A Better Six Board Chest – Bootjacking with Style

Monday we discussed basic bootjacking and the benefits to the structure, durability, and aesthetic of the basic boarded chest. Today we’ll jump into some of the more visually interesting and, quite honestly, iconic variations of bootjacking.

Boarded Bootjack Layout 1We remember our basic layout shaped friend? Rather than going to the midpoint between the foot and the knee, strike a line four inches from, and parellel to, the base. Grab your dividers, because now we are going to start working with more interesting elements drawn from this starting point.

Boarded Gothic Step 1

From the basic layout, strike a line halfway from the foot to the apex line that is about two inches in length. Center this line so that it extends equally on either side of the midline. A little tick mark will help indicate the centers for drawing the arcs.

Boarded Gothic Step 2

Using the vertices, set a pair of dividers to a 2″ radius and scribe one half-circle from the baseline to the apex line.

Boarded Gothic Step 3

Where the arcs meet the baseline, strike a line from each intersection to the foot of the board. These lines are perpendicular to the foot. Saw out along these scribe lines to create a simple Gothic Arch. You may notice this arch is designed at a 2:1 ratio, an “Octave” in Musical Proportion.

For an Ogee Arch, we have a little change on how the layout begins.

Boarded Ogee 1

Being that the Apex line is four inches from the foot, we need to establish a stepped harmony. To separate the upper portion of the Ogee Arch, we will strike a line 1″ below the Apex Line, and two perpendicular lines one inch to either side of the midline.

Boarded Ogee 2

Using the intersection of the two perpendicular lines and the foot edge of the board as the center, scribe two arcs with a 3″ radius.

Boarded Ogee 3

Reset the dividers to a 1″ radius, and center two arcs where the perpendicular lines intersect the Apex Line. Ensure the arcs intersect the peaks of the larger arcs.

Boarded Ogee 4

Removing the extraneous lines, the draft for the Ogee becomes very clear. Like with the Gothic Arch, sawing this out will require a thin-kerfed blade that can be turned inside the radius of the arch. This Ogee Arch is proportioned at 3:1. Take some time to play with proportions and you will find some other interesting and attractive layouts for your Gothic and Ogee Bootjacks. To truly make this work effectively, ignore the ruler and pick out a height that is relative to the height of the knee from the foot. Walk it off with your dividers and use an attractive proportion based on the actual height of the tracery space: see how 3:2 looks, 4:3, or even 5:3. It’ll take some getting used to, but with practice you will start to see how to layout these tracery designs without resorting to laying out a complete grid or relying a marked ruler to assign your locations.

For the daring, try using the techniques already discussed and figure this one out:

Boarded Arabesque Arch2

This entry was posted in 6 Board Chest, Design and Proportion, Projects, Tracery and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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