cleaning up curved edges

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Forum topic by Glenn posted 05-24-2009 05:52 PM 1359 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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141 posts in 3412 days

05-24-2009 05:52 PM

What’s the best way to clean up a curved edge? After sawing out some irregular shaped pieces using my bandsaw (arms for an Adirondack chair), the cuts are somewhat wavy from moving the piece back and forth while sawing so that the blade followed the pencil line.

I was thinking of a drum sander attachment on a drill press. Would that be the best way?


-- Glenn, Arkansas

11 replies so far

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 4017 days

#1 posted 05-24-2009 05:57 PM

that works glen unless your making a bunch of chairs in that case i like to make a pattern the use my pattern cutter in the router table

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3964 days

#2 posted 05-24-2009 06:04 PM

I tried the drum sander on the drill press and was less than satisfied with the result. A pattern cutting bit with a router (in a table if possible) has always worked best for me.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Glenn's profile


141 posts in 3412 days

#3 posted 05-24-2009 06:10 PM

I guess I should clarify a bit. I hope to eventually use the pattern bit/router table, but right now I’m simply working on my pattern.

I used the bandsaw to cut my pattern out of 1/4 ply. Now I’m trying to get the edges smooth and exactly like I want it.

Thanks for the info.

-- Glenn, Arkansas

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3366 days

#4 posted 05-24-2009 06:17 PM

the way i cut with the bandsaw is to work against the back of the blade , dont just go straight into it . the blade wanders side to side in the kerf making ruddie cuts . by coming at it slightly angled and touching the back of the blade you keep it from wiping around , dont be afraid to put mild presure against it sideways ,it still cuts square .
if you dont have the router setup a drum sander on drillpress is good but you can make a round stop same diamiter as drum and use it under drum with pattern as doyoulike suggests .
chek out the jig stops for paterning with the bandsaw also . basicaly a stop on 1 side of blade that rides against a patern allowing multiple repeat parts .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View JuniorJoiner's profile


487 posts in 3465 days

#5 posted 05-24-2009 08:11 PM

hows about a square block of wood for a guide and a normal mill file. works for me.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4013 days

#6 posted 05-24-2009 08:13 PM

I use a spindle sander and sandpaper glued to a thin flexible piece of wood.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#7 posted 05-24-2009 08:24 PM

Hey Glen
What I’ve had some students do when they don’t have a disc or edge sander is to make a jig that holds your belt sander on it’s side so your belt sander acts like and edge sander and also has a rounded edge good for pattern making. If your in the market Ridgid sells a real nice little spindle belt sander combo I think it’s in the $200 range. If none of those are an options just use some rasp and files to true up your pattern It takes longer but it works. the other guys have great suggestions also.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Glenn's profile


141 posts in 3412 days

#8 posted 05-25-2009 04:02 PM

Well, that’s what I love about this hobby. Always another justification for a tool purchase. First I decided I had to buy a drill press so I could put a drum sander on the end of it. Can’t have wavy pattern edges, right? Then I discovered the Rigid spindle/belt edge sander you mentioned and decided that would be the perfect machine, so I bought it. But then I had already made up my mind to get a drill press, so I got that, too. Got to be able to drill straight, vertical holes, right? And it was a good deal, so…

I’m going to have to make 18,000 Adirondack chairs just to make up for the equipment purchases. Anybody want to buy one? $100 each. Handmade. :)

Thanks for all the suggestions!

-- Glenn, Arkansas

View i82much's profile


25 posts in 3412 days

#9 posted 05-28-2009 04:54 PM

When I need to smooth out a radius I’ll take some left over “peel and stick” floor tile, apply my sandpaper and sand away.
The tile will conform to the radius, it’s cheap and I have plenty

-- At the end of my life...When I meet my Maker...Will I be seen as...a giver or a taker

View Glenn's profile


141 posts in 3412 days

#10 posted 05-28-2009 05:32 PM

i82, good idea. I’ll have to keep that one in mind.

Everyone, I got tired of waiting on the spindle sander to arrive (still not in), and in a fit of desperation, I grabbed a SureForm “plane” (a rasp, really), which did a fantastic job of smoothing off the edges (thanks, Skarp).

But what was really cool was using the router and pattern to cut out the part (thanks, doyoulikegumwood). I’ve never done that before and was really impressed with how it turned out. Unfortunately, I first attached the pattern to the workpiece with double-sided carpet tape, which didn’t work. It slid all around, and I ruined the first work piece. Then I tried hot melt glue, and it worked perfectly. I think I’m going to be using this technique a lot now.

-- Glenn, Arkansas

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#11 posted 05-28-2009 05:39 PM

Hey Glenn
There is a big differences between carpet tape and a good double sided tape like turners tape used in turning
it’s kinda spendy but it’s really strong.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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