Cutting and Marking Curves and Circles


Cutting curves with a bandsaw
Cutting straight line is intuitive for most people, but curves are always an issue.  If done incorrectly a poorly construct curve can ruin a project, but a accurately made curve or circle can show a high degree of craftsmanship.



A Short Course on Marking Curves

Most woodworking projects rely on straight lines and right angles, but sometimes you need a nicely formed curve to give your project a more stylish look. So how do you make a curve when you're modifying a project plan or designing a piece from scratch? Study the curved shapes in good furniture to develop your eye. Then try the techniques shown here.


Checking Framing Square Accuracy

Framing squares are popular tools in woodworking for drawing layouts in addition to checking our equipment, tools and projects to be sure they are square. While most good quality framing squares are in fact square, we have to confirm that when new and occasionally thereafter to be sure damage has not compromised its accuracy.


Straight Talk About Circles

If you're going to deal with round things, you need to know about p (Pi). Pi, a number you'll use often in circle calculations, represents the number of diameter lengths of a circle it would take to equal the same circle's circumference-about 3.14159. About, because p is always approximate-its value has been calculated to more than 2.2 billion decimal places without ending or repeating.


Marking Large-Radius Arcs

The problem with marking a line with just a slight curve to it is that if you want to draw it with a compass-like contraption, the center of the circular arc ends up so far away that it becomes awkward if not impossible to do. Even if you have enough room, a many-meter long beam compass is awkward, and a pencil on a string is imprecise because the string stretches too easily.


How to Cut Curves in Thick Stock

When woodworking plans call for cutting curves in thick stock, typically the tool of choice is the band saw. Band saws can be easily adjusted to accommodate most thicknesses of stock.


How to Use a Jigsaw

A jigsaw is the grand master of cutting shapes in a variety of materials. All you need is the right blade. We'll show you how to use this versatile power tool for cutting intricate shapes and for making compound and bevel cuts in boards and other materials.

Circle Jig on a Bandsaw



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