Large Carved Frame #3: My Experimental Technique

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Blog entry by Rex B posted 08-20-2013 06:38 PM 1536 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Getting Started with the Build Part 3 of Large Carved Frame series Part 4: Finishing Up »

Now for the fun part! When we left off last time I had 4 identical pieces with their outer profile finished.

Because I had a smooth, continuous profile, I was fairly confident that I could use a single-point guide and follow the profile with my router. My workbench is large and flat enough, so I needed was a pair of “skis” to elevate the router off the bench. Here’s what I came up with:

Time to give these new jigs a try. With the blank clamped to the bench with my vise, I used a round nose bit (1/2” diameter) to cut a groove about 1” in from the outside edge, following the profile. The jigs worked like a charm!

When cutting, I had to be very mindful to always keep the pointed guide against the profile. I did have one mishap during the first cut, but was able to fix it seamlessly. I’ll show that later.

The next step in the plan was to use a straight bit to follow the profile again and cut away half of the round groove, leaving a cove with a step down to a flat surface. When I was planning the project in CAD, I made a series of profile templates which I used to align the fence and the bit depth.

And made this cut on all 4 pieces, easy as pie!

The final router carving step was to remove the edge guide but leave the bit at the same height. Then I freehand milled away the rest of the material to the inside of the profile, being careful to stay away from the edge I defined in the previous step. After milling I had to do some sanding to smooth out the marks left by the router bit, but being pine it didn’t take long at all.

All of this material removal made a heck of a mess in the garage.

And here’s how I fixed the mistake I mentioned earlier: I just used the router to mill away a section of the outside rim down the the same height as the inner land, then glued in a new chunk of wood, pattern routed the outer edge, and recut the cove profile. With a bit of filler to hide the joint lines, you could barely tell it was there even before painting.

-- Rex

2 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3238 posts in 3713 days

#1 posted 08-21-2013 04:24 AM


This is really pretty straight-forward. Maybe even I could do it! The last part without the guide is where I would probably mess up!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3649 days

#2 posted 08-21-2013 04:29 AM

very nice setup.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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