How to cut-out a large curve for a sleigh bed? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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How to cut-out a large curve for a sleigh bed?

I'm making a sleigh bed and I'm stumped on how to cut the top boards that will run along the top of the footboard and headboard. These top boards need to be curved. They will be 55" long and will be 2" thick. I included a drawing below showing a side profile colored in black of how I want it to be shaped. Any ideas on where to even begin cutting something like this out? I'll be using pine (two 2x6's glued together to get the thickness). I was thinking maybe I could make a jig and use my table saw to make the inner part of the radius. For the large outer part though, I have no clue. I'd need a 4" or 5" round-over bit to create that kind of curve. Thanks for any help.

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post #2 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 05:24 AM
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I'm making a sleigh bed and I'm stumped on how to cut the top boards that will run along the top of the footboard and headboard. These top boards need to be curved. They will be 55" long and will be 2" thick. I included a drawing below showing a side profile colored in black of how I want it to be shaped. Any ideas on where to even begin cutting something like this out? I'll be using pine (two 2x6's glued together to get the thickness). I was thinking maybe I could make a jig and use my table saw to make the inner part of the radius. For the large outer part though, I have no clue. I'd need a 4" or 5" round-over bit to create that kind of curve. Thanks for any help.


You could do your cove cut (the inside curve) on the table saw using different methods. One would be like this. Here is a video...
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You could cut the inside curve by kerf cutting different depths, and then chisel out the waste. The outside curve could be done the same way, since you have a flat to start with by cutting near to a line and taking off the waste. The cuts would look like this.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 06:24 AM
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Another way to do the outside curve would be to cut some bevels on the table saw, close to the curved line, and then dress the rest down with a hand plane.





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post #4 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 08:51 AM
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I'd draw it out on a piece of MDF and make a template. Use the template to cut the outline with a router about a 1/4 to 1/2" deep, cut off the waste with a band saw or jig saw and finish with a flush trim bit. Advantage of making a template is you can remake it or fix anything you don't like until you get it just right, and then all your copies will be exactly the same.

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post #5 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 10:20 AM
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I would go with the cove cut on the table saw for the inside, then some bevels on the table saw to remove most of the waste and finish with a curved spokeshave, since I happen to own one.

A hand plane can work, but you will have a lot of sanding to smooth out the flats from the plane.

If Firemedic replies, he will likely recommend a draw knife, since he has one and used it for this type of cut. It may have also been a bed project.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 10:28 AM
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A female checking template would be good

A series of straight cuts on the table saw would work for the internal cove, then remove the waste with a chisel.

The other side could be done on a bandsaw or table saw. Then hand planed or sanded to the proper curve. The templates can be used "as you go" to get a consistent profile.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. The video of the guy cutting the cove on the table saw was what I had in mind for the inner part. It looks like for the outer I'm going to have to do like most suggested and cut as much waste away as possible on the table saw. From there I guess i'll have to use a belt sander. All I have to work with is a 10" table saw, 1/2" router and a belt sander. I don't have a bandsaw. Here's a picture of the curved top piece running along the headboard...this is what I'm trying to make. The company who made this bed must have massive routers.

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post #8 of 11 Old 11-09-2012, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CantonNick View Post
Thanks for the help. The video of the guy cutting the cove on the table saw was what I had in mind for the inner part. It looks like for the outer I'm going to have to do like most suggested and cut as much waste away as possible on the table saw. From there I guess i'll have to use a belt sander. All I have to work with is a 10" table saw, 1/2" router and a belt sander. I don't have a bandsaw.
If you are doing the inside cove on the table saw, you may find Mattias Wandel's cove calculator useful.

http://woodgears.ca/cove/index.html

I would not want to try using a belt sander on the outside. I am not able to get a smooth surface with a belt sander.

You may want to make a sanding template. Normally cut out of wood, but since you do not have a bandsaw, try using a section of PVC pipe which has a diameter larger than the outside radius.

Glue sandpaper to the section of pipe and this is likely to give you a better result. Start with e.g., 80 grit. You will be surprised how fast this can remove stock.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-09-2012, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Paine View Post
If you are doing the inside cove on the table saw, you may find Mattias Wandel's cove calculator useful.

http://woodgears.ca/cove/index.html

I would not want to try using a belt sander on the outside. I am not able to get a smooth surface with a belt sander.

You may want to make a sanding template. Normally cut out of wood, but since you do not have a bandsaw, try using a section of PVC pipe which has a diameter larger than the outside radius.


Glue sandpaper to the section of pipe and this is likely to give you a better result. Start with e.g., 80 grit. You will be surprised how fast this can remove stock.
Great idea and tip! tanx.

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-09-2012, 02:35 PM
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Rockler cove cutting jig

I have only tried cutting a cove on the table saw a few times.

My experience is that you need to take a lot of small cuts gradually raising the blade, since a portion of the cut is the side of the tooth rather than front.

I did not have a dedicated jig and had to clamp some pieces of wood.

I just got the latest Rockler catalog and they have a jig.

I think you can use this to make your own. Rockler want $94, which feels rather steep.

It is a good idea to have two pieces as guides to control the piece being cut. The hold down is nice, but you can do this with a push stick.

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...8&filter=22395
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post #11 of 11 Old 11-09-2012, 03:38 PM
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I would not want to try using a belt sander on the outside. I am not able to get a smooth surface with a belt sander.

You may want to make a sanding template. Normally cut out of wood, but since you do not have a bandsaw, try using a section of PVC pipe which has a diameter larger than the outside radius.

Glue sandpaper to the section of pipe and this is likely to give you a better result. Start with e.g., 80 grit. You will be surprised how fast this can remove stock.
At one time I made a wall system comprised of four standing pilasters that went from floor to a vaulted ceiling. They were about 4" wide by 24" deep, with a radiused front leading edge. The species was Ash, and I used Ash ĺ" plywood with a solid Ash front edge full length. I passed them through the table saw to get a few angles close to my radii, I then used a belt sander to make the curve.

The solid wood had to finish flush with the plywood, and it took extreme care using a belt sander. With some experience, belt sanders can do some incredible work.





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