How would you make this cut?

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Forum topic by startingfromscratch posted 11-12-2009 08:36 PM 2160 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View startingfromscratch's profile


69 posts in 3191 days

11-12-2009 08:36 PM

Presuming you were using pine 1X3 for stock, how would one go about making the top and bottom vent cuts? I apologize in advance, but I need as basic and detailed a description as possible…

radiator cover

27 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 11-12-2009 08:38 PM

router and 2 stops. either on the router table, or freehand with a straight edge.

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

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3269 days

#2 posted 11-12-2009 08:42 PM

Another possiblity is using a band saw for the rough cuts and a drum or other sander to smooth the curves…but I would prefer the router method as proposed by Purp above….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3157 days

#3 posted 11-12-2009 08:44 PM

I’d plunge in with a table saw and clean up the curves with a scroll saw.

-- jay,

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 3751 days

#4 posted 11-12-2009 08:48 PM

Depending on how many of these you plan on making the simplist solution for a “one-off” project would be draw the shape then cut it out with a jig saw, sand down the edges and you’re off to the races.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

View LesB's profile


1726 posts in 3442 days

#5 posted 11-12-2009 08:58 PM

I go with Cosmicsniper but you might make the curves using a Forstner bit of the appropriate diameter first. Then make the plunge cuts on the table saw and finish out the small section left between the curve and straight cut with a saber, band, or hand saw. The higher you can raise your table saw blade the smaller the remaining section to be cut will be. Use caution and be safe making the plunge cut. This method also leaves the cut out piece attached after the plunge cut to it does not become a loose piece that can catch on the saw blade.
To use the Forstner drill bits to make the curve, clamp a piece of waste wood to your 1X3 so the bit will be supported in the full circle.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Thuan's profile


203 posts in 3817 days

#6 posted 11-12-2009 09:07 PM

If you plan to paint it, then just glue little curved legs to a straight piece, sand it smooth and put three coats of paint on it.
if you plan to stain it. Butt two pieces of wood together and clamp it tight, get a hole saw and drill down the middle. Separate the two boards. You now have perfect semi-circles. Cut the straight part out with a jig saw on a guide rail. Or do this to a hardboard, then use it as a router template for the rest.

-- Thuan

View Bret's profile


166 posts in 3493 days

#7 posted 11-12-2009 09:15 PM

This would be a router job for me too. Just pick a bit wit the radius you’d like for the curve and make progressively deeper passes until you have the shape you want.

-- Woodworking is easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#8 posted 11-12-2009 09:18 PM

I do it the same way as Cosmic ,but if your not use to this technique some folks forget that the bottom cut of you wood on the table saw cuts farther than the top cut so make sure you put a mark on the fence so you know were the bottom cut of the blade is so you can stop your cut in the proper place.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3647 days

#9 posted 11-12-2009 09:21 PM

ok, here’s why I WOULDN’T use the table saw for this one (it’s called safety) – plunge cutting into a table saw, means you have to take ALL guards/splitters/riving-knives COMPLETELY OFF. that is a deal breaker for me (notice the reference to ME – you can do what you want. but I wouldn’t recommend this approach).

another point to notice here is the OP “starting from scratch” – not sure of his/her proficiency with powertools, and I would have to go against anything that yells “safety hazard”

but I know I’m a minority.

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

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 3751 days

#10 posted 11-12-2009 09:21 PM

Thuan has my vote on the simplest method.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#11 posted 11-12-2009 09:28 PM

Hey Sharon
That’s a very valid point. Those of use who operate there saws all the time think nothing of this approach, but I have to ask myself is this what I would teach in a begging wood working class and the answer is no.
I would have them use a jig saw and sand to the line. Thanks for a little safety review, I usually think I’m on top of saftey but I think I missed the boat this time.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3696 days

#12 posted 11-12-2009 09:36 PM


View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3662 days

#13 posted 11-12-2009 09:41 PM

I would use a templates and a pattern bit in my router. Hardboard templates are easy to make, and they are re-usable. Just do the rough-out of the template with the bandsaw or a rasp, then clean it up with sandpaper.

The ‘template’ doesn’t have to be full-length … as a matter of fact, I would only make one with the radius you need and use a straight edge as a template to route the edge between the two end radii.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Sam Butler's profile

Sam Butler

9 posts in 3340 days

#14 posted 11-12-2009 09:43 PM

I like to make a template out of 1/4 inch masonite, shape it with rasp and sanding. Then use the template to draw the profile on the stock, cut with saber saw and then use a pattern cutting router bit and the template double stick taped to the stock to smooth the profile

View startingfromscratch's profile


69 posts in 3191 days

#15 posted 11-12-2009 09:46 PM

Wow, this is really great feedback. I have to cop to the fact that my tablesaw already is sans safety equipment, but the point is well taken PurpLev. I have had very good luck with clamping a long level onto the board and using that as a straight edge with a jigsaw. I love how many ways there are to skin a cat in woodworking!

Another question…the bottom piece sits out from the rest of the radiator cover. Without a design or plan, what’s the best guess on how its built. Do you think the “stiles” go all the way to the ground and the bottom piece is attached to them? It doesn’t look like that’s the case because you would be able to see the doubled up wood on the middle “leg.” It looks to me like the bottom piece is a little wider than a 1×3 (which is what the stiles look to be). Do you think the bottom rail piece is maybe a 1×4 as is the bottom exterior piece and they attached by a 1” overlap in the back (making the bottom rail appear to be a 1×3)?

I like this radiator cover design and think I have the tools and skills to build it…now if I just had the plans!

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