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Hey Group,
I am making several cherry chairs and need to clean up the curved back and crest rails. I want to use a bearing guided router bit but the crest rail is 3 inches wide and the largest (longest) bit I have or can get is 2 inches. I was thinking about using a bottom bearing bit along with a masonite template to shape the lower half to two thirds height of the rails and then replace the bit with a top bearing style and use the freshly routed face as its guide to clean up the remainder of the face. It makes sense to me and I will try a few test pieces but I wanted to run the idea by you all to see what you think about it.
Instead of using a router I could sand and/or scrape the surface for final shaping but I would prefer to get the more uniform surface obtained with the router.
Thanks in advance for your comments.
Marc
 

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I made a side chair with curved rails like the one you describe not long ago. After band sawing the back rails and the curved front rail, I used a spoke shave on the interior curves and both a spoke shave and block plane on the exterior curves. Final clean up was with a cabinet scraper. It really didn't take long for the 3 curves pieces. I bought an older compass plane, thinking that was the proper tool for the job, but even after tuning it I still thought the spoke shave was easier and quicker. Using a router would make me nervous considering that you're trying to route a 3" face while standing the rails on a relatively narrow edge. Good luck
Glen
 

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I have done somewhat simular to what you are describing, it woks good, actually saw a woodwoking show on pbs this past weekend and the did a simular cut while making a router table
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Guys,
Thanks for the replies so far. I will not be able to get pictures until Saturday (unless I get home from work early tomorrow). Ike, I think I would have better router stability if I use a jig that holds my pieces through their tenon ends instead of running it along the piece with a hand held unit
Glen, your suggestion for the spoke shave is mentioned in the FWW articel I am using as guidance on this project. I just neglected to mention it in my post. I've never used a spoke shave and I know it would be safer and probably a lot easier set up. I'm sure it would be worthwhile trying it too as I am also not rushing to complete these chairs as yet . (My deadline is Thanksgiving Day)
Thanks again and I will report back soon with pics and maybe a test piece.
Marc
 

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If I'm visualizing it correctly, your template guided cut would be safe as the template would provide support.
Have you considered using a template guided microplane in the drill press followed by a template guided drum sander? Not as fast but, easy.
 

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I believe what you are wanting to do will work. As you said, try a test piece first. I've done similar things in the past. Of course I'm assuming I am visualizing correctly what you said.
 

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Marc, I forgot to mention that the Microplane for the drill press is 2 1/8 long so you would not have to turn the work over.
Gene
 

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I JUST made two curved pieces rails for a prototype bar stool I'm making. Now, I don't have a band saw, and one pieces was 1.5" and the other 2.5" wide. So what to do?

I made a template that allowed the router to shape the piece 90 degrees from what you're thinking of doing. One template was convex, the other concave. Each consisted of two identical pieces. The piece I was shaping was placed horizontally between the two pieces. The router based rode on top and across the two templates. A 1/2" straight bit was lowered just below the bottom of the base, so that I was removing perhaps 1/16" on each pass. I then moved the router back and forth, taking off 1/16" at a time. The base followed the template, and eventually I got down until it wouldn't remove any more.

While it took a while on each side (maybe 10 minutes), it turned out perfectly, and only a light sanding was required.

I'll post pictures if requested, if it's hard to imaging what I was doing.
 
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