Trammels and the Ellipse

When the arena for displaying the cabinetmaker's mastery of wood is an oval, out comes the ellipsograph. There's no doubt about what an ellipsograph does, but how it does it—that takes some thinking. The device is also called a trammel, a bit confusing since trammel points are the spiked heads used to make up a beam compass. These look like pieces from an ellipsograph that lost their X. They just make circles.

You can also generate ellipses with two nails and a string. Draw a long axis line down the center of the length of the tabletop and a short axis line across the width. Measure half of the long axis, then measure the same distance from an outside edge of the short axis to make intersections with the long axis. Tack nails into both of these intersections and into the outside edge of the short axis. Now tie a snug string around these three points and then pull out the outermost nail. Set a pencil within this loop of string and bring it around to trace a perfect ellipse within the rectangle.

The ellipsograph and the nail-and-string method can generate ovals of any size, but the latter is better suited to larger tabletops.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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