making a 'bow tie' circle pattern - tutorial

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Blog entry by patron posted 01-10-2011 05:23 AM 31028 reads 88 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch

‘did it my way board’

was done like this
the tangents are the square of the circle
the thickness of the stock is that height of the square
the width of the stock is the square and the two wings
of the circle combined
(for my 1 1/4” bits it was 1”x1 1/2”)

cut and mill the stock
run the round edges first
so the flat is still good for the coves later

the fence and the cutter tangent want to be exact
so there is no loss in width
and centered to the side of stock

flip stock over and do the other side
i didn’t turn the stock end for end
because if the cutter height was micro off a shade
it would be the same off on the other side
from the center of the stock
keeping all the ends the same direction
i went to the other router
that had the coveing bit and a fence
and again tweaking the fence
tried some scrap till the cove edges were just cented
and even sharp the same
and ran the length over that and flipping again for the other side

now the ‘keeping the parts and grain constant”
i drew a line down the cove (1 side)
so i cut them all the same ( in case the saw was off by a smidge)
and marked each end with a dot on one side of the end as i cut them

and stacked them as the had been cut
ready to lay out

now the lay-up and why the dots
in some patterns you need to mark one side
or the parts get ‘flipped’ and the grain goes off
‘tumbling blocks’ are a good example of that

and the clamping
i set the whole thing next to the clamping wax paper
and one by one brushed glue into the coves (one cove for the edges)
and chop chop put them into their place
and with the stops and clamps ready
(this is where you can loose to much time with any glue-up
if you aren’t ready with everything )
clamped the sides some loose then the ends
as i tightened the clamps
i could see where the glue was coming up
and where not so i loosened some and tightened others
until i had glue every where even and clamped them all good

and here we are after sanding and rounding over edges
and oil

i thank you for looking
and hope this has helped clarify the build

work safe

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

45 comments so far

View lew's profile


12807 posts in 4176 days

#1 posted 01-10-2011 05:27 AM

Clever idea, David!!

Like the guy said, you can never have too many clamps.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4378 days

#2 posted 01-10-2011 05:32 AM

Your the man! This isn’t as hard as it looks…thanks!


View DraftsmanRick's profile


112 posts in 3481 days

#3 posted 01-10-2011 05:38 AM

Very, very, cool! First time ive seen this. Great job!

-- Jesus was a carpenter

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3762 days

#4 posted 01-10-2011 05:39 AM

unfortunately the cutters i used 1 1/4”
were the biggest made as router bits
there may be bigger as shaper cutters
but i don’t go there to much
to expensive for the little use i give them

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

View hooky's profile


365 posts in 3739 days

#5 posted 01-10-2011 05:50 AM

patron that is simply brilliant

i never thought of using curved interlocking patterns but this is something i now have to give a try

thanks for showing and explaining how you did it


-- Happiness is a way of travel , not a destination (Roy Goodman)

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3762 days

#6 posted 01-10-2011 05:58 AM

more than welcome to it
i’m about ready to make a jig
that will do this with flat stock
should be easier
than these dedicated router bits

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

View Bovine's profile


114 posts in 3749 days

#7 posted 01-10-2011 06:20 AM

David, I’m with Hooky….this is both simple and brilliant in its design. I’m assuming it’s Maple and Walnut by the pictures and I’ve always been a fan of that combination of wood. Thank you for explaining how you did it!

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3762 days

#8 posted 01-10-2011 06:23 AM

it is rosewood and rock maple
it is a project here

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

View Ivan's profile


14666 posts in 3288 days

#9 posted 01-10-2011 06:46 AM

Hi David,
Awsome and unique.Thanks for showing us a process.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Dave's profile


11432 posts in 3261 days

#10 posted 01-10-2011 07:06 AM

Thats a new one on me great stuff

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View degoose's profile


7255 posts in 3775 days

#11 posted 01-10-2011 07:30 AM

Oh so simple.. when you know how…Really enjoy all your lessons, Master.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3604 days

#12 posted 01-10-2011 08:07 AM

That is crazy good. Thanks for the tutorial, really well thought out and executed.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10645 posts in 4473 days

#13 posted 01-10-2011 08:42 AM

Very good, David!

With your help, I have hence figured out how construct, via Geometry, your Bow Tie!

Very interesting!!

Draw a Circle with Radius R.
Divide the Circle into 4 parts by:

1. Draw a line through the center of the Circle.

2. Bisect that line resulting in another line through the center of the Circle.

3. Circle is now divided into four sections.

With the compass set at radius R, bisect a Qtr section on the Circle to get the outside Radius (R) point of the Cove Cuts, which start & end at the Qtr section boundaries.
Do the same thing to the opposite Qtr section resulting in making the Bow Tie.

The other 2 Qtr sections remain unchanged (the original circle), the outward parts of the Bow Tie.

It turns out that the amount CUT out for the Cove, will be replaced perfectly by the Circle Qtr of the Bow Tie.

In my test drawing, I used a Radius, R, of 3/4”; made a Circle of 1.5”.
After I drew the Coves, it appears that the Cove cuts span a tad more than 1” (more like 1-1/16”)
Cutting the Coves so they span the Qtr sections perfectly, I guess, is the most Critical cut in this process.

Very Slick and Very COOL!

Now, it’s another thing to cut it out of wood!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18601 posts in 4097 days

#14 posted 01-10-2011 08:53 AM

This is too deep for me ;-)) What do you do with all the saw dust? :-)) Awesome work!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Lenny's profile


1635 posts in 3948 days

#15 posted 01-10-2011 01:36 PM

David, I think I see the shroud of Turin in there. No, wait now I see Jimmy Hoffa. Seriously though, in the photo with the red dots, I can see birds of some species…American eagle or duck or something. As someone suggested on your other post on this project, it has an Escher-esque look to it. Wonderful design and craftsmanship David and a great tuturial.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

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