Gothic design

I want to design a piece of furniture for my daughter who is very much into Gothic / Medieval architecture. I've been told that there is a method to determining how to shape the top of a Gothic style window or arch that you might see in a church or a castle, whether it's poionted or rounded. But so far I have not been able to find out anything more.
The project is a grandmother clock, and I'm trying to draw out the door on the front of the case and the glass panels on the sides. I'm trying to figure out if there is a "right way" to make these pieces based on the length and width.
Is there anyone who can point me in the right direction - books, Web sites, etc.
Thanks in advance, Tim
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On Sun, 11 Nov 2007 23:15:10 -0500, Tim Schubach wrote:

http://www.davewestclocks.co.uk/new%20images%2014/Eureka%203%20ball.jpg
I like the design of this one.
S.
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This page has some simple variations on the arch, and instructions on constructing them.
http://codesmiths.com/shed/workshop/techniques/arches.htm
I am curious to find out what a grandmother clock is??

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One that is not as big as a grandfather clock.
seriously.
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A grandfather clock without the pendulum.
B.
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wrote:

It's different from a grandfather clock in two ways, firstly it's less tall, secondly it's more attractive shaped (IMHO) around the top bonnet of the hood.
A grandfather is _big_ ! It's too big for most modern houses. Even if it does fit, it's probably overpowering.
Now some grandfathers in really big houses had complicated bonnets, but in most cases their height was so tall that they didn't have space for this. Many grandfathers thus had a very simple flat top to the hood. This looks OK if you're trying to fit the most clock under a ceiling, but really I'd rather have it lower.
AFAIK, grandmothers always had a decorated bonnet never a flat top.
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Thanks! This was very helpful and just what I was looking for.
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Sun, Nov 11, 2007, 11:15pm snipped-for-privacy@woh.rr.com (TimSchubach) doth sayeth: I want to design a piece of furniture for my daughter who is very much into Gothic / Medieval architecture. <snip> The project is a grandmother clock, <sniIs there anyone who can point me in the right direction - books, Web sites, etc.
A clock AIN'T furniture, and it for sure ain't architecture. Here's a darkly Gothic clock.
http://www.newmoon.uk.com/dragon/NOW114.jpg And, a German Gothic clock.
http://www.antiqueclockspriceguide.com/priceguideimages/robertoschmitt3/lot583.jpg
If it was me, I'd have HER do a google image search, using GOTHIC CLOCK, or similar. So she can pick a design she actually likes, not something she's just being polite about when she thanks you. Personally, I'd rather have a Gothic chair then a Gothic clock, grandmother or not, any day. This from one whose relatives have not one clue about what I'd actually like, and who they never bother to ask.
JOAT Viet Nam. Divorce. Cancer. Been there, done that, got over it. Now where the Hell are my T-shirts? - JOAT
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On Nov 12, 6:17?am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Actually, a long case clock probably has more "architectural" features than most furniture. And it's as much a piece of furniture as a book case or linen chest.
FoggyTown
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The classical 'Roman arch' is a simple semi-circle atop straight verticals. I.e. set a compass arc to 1/2 the distance between the verticals, and position the compass pin halfway between those same verticals.
The 'Gothic' arch is created by setting a compass to the entire distance between the verticals, and striking an arc from the top of each vertical.
The Gothic arch is 'taller' than the Roman one, but supports heavier loading.
Both of these designs provide a smooth transition from the vertical element into the curve of the arch.
One can use 'offset' arcs -- sort-of like the Gothic style, but with the swing-point of the arc _below_ the top of the verticals. This gives a 'corner' transition between the top of the vertical and the arc. Tends to look 'less natural' than either the Roman or Gothic designs, but can be viable if there are other architectural elements to mimic that transition.

