But the irregular curves require the most care to form properly. Let us try first the elliptical curve (Fig. 148). The proper thing is, first, to draw a line (A), which is called the "major axis." On this axis we mark for our guidance two points (B, B). With the dividers find a point (C) exactly midway, and draw a cross line (D). This is called the "minor axis." If we choose to do so we may indicate two points (E, E) on the minor axis, which, in this case, for convenience, are so spaced that the distance along the major axis, between B, B, is twice the length across the minor axis (D), along E, E. Now find one-quarter of the distance from B to C, as at F, and with a compass pencil make a half circle (G). If, now, you will set the compass point on the center mark (C), and the pencil point of the compass on B, and measure along the minor axis (D) on both sides of the major axis, you will make two points, as at H. These points are your centers for scribing the long sides of the ellipse. Before proceeding to strike the curved lines (J), draw a diagonal line (K) from H to each marking point (F). Do this on both sides of the major axis, and produce these lines so they cross the curved lines (G). When you ink in your ellipse do not allow the circle pen to cross the lines (K), and you will have a mechanical ellipse.
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