Sleigh Bed scale template

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Forum topic by Eric posted 06-25-2015 11:52 PM 1210 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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221 posts in 2927 days

06-25-2015 11:52 PM

I need help creating a cutting template for a sleigh bed. You know, the curvy legs of the head and foot board. I am terrible at free-hand drawing and cutting. I’ve tried Sketch Up but have a hard time manipulating the curves without getting “points” as the shape of the curve gradually increases and decreases… plus I’m not sure where to begin in terms of scale/size. Furthermore I hope to be able to print, across multiple pages, a cutting template before I even reach for a saw or power switch.

The end goal are legs like this ( on the head/foot boards.

Any good leads to find/make a full-size paper template?

-- Eric

3 replies so far

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 1630 days

#1 posted 06-26-2015 12:59 AM

I typically draw on a 24” roll of paper, you can get them at staples for $12.00, then I spend some time laying out a grid, usually in a thin sharpie. I generally do 1 inch squares. Once you have a grid laid out use a pencil to lightly trace the general shape. Take your time and focus on the shape, not how you are going to build it, that comes later, just make gentle curves, the grid will help you keep things organized and if needed, symmetrical. (If you care at all you can also use the grid to determine center line, center of gravity, and ratios, including the golden ratio.) Once you are satisfied with the overall look of the design, cut it out.

I find it pretty hard to transfer the paper to wood directly for a lot of reasons. So I like to get a thin piece of MDF, tape the design to that and trace it to the MDF using a thin BLUE marker (pencil or black line disappear into MDF). I cut out the MDF design and this helps in 3 ways, first I learn how to cut out the design, and I can see if I’ve made any obvious mistakes. Second I get a hard template that if I roll over is a mirror image. Third, I get to see the “part” in full scale and that helps me determine if it is “right”.

With this template you have options, you can trace, freehand, and cut, or you can trace, rough out and then finish with a router and pattern bit, following the mounted pattern. A little finish work to fair the edges and you are all set.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View Mike R.'s profile

Mike R.

214 posts in 3061 days

#2 posted 06-26-2015 02:55 AM

Try inkscape it’s an opensource (free ) vector based program should be able to do that and there’s all sorts of tutorials on the net as a matter of fact you can trace the pic of what you want in there too !

View Eric's profile


221 posts in 2927 days

#3 posted 06-27-2015 01:32 AM

I GOT IT!!! Went to various furniture stores this morning and asked if I could take photos. I selected the best photo with the shape I wanted and imported it into Photoshop. Using the pen tool (which requires no artistic control of the mouse) on a new layer I clicked various coordinates on the shape and photoshop created a solid shape. Through some Photoshop magic I turned a solid shape into an outline. Next I scaled it to the size I wanted. Then I saved as a PDF and opened in Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader was able to print the large page in to tiled 8.5×11 sheets I taped together and cut the shape. Next comes 1/2 MDF for my actual cutting template to use with a flush trim bit. Whew!

-- Eric

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