Re: Making an Oval Questions.....

Robin Corell in Atascadero
Ive do a lot of eliptical work over the years, some true and some less so. Early on I had an engineer explain that an ellipse is a cross section of a cone. So one method to draw an ellipse is to turn a cone and cut it at an angle and trace it. while this is pretty impratical I did try it out since I was given the diameter of the cone and the angel needed to make a pad on a pattern for an eliptical name plate for Jaccuzi.

often when making elliptical furniture you are given the width and depth or in math matical terms the major and minor axii. finding the length of string or the settings for a grinder then becomes trial and error. An easier method that produces surprisingly pleasing shapes if not true ellipses is to draw a rectangle that uses the desired major and minor axii as the length of the sides. next draw the major and minor axii inside the rectangle such that they intersect the sides of the rectangle and meet in the center.

now we will concentrate on one quadrant, or more succinctly the two lines that form one corner of one quadrant. divide the long line into 10 equal sized segments and then divide the short line into 10 equal sized segments. starting at the far end of the two lines that form the right angle start numbering the points up to #10, the corner becomes #1 for the next side. Now using a straight edge draw a line from 1 to 1 , 2 to 2, 3 to 3, etc. You can use 15, 20 , or more segments using this method for even better results.

As far as actually cutting out the wood I do things a bit different because of my background as a patternmaker. Using a bandsaw I cut to withing about 1/32" of the line and then sand to the line on a disc sander.

if you would like to see a table made using this method of generating an ellipse
here is a ling to a photo on my web page:


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