Hand Cut

This is not a true woodworking joint in the conventional sense, since it does not physically attach one component to another. The rule joint comprises two moulded edges, one on a fixed table top and the other on a hinged leaf, that are designed to pivot, one around the other, as the leaf is raised and lowered. Its function is to conceal special back-flap hinges screwed to the undersides of the top and leaf. This type of hinge has flaps of different length, the longer one being screwed to the leaf. Rule-joint mouldings are cut before the final shaping of the table top and leaves.

knuckle gauge lines

1 Gauging the edges

Set a marking gauge to match the radius of the hinge knuckle, and scribe a line along each edge to be moulded, working from the undersides of both components. Continue the lines just onto the neighbouring edges.

Hand Cut Wood Joints

2 Marking the rabbet

Reset the gauge to the depth of the joint rabbet — about 3mm (1/sin)-and scribe similar parallel lines, working from the face side of each workpiece. The distance between the two gauged lines represents the radius of the rule joint.

-radius dimension -

3 Marking the width

With a cutting gauge set to this radius, scribe a line across the face side of the fixed top and across the underside of the leaf. Mark the edges similarly, and hatch the waste.

Woodworking Knuckle Joints

lines

lines

-radius dimension -

Wood Turning Depth Gauge

face side table top

UNDERSIDE

face side table top

UNDERSIDE

ta8letop rabbet

Alternate Drop Leaf Joint
drop leaf

ta8letop rabbet

4 Marking the radius

Using the scribed lines as guides, draw the rule-joint radius on each edge. Cut a card template for marking the leaf.

Knuckle Joint Woodworking

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