Hand Tools Archive
Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
An article in FWW and an episode of Rough Cut describe making a demilune and in both cases the hard part is glossed over, namely laying out and making the bridle joint for the two front legs. No doubt someone in 1740 figured out the best way to proceed but I haven't found their notes. So I forged on with inspiration driven by necessity. It may not be the best way, but it worked.
Picture 1 shows the result. what follows shows the process.
Step 1 is to locate the boundaries of the joint the width of the leg. I realized that the leg falls on the radius of a circle. So I located the diameter of this circle and the center of this diameter (and center of the circle) on a stick spanning across the back of the demilune arc. I cut a second stick the width of the legs and drove a pin through its center. I located the pin in the center of the circle and spanned to the radius of the circle (the table skirt). Locating the leg is then a simple matter of making scribe lines on the skirt as determined by the sides of the stick (which is exactly the width of the leg) which has become the radius of the circle.
The scribe lines are extended down the face of the skirt. Saw kerfs are made along these lines with the depth equal to the depth of the bridle joint.
Additional saw kerfs are made across the waste to exactly the depth of the bridle joint. The waste between the kerfs is bashed out. The remainder of the waste is pared using the saw kerfs as depth gauges for the paring. This last part took a while to get a good fit to the leg.