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How can I cut curve in beech counter without bandsaw

4405 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  MrRon
I have 2 islands in my kitchen that I am planning on replacing the tops with the Ikea beech counter tops

On both tops I want to cut a gentle curve along one side and round the corners on one of them.

I don't have a band saw or drum sander.

I was toying with the idea of trying to use my jigsaw and if the cut wasn't smooth enough, try to make a template out of hardboard and get a large enough flush trim bit for my router. I don't have a router table either so it would be a handheld job.

Any other thoughts? I just want to do my best to not have to throw away either top because I didn't plan it out correctly.

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Your plan would work. I doubt you'll be able to get by with a jig saw cut- unless you're a lot better than most.
Spiral flush bits will probably work best to control tearout on the endgrain too.
Your idea with the jigsaw, template and router. A 6'X3'piece of countertop would be extremely difficult to move thru a band saw or router table.
Use your router with a trammel arm with a straight bit. Or use your router with a straight bit and, bushing, with a template out of MDF. Take small bites don't try to cut all the way through in one shot.
As long as it's an outside (convex) curve you can cut it roughly with a circular saw, taking small straight cuts that go off at a tangent to points along the curve you've drawn. And then clean it up with a router as suggested by higtron (or a spokeshave or rasps, for that matter).
I would use a router as it will give you better results than a jig saw on thick material. Trammel or template, your choice!
You didn't say what brand or model jigsaw you have, but use the best bit you can get for it. . I like Bosch blades as they rate them for very specific jobs and finish quality to expect. Go slow. Set the orbiting action of your saw to minimum, if you have this feature. It will cut slower but minimize tear out.

Smoothing with a router is a sound idea.
Thanks for all the tips

I think I will take some big chunks off with the circular saw so I don't have all that weight hanging on there while cutting the curve closer with the jigsaw. I will then follow it up with the router.

Now I just need to decide if I am going to use a trammel or a template. I'm thinking getting the smooth curve I want will be easier with a trammel since I would need to get the template smooth somehow anyway.

Great stuff guys, Thanks!
I would use a jig saw with a 24 tooth blade to carefully cut the curve; then finish by hand sanding with a wood block. I use 24 tooth Bosch blades with no tear out, even on plywood.
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