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Cutting shape in LARGE post

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Forum topic by dannyfixit posted 1079 days ago 1028 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dannyfixit

8 posts in 1230 days


1079 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: fixture timber question

Making a fence post (actually 18 of them). Each is nominally a 6×6 by over 5ft. Big and heavy. Have worked out fixtures/jigs for forming all shapes in them except the top piece. Look at the included pict for shape and dims. It gets a knob on the top afterwards so it simplified the shape.

Ok, tell me to put it on a big bandsaw to cut the shape. Obvious first choice, however having worked with large pieces on large bandsaws before there come lots of issues. First is getting large enough throat to deal with some of this piece. But the one that kills it for me is moving the piece easily enough to make it smooth and time efficient. In my younger days, I have cut curved braces for timber frames. They were a lot smaller and lighter.

So, question is how would you cut this/these? Recall, this is done 4 times on 18 pieces.

Here are several of my ideas. All are based upon the tooling moving and the piece remaining fixed.

- jig to move a router with mortising bit back and forth such that the jig guides the shape.
- Construct a custom made scroll saw using 12” fret saw blades. Saw would mount on a kind of x-y table that could follow a template.
- mount a benchtop bandsaw with a small blade on an x-y table as mentioned above.
- use a power hand planer in a fixture to shape the form following a template too.

Know there has to be a reasonable obvious idea out there, but I am at a loss. Thinking now the custom scroll saw may be the best and have applications later on.

-- - Follow your passion...


10 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7222 posts in 2243 days


#1 posted 1079 days ago

The recessed sections can be done with router jigs or a moulding head
on a table saw.

The curved top part is trickier. You’re right about the part being difficult
to steer on a band saw. You might rough it out with a sawzall and plane,
or sand to layout lines to fair the curve. A router jig could also be made
to cut the curve all the same on all parts, but I’m not sure building and
messing with the jig would be faster than hacking it out with a sawzall
and carving to final shape with a drawknife.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

938 posts in 2402 days


#2 posted 1079 days ago

I had the same issue when I built my M-4 clock. See: www.hardwoodclocks.com Gallery – M4… Note the main post in that clock. I used a modified circle cutting jig on my band saw to cut the curved top/bottom. I then created a jig on my drill press and used a forsner bit to cut the rounds out. I drilled each end of the post four times (rotating the post 90 degrees for each drilling). Send me a note if you’d like details on this operation. I got near perfect results! Max cmaxnavy@yahoo.com

-- Max the "night janitor" at www.hardwoodclocks.com

View higtron's profile

higtron

192 posts in 1272 days


#3 posted 1079 days ago

perhaps a bandsaw template guide might work like the one shown here http://aboutsaws.blogspot.com/2008/02/bandsaw-template-sawing.html cut the shape of the knob out of ply or mdf mount on 6×6 cut one side rotate 6×6 90% remount template cut other side, just a thought I’ve never done it. I would think you would have to make an infeed support so you’d only be dealing with the cut and not the wieght of the 6×6.

-- If I cut it too short I can scab a piece on, but if it's too long what do I do?

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higtron

192 posts in 1272 days


#4 posted 1079 days ago

Oh yeah Charles Maxwell’s clocks are amazeing especially the timber frame clock and he’s right as far as I can tell the finials on top of the posts are perfect.

-- If I cut it too short I can scab a piece on, but if it's too long what do I do?

View higtron's profile

higtron

192 posts in 1272 days


#5 posted 1079 days ago

I also remember an episode of This Old House Where they were cuting a decorative shape on the ends of some heavy beams, the solution they came up with was set the beam on the rungs of two step ladders set the bandsaw on casters and steer the bandsaw through the cut.

-- If I cut it too short I can scab a piece on, but if it's too long what do I do?

View dannyfixit's profile

dannyfixit

8 posts in 1230 days


#6 posted 1079 days ago

Thanks so far for everyone’s input on this. Good info.

Yes, a bandsaw template is in my mind and can probably do well on this. Recall, this solution has to be executed 72 times with timbers weighing in at about 50lbs.. “hightron” idea is down the line I noted using either a small bench bandsaw or a custom tall deep throated scroll saw thats moveable. Couple it with his other blog reference for a bandsaw template guide could make all work.

I have to work on the design of the saw table and issues that might come from trying to use the template. Overall, this is becoming the only time-wise and quality way to approach this, IMHO.

Certainly seems to me that if I succeed in this, I might be onto something good.

Thanks for the quick feedback.

-- - Follow your passion...

View tbear's profile

tbear

7 posts in 1061 days


#7 posted 1059 days ago

Why not create the top as a separate entity and then put a large dowel in it and a corresponding hole in the base part, then using something like West Systems Epoxy, epoxy the top to the base. Let it set then clean up any squeeze out. I have used West Systems Epoxy on some corbels on a patio roof system and it still holding up well after 15 years plus. Seem to me that this would be a simple and quick method and nobody will know.

View dannyfixit's profile

dannyfixit

8 posts in 1230 days


#8 posted 1047 days ago

Thanks tbear. Its a good practical solution. I tend no to consider the “divide and conquer” approaches to projects since I often not satisfied with my final results bringing stuff back together again. However, it makes a lot of good sense. Have worked with epoxy in other projects and have faith in its strength and longevity.

Think I am gonna use this approach. Thanks to all for the input again.

-- - Follow your passion...

View dannyfixit's profile

dannyfixit

8 posts in 1230 days


#9 posted 1028 days ago

Just a follow up to my earlier posting and comments you all sent me. Here I am showing two images of the post. One is the whole post in its desired final form. Second is how I “divided and conquered” the beast. Remember, this is a 6×6 post thats five foot long… a real chunk. Tbear, I did follow your recommendation in this approach. Think it will work great. Major section of the post will be done with a jig I designed for my router. Second chunk should easily handle on simple bandsaw with a pass on a router for the half round inset. Finally, the little knob/finial can probably be done on the bandsaw and a sanding disk.

Thanks for the input. sometimes I just want to make things too hard for my own good.

-- - Follow your passion...

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11031 posts in 1700 days


#10 posted 1028 days ago

Piecing the puppy together is a good choice! Make a few spare top pieces and if someone should damage one, you can easily replace it without removing the post!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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