Methods of Joining: Halving
One of the simpler methods of joining two pieces of wood is that known as halving. Two forms of halving are shown in the accompanying illustration, below: that at A shows the method of joining the ends of two pieces of wood, while that at B shows the joining of the end of one piece to any part in the length of another piece.
In the process of halving, the single marking gauge must be set to the exact depth required for the joint, which is usually half the thickness of the pieces to be joined, and the necessary lines scratched on both the pieces where required: then the cross lines must be marked accurately by the aid of the try square.
When all the marking has been executed, the portions so marked must be carefully cut out with one of your tenon saws. The end portions at A can be entirely removed with the saw, only requiring two cuts each; but the portion cut from the lower piece at B, after having its side cuts made with the saw, must be removed with a broad firmer chisel and its bottom pared perfectly level and true to the gauge marks on both sides.
Great care must be taken to make the halved portions fit accurately; and it will be desirable for the amateur to saw on the safe side of the scratched lines, so as to admit of paring with the chisel in case the joints require adjustment: this is especially desirable in the sinking at B. In completing the joints, they can be simply glued, or further strengthened by being pinned with wood or screwed. In the form of halving shown at B, the joint may assume the form of a dovetail, as indicated above : this makes a more satisfactory joint should there be any pull on it.
In the next drawing are shown two other forms of halving which the amateur joiner will find useful in the construction of simple pieces of furniture, examples of which appear in some of the pictures in the present manual. At A and B are shown two thin and deep bars of wood, halved at their edges so as to cross at right angles. In forming this joint the marking-gauge and try-square must be used as described above ; and the sides only of the openings are to be cut with the tenon-saw, and the wood removed with a firmer-chisel, and all carefully pared, so as to secure a tight and true joint. This form of halving is required in the bars carrying the top of the table shown in Plate VIII, in the square tea table plans.
At C and D are shown two thin and broad bars of wood cross-halved on their sides. In this case the saw has only very shallow cuts to make, while the principal work has to be done with a broad chisel. This is also a useful mode of forming flush cross-bars, of which the amateur can make good use in much of his work: it has to be followed in forming the ornamental cross stay-bar in the lower part of the small table shown in Plate VIII., in which the halving occupies the square, central portion. If the jointings have been carefully and tightly made, glue will be found sufficient, and screwing will rarely have to be added.
Although halving at right angles is alone illustrated in the two drawings, it must be understood that halving at any other required angle may be easily executed ; a special mitre square, (which can be adjusted to any angle) being used instead of the try-square in preparing the guide-lines for the saw cuts.
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