In 1792 the guillotine was made of red painted wood. The guillotine was 4 meters high and the distance between the uprights was 40 centimeters. A simple device on the side of the upright, was used to maintain the blade/mouton in position, and to release it.
Soon after the first machine was built it became clear that the grooves had to be lined with metal. Wooden grooves could get swollen, which would prevent the mouton from falling freely.
The bascule was a sort of teeterboard, against which the condemned was pushed. Tilted in horizontal position it was pushed forward so that the neck was placed properly in the lunette. The lunette was closed, and the mouton released.
A construction plan for this model is available in scale 1:5