Any ideas on how to build this?

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Forum topic by Zvonko posted 09-24-2019 12:10 PM 1444 views 0 times favorited 56 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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113 posts in 823 days

09-24-2019 12:10 PM

My daughter found this and asked if I can make it. It’s made out of metal. I’m not metal worker so I thought I should be able to do it with wood.

I’d love to hear any ideas/suggestions you all have for how to make something like this out of wood. The main problem I’m having is figuring out how to do the rounded ends.


-- You can't always control WHAT happens, but you can always control HOW you respond.

56 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2864 posts in 1172 days

#1 posted 09-24-2019 12:18 PM

a few layers of thin pieces of wood, laminated and clamped to a caul.
or – one big piece of wood hollowed out by hand and machine.
it would be easier (much easier) to make just the top part. sort of like
a bench with rounded corners.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View GrantA's profile


3019 posts in 2417 days

#2 posted 09-24-2019 12:21 PM

You could either do bent lamination or dovetails then round them. For dovetails you’ll need to start with especially thick stock to get that much of a curve.
Look here for some inspiration

View RRBOU's profile


231 posts in 3301 days

#3 posted 09-24-2019 01:02 PM

Depending on the size of the rounded corners, you could make it like a band saw box. Either build up the corners with stock to allow for the corner to allow for the sawing of it or use thick stock and increase the amount of work in sanding. That is if you have a big enough of a saw.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

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Craftsman on the lake

3710 posts in 4447 days

#4 posted 09-24-2019 01:11 PM

To make things easier and it would still look nice… how about just making it square? A fraction of the work and a nice looking unit.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View OleGrump's profile


579 posts in 1354 days

#5 posted 09-24-2019 01:27 PM

Plus one on making it like a band saw box, IF you are dead set on making it like the photo. If it were me, I’d leave the interior side square and just round over the outside ends.

-- OleGrump

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2653 posts in 556 days

#6 posted 09-24-2019 02:00 PM

Laminated thin sheets of plywood (1/8th”), glued, clamped to a form, then veneered.

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View Lazyman's profile (online now)


6636 posts in 2397 days

#7 posted 09-24-2019 02:15 PM

You could either do bent lamination or dovetails then round them. For dovetails you ll need to start with especially thick stock to get that much of a curve.
Look here for some inspiration

- GrantA

That would be cool. You could also just use box joints. If you want the inside corners rounded, you might want to do that before you glue it together

For the bent lamination, depending upon how big you are planning to making you could use long sheets of thin veneer and just start gluing and wrapping them around a form until you get the desired thickness. You may need a form that allows you to compress it after the glue sets to make removal easier.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View JayT's profile


6419 posts in 3220 days

#8 posted 09-24-2019 02:22 PM

I’d do dovetails or box joints and then round the corners. Fellow LJ Derek Cohen did a coffee table recently that has a similar form, just a difference of scale.

In the project writeup, he’s also got a link to a blog post about doing the dovetails.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View LeeRoyMan's profile


1538 posts in 736 days

#9 posted 09-24-2019 02:37 PM

I’m working, but this is the just of it. If you want to try it this way and have questions I can get back with you later tonight.

View Zvonko's profile


113 posts in 823 days

#10 posted 09-24-2019 02:38 PM

Wow. Thanks for all the quick responses and great suggestions.

I need to look over all of them and think about it some more.

I’ll try to remember to follow up with progress.

Thanks again everyone!

-- You can't always control WHAT happens, but you can always control HOW you respond.

View therealSteveN's profile


7238 posts in 1583 days

#11 posted 09-24-2019 02:47 PM

I would first ascertain if the rounded corners were the most important part of this. Looking at the picture I note that there are a series of plants stuck into the top of what could be any shape. If she is looking just for the planter part of this, does she care if the sides are rounded, or squared as already suggested.

I’m a firm believer that anyone, can do anything they set their mind to do. That said there is no doubt making a wooden rectangle with squared corners is far easier work, then making those shoulders rounded. If you are set to make them rounded, then also as suggested making it a few sizes thicker, and either routing, bandsawing, or even filing, and rasping the corners round are the smart way to go. Also as suggested either a DT, or finger jointed joinery is going to be needed to hold the corners tight, and not reveal the joinery as you would with loose tenon, dowel, spline, or especially pocket hole joinery.

-- Think safe, be safe

View runswithscissors's profile


3128 posts in 3034 days

#12 posted 09-26-2019 04:42 AM

Cutting that cove, should you decide to do it that way, is pretty easy with a cove cutting jig. Rockler, I think, sells one. But it’s not hard to make your own.

Clamp 2 boards (1×4, or whatever) diagonally across the saw table, bracketing the blade. The boards should be spaced the width of the board you’ll be making the cove in. Raise the blade while sighting across the table to see what kind of curve you will get. Varying the angle of the diagonal will change the curvature. Sight at table level. To cut the cove, raise the blade by small increments, running the board down the slot repeatedly until you have the curve you want. You can make quite a large cove this way. Of course you will need to do some sanding.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Rich's profile (online now)


6532 posts in 1599 days

#13 posted 09-26-2019 04:55 AM

A firm believer in doing anything, yet has no projects posted here…

Listen to the one professional who replied on the thread. That’s LeeRoyMan. His suggestion is the winner in my book. If I were trying to build what you’re describing, his is the way I’d do it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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5994 posts in 4253 days

#14 posted 09-26-2019 04:25 PM

How about making it out of plexiglass?

View Sark's profile


378 posts in 1370 days

#15 posted 09-27-2019 05:06 AM

My quick suggestion, glue a box together (say 1/2” stock). Glue cove molding into each of the corners. Then using a router, round over the outside corners. The trick is to make cove molding whose edge is sharp. Commercial cove molding will have 1/8” or bigger edge. You could buy some cove molding and rip it so the edge is sharp and glue in place.

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