New experiences #2: Cutting curves with a router

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Blog entry by albachippie posted 10-01-2010 12:26 AM 14227 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
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For the project I am currently working on, I required a perfect curve for the front of a desk and for two shelves. Because the top material is Melamine Faced Chipboard, I decided to strengthen this by using construction grade ply. This gave me a good practice material to get the curve right, before cutting the MFC, which is 3 times the price of ply! Although I own two routers, I have never really used them to cut. I was looking through Fine Woodworking website and came across a build off video for built ins. In this video Gary Striegler gives a great explanation on cutting arches with a router and trammel, so that is the principal I used.

I first drew full size the layout of the desk onto the ply.

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I then found the centre point if the radius using a straight edge (not really clear from this photo)

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Using the same trammel, I attached my small but trusty bosch 500 POF router, which is one of the first power tools I ever bought just after I finished my apprenticeship

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Then I just cut the arc by running the router over the ply. I did the cut in four passes with a 1/2” cutter. 4 passes because the router is only 500 watt, and it keeps the cut clean also

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I will now use this ply back as a template to cut the MFC top. For this I will use a profile cutter with my bigger Makita router

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland

1 comment so far

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1676 posts in 2916 days

#1 posted 10-01-2010 10:54 AM

If you use a 3/8 cutter instead of 1/2, it will put less stress on the router and will require fewer passes.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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