A short course on marking curves
The curved edge of this shelf bracket consists of three 1" radii. It's an example of a seemingly complicated design that you can draw quickly with a compass. To make such a pattern, decide on its length and width, then use those boundaries to locate point A for the center of each curve. Set the compass to the desired radius, place its pivot point on each mark and draw the curves.
You probably ran into a French curve at some point in school, but maybe you forgot all about it. This is a reminder that it can come in handy for designing furniture and other woodworking projects. The simplest application of this plastic tool is to draw a corner that isn't a radius, as shown here. If you'll need to repeat the shape, put masking tape on the French curve to mark the beginning and ending points. You can buy a set of four French curves, covering a wide variety of shapes from Woodcraft. Call 800/225-1153 and order item number 01P11.
Rely on a flexible curve to create the exact shape you have in mind, as shown here, or use it to transfer curves from plans or existing pieces. A plastic surface encloses a lead core, which holds almost any shape. Woodcraft sells a 24" model.
Call 800/225-1153 to order item number 16M32. If you need to duplicate this curve on the other half of a workpiece, cut out the pattern with your bandsaw. Trace the pattern at one end of the workpiece, flip the pattern over, and trace the other end, as shown in the inset.
©Copyright Meredith Corporation 2003
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