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post #1 of 25 Old 10-15-2009, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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cutting Arches

what is the best way to accurately make and cut arches for a face frame on an ET center? Approx. 39" wide 3" high. I have tried the thin strip of veneer but it never comes out even.
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post #2 of 25 Old 10-15-2009, 06:33 AM
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Use a thicker strip

maybe 1/16" or 3/32" or so and 3 points, in this case 39" apart and 3" high, on a template. The center nail must be on the opposite side of the strip. Trace the line from the center to one side and cut the template to that shape. Then using this as half your pattern trace it on a horizontal line, flip it about the center keeping the horizontal line and trace it again. That way any variations are duplicated on both sides.
A straight grained wood like maple or a homogeneous material like plastic or thin metal will give a more uniform arc using the 3 point method. This will eliminate the need for the above procedure. The advantage to this method is you can see the the arc as you adjust the center point up or down and design the arc to suit.
If you create your arc using the 3 point method on a material you can set small nails or push pins into to locate the strip that will help when tracing the strip, but a stiffer material will not flex when tracing and it gives a more predictable arc.
bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-16-2009 at 07:31 AM.
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post #3 of 25 Old 10-15-2009, 11:54 AM
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With those dimensions your radius is 64 7/8".

I would scribe an arc on a template, cut it, sand it nice then use it to shape the actual piece with a flush trim router bit.

Using the template you can be assured that if you screw up the initial set up, you can make another at little to no expense.

Here is a link to a good circle calculator.
http://www.1728.com/circsect.htm
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post #4 of 25 Old 10-15-2009, 04:14 PM
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Just use a long, thin piece of hardboard and cut a small notch on each end. Then attach a string at each end and adjust the length of the string until you get your desired arc. Trace, cut, trim, yada yada yada...
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post #5 of 25 Old 10-15-2009, 07:31 PM
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http://www.miterclamp.com/Woodworking_video_index.htm

I think these videos have been linked on this site before, but you can't go back to refer to this kind of stuff too often.

The video on drawing ellipses will probably fix what currently ails you, but they're all worth a look see...
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post #6 of 25 Old 10-16-2009, 03:16 PM
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Video on the use of a "fairing" stick to make an arc

Wood magazine has some interesting free videos:
http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodvisi...tid=1805615843 bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #7 of 25 Old 10-17-2009, 01:24 PM
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i'm sorry i won't take advice from a guy missing 1/2 his finger, clearly he learned the wrong way hahahahahahahahaha
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post #8 of 25 Old 10-17-2009, 01:58 PM
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For larger arches I will make half an arch, cut it out of a pc of cardboard (or whatever) and then draw 2 half arches. Then they will always be the same.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #9 of 25 Old 10-18-2009, 07:00 PM
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Never use a strip of wood bent to form an arch ,your just asking for inaccuracy ,typical rough carpentry technology.
Cabinet builders use techniques like finding the point of radius and use a router mounted on an adjustable piece plywood or a pencil mark and cut with a saber saw.

I'd have to look up the math for finding the radius point but sounds like post #3 did just that .

Best way is the way you find and are comfortable with .
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post #10 of 25 Old 10-18-2009, 07:10 PM
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Heres one I did and it was the only time and last time I used a stick to mark the radius off the counter top and cut in place with a saber saw,all four. Quicky job
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post #11 of 25 Old 10-18-2009, 07:21 PM
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For all you hardcore scientific types here's the math

http://www.josephfusco.org/Tips/Find...rc_Radius.html
Topic: Finding the Radius of an Arc.
This question comes up many times and you can use this formula: R = ((((L/2)sqrd)/H) + H) / 2 if you have a scientific calculator


I couldn't get the formula above to work, myself, but the dimensions of 39" chord and 3" height plugged into the formula below gives the answer of 64.875 as Gus had posted. bill
  1. Where L is the length of any chord that touches the arc.
  2. Where H is the length of a line from the center of the chord L to the arc.
  3. Divide L by 2 then square it.
  4. Then divide the answer by the value H.
  5. Then add the value of H to the answer.
  6. Then divide the answer by 2 and that's the radius.
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Last edited by woodnthings; 10-19-2009 at 08:39 AM.
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post #12 of 25 Old 10-19-2009, 08:28 AM
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woodnthings: I just wanted to make a minor correction to your formula based on your step 3. If you do it as your original formula it is just ((L/H) + H)/2. What you actually want is
R = ((((L/2)^2)/H) + H) / 2

By the way, that's great information. I am constantly trying to estimate radii of the boats I'm building, and now I know how to actually calculate them. Cool.
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post #13 of 25 Old 10-19-2009, 08:38 AM
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Thanks Frank

It isn't "my" formula, I just copied it from the source above. But I fixed the missing term by adding the word "sqrd" to it. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #14 of 25 Old 10-19-2009, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
maybe 1/16" or 3/32" or so and 3 points, in this case 39" apart and 3" high, on a template. The center nail must be on the opposite side of the strip. Trace the line from the center to one side and cut the template to that shape. Then using this as half your pattern trace it on a horizontal line, flip it about the center keeping the horizontal line and trace it again. That way any variations are duplicated on both sides.

bill


Basically the simplest method is to use a bendable strip, and create half the arch. Cut out the pattern and use it for the other half.

