Re: Making an Oval Questions.....

William Duffield
I am guessing, since it is a table top and shelves, that your oval is aesthetic, as opposed to being there for some technical reason. I also don't know how you could tell from a photograph whether the original had an oval top or an ellipsoidal top, and I don't think your customer could tell either. Therefore, an approximation, using a method such as Bill describes should work just fine. There are lots of explanations on the web and in books on methods to lay out an oval with ruler and compass. There are also several methods to lay out an ellipse with common drafting tools. If you really think you need a close approximation of an ellipse, you can build an ellipsograph like in the Lee Valley article or tell a computer to calculate one for you and print it out on paper. Either one large sheet or several smaller sheets, tiled, work. Most technical graphics programs have the capability to print registration marks at the corners of each sheet of paper, to facilitate aligning them. I use 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to stick the paper patterns to the wood.

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