Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Making a marionette - Knee Joints

The Leg (Knee) Joint

Here are some ways to make a knee joint:

Slot cut with a router.
If you have a router or have access to one (maybe ask a carpenter or your local woodshop and they may do it for you) then you can cut very accurate slots for the knee joints.
Firstly you need to think about the grain direction. To make the best joint you should try to get the grain of the wood running in the same direction as the slot. In this picture I have highlighted the grain direction for you to see. So here i will be cutting the slots on the sides that I am holding.

Next you need to get your router and select a cutter with an appropriate diameter for the slot you are cutting. In these pictures I am using a very small cutter as this is for a small marionette. Mark the depth of cut you want to make and then set the depth stop on the router. You will probably want to make the cut in a few passes rather than strain the cutter with a single cut.

Now repeat the process for the other leg. You can now cut the leg shape from the block.

The Hinge Method

For larger marionettes you can use a backflap hinge. At you local hardware shop, find a couple of appropriately sized backflap hinges. You will need to cut an angle on the back of the lower and upper leg of at least 45 degrees (you may want a bigger angle for more movement). Now you can attach the hinges to the back of the leg or a nicer way is to cut a slot into the legs which will hide it away. If you want to hide the hinges away you will need to mark where the holes for the screws are so you can fix them in place.


Créaturiste said...

Thank you Tony, this article provides two vital pieces of the giant puzzle!

enVide neFelibata said...

thank's for sharing your knowledge.