Timber framing #1: Laying out a simple curve

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Blog entry by Catlike posted 06-01-2015 02:00 AM 1357 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I downloaded a free set of plans for timber-framed sawhorses from Timberframe Headquarters.

The plans call for a curved cut-out on the bottom side of each base piece. I was thinking it was too much trouble to lay out and cut these, but I remembered some how-to from the boat-building books I read last year, and I decided I wanted to try laying out and fairing a curve.

First, I used a sector, story sticks, and my L-square to find and mark the middle of the base. The sector saved me from having to divide fractions.

I laid out the straight lines in accordance with the plans. The bottom of the piece is toward the camera. (I’m sorry the lines are a bit hard to see.)

The mid-line is extended up the side of the piece to the point indicated in the plans for the top of the curve.

I needed a flexible batten in order to lay out the curve. I had an ordinary wooden paint-stirrer from the hardware store of just the right length. It was too stiff, so I thinned it down with a block plane. It was tricky not to make it too thin and breakable. (The bit at the end is unthinned.)

I clamped wood scraps to the piece in positions to hold the flexible batten in the right place.

Then I put the batten in place. I had to fiddle around with the wood scraps to get the batten to lie just right.

I just ran my pencil along the batten and got a fair and smooth curve.

It worked great!

-- Catlike

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