From Rectangular to Curved - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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From Rectangular to Curved

I attached a picture with the dimensions of my bedroom and the size of the top of the desk. What I want to do is cut it down and give it a curve because right now its an atrocious giant rectangle. Dad bought it years ago and its been sitting in the basement. My question is whats the best way to accurately measure out a curve and to cut the wood without splintering.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 02:43 PM
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The easiest way is to determine the radius you want, say 19" as an example. That will be the curve created by a "circle" with a radius of 19 inches, which is actually quite flat for short spans but a nice moderate curve for something as wide as your desk. Once you know what radius you want, create a baton of that length or a string of that length and fix one end such that the free end can be used for marking the desk top.

As for reducing splintering, I'd say a fine tooth blade on whatever saw you use, or just do the whole thing with a router. It's going to vary somewhat depending upon the material, though.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by frankp View Post
As for reducing splintering, I'd say a fine tooth blade on whatever saw you use, or just do the whole thing with a router. It's going to vary somewhat depending upon the material, though.

I have also used masking tape/blue painters tape on the cut line. This can also help reduce splintering, but a sharp blade or bit is even more important.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 03:00 PM
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jig saw close to the cut line then sand to the line....and what others said
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 04:19 PM
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I attached a picture with the dimensions of my bedroom and the size of the top of the desk. What I want to do is cut it down and give it a curve because right now its an atrocious giant rectangle. Dad bought it years ago and its been sitting in the basement. My question is whats the best way to accurately measure out a curve and to cut the wood without splintering.

Once you decide what curve you want, I would make a template out of MDF and double side tape it to the top. Use a router with a flush trim bit to finish it. Cut away the majority of scrap with whatever means you have a available to reduce strain on the router and bit.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 05:48 PM
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The easiest way to create a curve is to use a bendable piece of wood or plywood, like 1/4"x 1/2" x 8' or longer, and if you are alone, clamp 2 blocks on the left corner to insert one end of the piece of wood. Make a mark at the middle of the desk at the outside edge. Then bend the piece so the middle touches the middle of the outside edge of the desk, and the right end is at the right corner.



You can get an inside parallel line by doing the same bending thing at the inside of the curve after you measure the distance at one end and mark off the middle.








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post #7 of 8 Old 05-19-2011, 07:11 PM
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... The easiest way to create a curve is to use a bendable piece of wood or plywood, like 1/4"x 1/2" x 8' or longer, and if you are alone, clamp 2 blocks on the left corner to insert one end of the piece of wood. Make a mark at the middle of the desk at the outside edge. Then bend the piece so the middle touches the middle of the outside edge of the desk, and the right end is at the right corner. ...
+1 I use MDF since there is no grain to disturb the smoothness of the curve.

Tony B



Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-20-2011, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome, thanks for the plentiful amount of responses
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