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Forum topic by greatview posted 03-13-2011 04:45 PM 1119 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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131 posts in 3152 days

03-13-2011 04:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question carving sanding

I’m duplicating two chairs from mahogany so that we’ll have eight rather than six. Almost everything is cut and ready to assemble except I cannot figure out how to make the large radius on the upper portion of the leg/back. The Sketchup image attached gives you an idea of the shape. I’ve cut the grooves and now need to radius the area between the grooves. It is all in one plane but they curve and taper.

Sanding won’t do it as it would take forever. I thought about a plane but the curve throws that out.

Clikk to enlarge.

From Recently Updated

And here is a picture of the old and the new piece.

From Recently Updated

-- Tom, New London, NH

6 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3708 days

#1 posted 03-13-2011 04:55 PM

Would it be possible to run it through a table mounted router? I am thinking if the curvature of the piece is not too great you could place it on the table so the face to be shaped is perpendicular to the table, set the dept of the router to clear your edge strips and then carefully (I don’t know how safe this whole process would be) slide it passed the blade whilst following the curve. I can picture this in my head, I don’t know if I explained it well enough, hope this helps.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Schwieb's profile


1857 posts in 3456 days

#2 posted 03-13-2011 05:14 PM

That was most likely done with a moulding plane with the cutter ground to half or possibly full profile. Probably a Stanley 45 or 55. I looked at the cutters that came with my 55 and found one that was similar depending on the radius of the curved portion. These planes could be adjusted and set up to do moulding profiles of many varieties. Doing this with a router would be very difficult I think. Good luck!

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3069 days

#3 posted 03-13-2011 06:09 PM

This is probably what I would do. It may not be the best idea – but this is what I would try – -

Glue up 3 pieces of wood. The center piece should be the width of the arched portion. Put paper between each glue joint (glue wood to paper on both sides of paper.

Turn a cylinder on lathe. This is surprising easy to do (if you have a lathe). A wood block wrapped with sandpaper will remove the hard to see high spots very quickly and easily.

Separate the wood at the glue lines (the paper will make a natural weak spot). A couple of screwdrivers will do the trick.

Clean up the edges with a sander or hand plane.

Glue on new edge pieces. The glue lines will be virtually impossible to see.

Note that you may want to so some shaping on the pieces that you attach so you do not have a sharp valley. That should be easy to do with a router and small cove bit.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View greatview's profile


131 posts in 3152 days

#4 posted 03-13-2011 06:47 PM


1. The top portion of the back is curved thus, I cannot turn it on a lathe

2. The legs are already made. All I need is a way to do the radius.

-- Tom, New London, NH

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2993 days

#5 posted 03-13-2011 06:49 PM

For one off stuff, this kind of thing is easiest done by roughing out with gouges and then cleaned up with profiled scrapers and a scratch stock cut to the correct profile. If you were going into the chair making business, it would be tedious.

(Random shaped scraper image from

Here is the first scratch stock tutorial I found on google.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3046 days

#6 posted 03-14-2011 08:14 AM

I think David and Dr. Ken have the right idea. That was done with a moulding plane. A scratch stoch is the same idea, just simpler and slower. Use a old scraper blade and experiment with grinding the profile you neeed. A profile gauge would be a great guide. You picked a beautiful piece to copy. Take your time and let us know how you’re doing.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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