Tools for making curves

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Forum topic by Loren posted 07-30-2012 11:55 PM 1123 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8158 posts in 3066 days

07-30-2012 11:55 PM

I never use a drum sander to make nice curves.

Sometimes I pattern-rout them if I need several of the
same. Router tear-out can be more trouble than it is worth,
in my opinion.

Otherwise, here’s what I use:

1. I mark out and bandsaw or jigsaw to a line.

2. I hack off unaesthetic bulges with a drawknife or
Shinto saw rasp. Spokeshaves are usually more trouble
than they are worth.

3. I get at it with rasps, attacking easily discerned flaws
by rasping aggressively then “draw filing” with finer rasps
here and there.

4. I refine with more draw filing with metal files. I have
a random collection I have mostly picked up at garage sales.
I also have a couple of basic “Iwaski files” which are
really cool and highly recommended. I’ve only had the
Iwasakis for a year or so but I have done it this way
for over a decade, so they are not essential.

5. hit the file marks with a scraper, then sand.

This whole process is pretty quick, requires no jigs,
and makes nice curves…. plus when you do it this way
you grow your skills and intuition about curve aesthetics
and shaping.

2 replies so far

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 1893 days

#1 posted 07-31-2012 12:08 AM

For high radius curves, a ship plane is my choice. For low radius, a drum sander with a “feather” board, which is nothing more than aboard with a curved pointed edge so I can keep consistent pressure through out the curve.

Funny, I thought I was the only one using metal files, they seem to work better for me than those for wood.

PS, I love my spoke shaves, but they are not always the best choice.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View MonteCristo's profile


2098 posts in 1606 days

#2 posted 07-31-2012 03:22 AM

Drum sanders aren’t exactly the ideal tool but I have seen some excellent results using them and my guess is that it was done more quickly than with the method you propose. I don’t think it’s fair to say they can’t be used to make “nice” curves.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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