Sculptured joints

The term sculptured is applied to jointed parts fitted together and shaped to a continuous curve unbroken at the line of the joint as if the whole structure were carved out of a solid piece (although that is not the object of the technique, for the change in grain direction will always show, and the chief considerations are, or should be, flowing structural lines and smooth, unbroken surfaces with no sharp angles). This type of joint is usually confined to chair-work, although it has applications in table framing, and the final shaping must be done after the joints have been assembled. Preliminary drawings are necessary, laying out full-size plans, elevations and cross-sections, with the latter in great detail if the work is to be executed by a third person. The wood must be thick enough to take the shaping with plenty to spare, and in order to facilitate the final shaping some of the first rough cutting can be done before assembly, but wherever possible square faces should be left for laying out the joints and final cramping/clamping. Figure 214 illustrates the

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214 Sculptured joint details

technique, and the drawing at 214:1 shows a turned taper leg with a square block left for the jointing which is cut away on the dotted lines to give the dowel seating, and also a square face (214:3A) for a direct pull for the cramps. The completed joint is shown in 214:2, while 214:4 is a simply made rasp for final finishing made out of a two-pronged stick over which abrasive paper of the appropriate grade is wrapped. It should be remembered that the sweetness of the final curves is largely in the hands of the executant, no matter how detailed the drawings may be; therefore for very exact work a full-size model in clay or softwood may be necessary.

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215 Rail and leg joints

215 Rail and leg joints

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