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Forum topic by MrFinishline posted 09-08-2011 05:44 AM 1097 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrFinishline

8 posts in 1913 days


09-08-2011 05:44 AM

Good day to all. I am a beginner wood worker but hope to get better. My first major project is build shelfs to fir a round wall. In my house i have a wall that’s about a 1/4 of a circle. My plan was to do 4 tiers of shelfs to hold books and family pictures. Can anyone help me get started on this?


16 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2150 days


#1 posted 09-09-2011 05:37 AM

Send BentlyJ a PM. He is the KING of curves!!!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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MrFinishline

8 posts in 1913 days


#2 posted 09-09-2011 02:31 PM

Thanks for the advice cr1. So here is the breakdown. The wall is very thin, it separates a room from a curved stair case. In order to avoid putting strain on the wall I figure I would go free standing with it. My big challenge is I have no clue how to go about getting the size of the curve. I want the shelf’s to fit flush against the wall. If it helps I can snap a picture of the wall so everyone gets an idea of what im talking about.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3980 posts in 2431 days


#3 posted 09-09-2011 02:51 PM

Since you say it’s around a stair, and I doubt the shelves wound be on the same side as the steps, I assume the wall is convex. I would normally take dimensions like length and offset at two or three specific points and work it out the arc radius on CAD. Without a computer, I would make a template out of a large sheet of cardboard by trial and error.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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MrFinishline

8 posts in 1913 days


#4 posted 09-09-2011 04:13 PM

Hey crank49 thanks for the advice. So right you are the wall is convex and the shelves will not be in the staircase. Also I dont have CAD so im going with the trial and error on cardbaord. I posted a picture of the wall so you have a better idea of what im talking about. Oh and just for reference the circumference of the curve is 87 inches.

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2618 days


#5 posted 09-09-2011 04:39 PM

Get a strip of plastic that will curve around the wall and tack it on. Glue a layer of newspaper onto the plastic.

Go to your kitchen and mix up some flour and water. Dip some additional newspaper strips into the mixture and apply them to the strip already on the wall. Apply several strips this way along the entire circumference of the wall ON that strip.

Let it dry. Remove tacks. You should have an exact mold of the curve. The more paper you used, the more likely it will not flex when it comes off the wall. Now, use that to pattern your cuts…or measure off an actual template on cardboard.

It doesn’t take as long as you think and it gives you a really good reference curve. For more on the technique in general, do a google search on “paper mache.”

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2618 days


#6 posted 09-09-2011 04:44 PM

OH, BTW, I know that lots of places online (and otherwise) sell bend-able thingamajigs that will hold a curve once bent. Don’t know what they are called, obviously. But you might have something that will work just laying around the house.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2618 days


#7 posted 09-09-2011 04:46 PM

Ah, nevermind. Here’s one at Woodcraft…

http://www.woodcraft.com/Family/2020439/WoodRiver-Curve-Templates.aspx

Pricey, but you get the idea. But seen cheaper solutions in places like art stores, so it might be worth checking out.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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MrFinishline

8 posts in 1913 days


#8 posted 09-09-2011 05:14 PM

I guess i beat you to the punch. I ended up laying painters covering cardboard which is basically the same as news paper and just made a mold. Later today im going to get cardbaord to transfer the mold over. My next big challenge is how to go about mounting each shelf. There all going to be holding a fair amount of weight. Any suggestions?

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2534 days


#9 posted 09-09-2011 06:23 PM

You may find this picture of a jig helpful if you need to cut shelves that are curved. Some explanation is called for. This jig is essentially a T. I mount a plunge router at the end of the arm that swings. I secure the wood I am about to cut to the top of the T and swing the router with a straight bit to cut on a curve. I only take about 1/4” with each pass.

If you look at my projects you will see that a curved communion rail is one of my later projects. I used this jig to cut the curves for that project.

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

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Porchfish

751 posts in 1992 days


#10 posted 09-09-2011 06:48 PM

Have you looked at the technique for bending 3/4” plywood by cutting saw kerfs in the reverse side of the sheet ? A jig can be assembled using wedges from the back to close the kerfs and ho and below , you have a curved sheet to attach to whatever assemblage you have decided upon. There’s more than one way to skin a cat…. take a scrap piece of plywood say 4”x 24” and cut saw kerfs every two inches in the back of the piece to the depth of leaving just one ply remaining… clamp just one end the piece to the bench, saw kerfs facing up , now use a wedge that is at least 8” long tapering from 3 ” to pointy flat on the other and shove it under the unclamped edge of the plywood and keep moving it under the piece till you see the first two or three kerfs close up…. look at the arc created and with a little luck and good math or guess work you will arrive at an arc to match that of your wall. You can use epoxy glue and clamps along the arc to solidify it. Let glue set and test your model… it’s not too difficult and if you mess up in practice, save all the pieces for future reference guides . I’ve used this technique to make aprons for round tables , and it works Sounds like a fun project ! good luck

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

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MrFinishline

8 posts in 1913 days


#11 posted 09-09-2011 07:16 PM

Wow guys thanks for all the information. As of now I only have a jigsaw and a circular saw. Is it possiable to make the arc with a jigsaw or should i go purchase a router? And if i do whats a reasonable price. I have seen them from 50 bucks to 250.

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2534 days


#12 posted 09-09-2011 08:24 PM

You can use a jigsaw with a jig like I made. The issue is that the jigsaw will be cutting all the way through and so you have to design the jig such that the blade does not hit anything on the underside.

Another option is to set up a jig for the sole purpose of making a pencil mark for your arch. Then cut as close to the line as you can get, without crossing the line, with a jigsaw. Then finish the edge, up to the line, with a sander. For something like this, a belt sander works best.

One issue with the router is that you are cutting a relatively wide cut. I use a 3/8” straight bit, so I generate a lot of sawdust.

Regarding routers, virtually any router will do. I recommend a plunge router, but a fixed base will also do. May I suggest that if you are going to do much woodworking, you will want a router for many future projects. In most woodworking shops, the router is a frequently used tool. In fact, most of us have more than one.

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

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2534 days


#13 posted 09-09-2011 08:29 PM

If you are cutting an arch with a radius of less than 3’, a great way to make a pencil line is with a basic, cheap, wooden yard stick. The kind some stores give away. Drill a short screw through one end to create a pivot spot and drill a hole wherever you need it for the pencil.

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

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MrFinishline

8 posts in 1913 days


#14 posted 09-09-2011 09:00 PM

Alright great. So im just going to make an assumption here, for the project im going to undertake. A router would be the better tool? If so i was looking on homedepots website and found a plunge router for 59 dollars shipped. Heres the link. Let me know what you guys think.

http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardware-Power-Tools/h_d1/N-5yc1vZarfe/R-202512268/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

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MrFinishline

8 posts in 1913 days


#15 posted 09-09-2011 09:01 PM

Oh and that idea for making the curve line with a yard stick is great. Thanks Richgreer.

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