits still. Objects are pushed or pulled up the ramp.
Force is applied to a wedge. That force pushed the wedge forward and pushes outwards to push things apart.