The round dial face makes for a 'natural' Roman arch at the top of the casement.
mixing Roman and Gothic styles tends to look 'wrong' -- even if people can't say 'why' it looks that way.
Generally the door for accessing the pendulum/weights is done 'square' to the world. the side glass is commonly square also (if the front is square-topped), -or- has a Roman arch, _if_ the front of the case has the 'bubble' on the top.
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On Nov 12, 6:10 am, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

Thanks for the additional information. I have some ideas for the door and the side panels, but need to draw some things out to see if I like the look.
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I like this site:
http://codesmiths.com/shed/workshop/techniques/arches.htm
I am building a 16th century metal chest with Gothic embellishments and needed the math to make my non-artistic hen-scratches look decent.
http://www.spaco.org/chest.htm
Pete Stanaitis ----------------------------
Tim Schubach wrote:

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Wikipedia isn't too bad.
I've got a very good chapter on this myself, but it's not on-line (and won't be, sorry) 8-(
Basically, the trisk to "gothic" design isn't hard, but nor is it trivial. There are techniques and rules you _must_ follow, or it just won't be right. There are also variatiosn within the style where you can adjust things and keep them looking right.
Gothic design begins with tool - straight edges and dividers. These can be string or rulers, compasses or dividers. You _don't_ need to measure angles. They couldn't do that in period, don't you be doing it now. You'll also need some schoolbook-level Euclidean geometry, such as how to construct angles of 90 or 60 with dividers, and how to divide lines into equal parts. Maybe Pythagoras too. You'll find a setsquare, maybe a 45 square very useful, but there's nothing here you can't do purely with those dividers.
To get the "style" right, remember the following:
- It's all done with circular arcs, sometimes with a few straight lines. It _doesn't_ use ellipses or parabolas.
- Where an arc joins a tangent to that arc, you get a smooth continuous line. Even though the curvature is discontinuous (i.e. it suddenly changes from radious to infinite (straight)) then the curve is still smooth.
And that's _all_ you need to know. From those, you can work out the rest yourself (try it!)
As a "classic" gothic arch, there's the lancet window shape. This has a set of proportions such that the overall window can be any size, but the curved portion at the head of the window is such that its height is the same as the width. "Height" here is measured from the "springing points", the points on the sides where the vertical side turns into a curve.

arcs with dividers. The questions left now are where to place their centres! Symmetry suggests symmetry in placement. So that leaves us with "How high up?" the centres should be, and "How far from the centre line?"
Our 2nd condition (tangents) answers the first question easily. To get a smooth curve through the spring points (to a vertical line below), we need to place the centres of the arcs on the same horizontal line of the spring points.
To get the arcs to fit the sides, we obviously need to put the centres so that they're one radius away from the opposing vertical.
This much holds true for all "Gothic" arches.
Now what radius should we choose? This varies, and it's what's used to control the "pointiness" of Gothic arches within the overall family of these arches. For the classic arch (height above spring points same as width) we can see by Pythagoras and quite easily identify a pair of 3:4:5 triangles, one on each side (height is 4, radius is 5). So set the radius of your dividers to 5 quarters of the width, and place the centre point one quarter _outside_ the width of the overall arch.
For a more squat arch, use a radius of one width.
Anothe arch (a bit later, Tudor rather than Gothic) is the "four centred arch". Wiki describes the construction.
There's a certain satisfaction about visiting an old site to deliver some of your own work with properly drawn arches and seeing it fit perfectly in with what's there. Schadenfreude is when a modern "arched" doorway at the same site then leaps out at you for _not_ following the right proportions. Once you've seen it, you can eyeball whether this stuff is right.
As an easy constructional technique, look into laminated multi-layer MDF or plywood, where you jigsaw shapes firsst, then run a chamfer cutter over the partial depth, then assemble as a sandwich (trim and chamfer the outside edge _after_ glueup!)
You can make this sort of thing: <http://codesmiths.com/shed/furniture/chairs/gothic_chair/
Note that concetric arcs shoudl be concentric (i.e. same centres), otherwise they taper and look odd. So nested concentric arcs might need to choose the best overall position as a compromise (the proportions of the arcs will change - inners will effectively be "sharper")
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Thanks a lot for all of the additional information. I will keep this on my table as I start to sketch out my design.
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