Another way to create an elliptical 1/2 (or 1/4) plan

Interesting to learn more of the sacred geometry all the time. Compass and rule work was my favorite bits in high school geometry class. I can’t wait to add this to my layout repertoire!

A Woodworker's Musings

A true ellipsis is, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful shapes in the universe.  Unlike an oval that is drawn with two mirrored radii (or three in the case of a true “egg” shape), the radii of the ellipsis continually change.  It’s incredibly strong shape in structural terms and it’s one of the best shapes for table tops.  There are many ways to draw an ellipsis.  But here’s an old method that you don’t often see referred to these days.  It’s simple and can be extraordinarily precise.  This method can also be very helpful if you’re creating domed framing for any type of construction.

First, establish a horizontal base line then raise a vertical line.


Swing a semi-circle with a diameter based on the minor axis of the ellipsis.


Next, open the compass to the length of the major axis and strike a point to the base…

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“When the proportions are adjusted, and the dimensions found by calculation, then it is the part of a skilful architect to consider the nature of the place, the purpose of the building, and the beauty of it.”          VITRUVIUS

When everything was mystical and metaphorical, it was only natural that numbers should have been brought to the service of Art.  Geometry also provided a symbolical code, which may some day be understood.  These geometrical symbols enabled the mathematicians to import the secret mysteries into their works, and also gave to the builders a means of applying a numerical system to the temples, which, as Plato says, exhibited the pattern of the laws in Egypt.  Considerable traces of this symbolical geometry survive in the arcana of Freemasonry.

Philosophy must have been equally dependent upon some system of geometry, for Plato wrote over the door of his academy;

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