Another way would be to use the two nail and a string method used to draw an ellipse. Knowing the span and rise, an arch can be easily created with great accuracy. An advantage with this method is if the arch has to flow into vertical planes, the ellipse can be adjusted to straighten out at predictable points.

With this wall system, I used the half pattern drawing, as I hate complicated math formulas. I think it came out OK.
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post #15 of 25 Old 10-19-2009, 12:06 PM
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Go here .. .. ..

http://www.delorie.com/wood/chord-radius.html

and plug in your numbers .. .. ..


Sounds kinda weird, but when I need to cut large arcs, here's my setup .. .. ..

I have some pieces of square tubing that fit inside each other .. a couple of nuts welded to the larger piece allows a pinch bolt to be installed .. one piece has a large hinge welded to it's end in the vertical orientation, the other has a router plate mounted to it. I clamp the hinge to the upright of the overarm guard/d.c. tube on the table saw .. mount and adjust the router in the other end .. telescope the two 'till I get the right radius .. mount the stock to the saw table (elevated by about 3/4") .. make final adjustments to the stock position .. rout away using my giant trammel arm. Perfect results every time with never a need to "Sweeten" the curve with a strip sander or any such nonsense.

Same setup can be made of wood scraps, but I tend to over-engineer my jigs.
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post #16 of 25 Old 10-19-2009, 03:03 PM
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I cheat, I draw it out on my CAD and point to the 3 point arch and it tells me the radius.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #17 of 25 Old 10-28-2009, 09:18 AM
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Hi ,Every body.
Try this link.I tried this jig and it worked well.Videos - Fine Homebuilding
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post #18 of 25 Old 10-28-2009, 10:49 AM
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There are many types of arches including eliptical

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arch
Construction
Isometric view of a typical arch
An arch requires all of its elements to hold it together, raising the question of how an arch is constructed. One answer is to build a frame (historically, of wood) which exactly follows the form of the underside of the arch. This is known as a centre or centring. The voussoirs are laid on it until the arch is complete and self-supporting. For an arch higher than head height, scaffolding would in any case be required by the builders, so the scaffolding can be combined with the arch support. Occasionally arches would fall down when the frame was removed if construction or planning had been incorrect. (The A85 bridge at Dalmally, Scotland suffered this fate on its first attempt, in the 1940s). The interior and lower line or curve of an arch is known as the intrados.
Old arches sometimes need reinforcement due to decay of the keystones, known as bald arch.
The gallery shows arch forms displayed in roughly the order in which they were developed.

Triangular arch
Round arch or Semi-circular arch
Segmental arch
Unequal round arch or Rampant round arch
Lancet arch
Equilateral pointed arch
Shouldered flat arch -see also jack arch
Three-foiled cusped arch
Horseshoe arch
Three-centered arch
Elliptical arch
Inflexed arch
Ogee arch
Reverse ogee arch
Tudor arch
Catenary or Parabolic arch

The most common arch is just the radius of a circle, using the chord as the base and a height determined by the design/designer. An elliptical arch may be most suited to the design over a simple chord and the video shows a neat way to construct one. Thanks for posting the link!
bill

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Last edited by woodnthings; 11-03-2009 at 11:00 PM.
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post #19 of 25 Old 11-03-2009, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeswoods View Post
Hi ,Every body.
Try this link.I tried this jig and it worked well.Videos - Fine Homebuilding

This is FAR & AWAY the easiest and possibly the best way to draw the perfect arch. This takes seriously, like 2 min to complete. 1 million times easier than a string!!!
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post #20 of 25 Old 11-04-2009, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Dering View Post
With those dimensions your radius is 64 7/8".

I would scribe an arc on a template, cut it, sand it nice then use it to shape the actual piece with a flush trim router bit.

Using the template you can be assured that if you screw up the initial set up, you can make another at little to no expense.

Here is a link to a good circle calculator.
http://www.1728.com/circsect.htm
x2 on the technique. Thanks for the link to the circle calculator.
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