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A short course on marking curves

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Drawing Radii

Drawing Radii

3 easy steps to compass-drawn radii

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.

Say "oui" to the French curve

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.

A flexible curve bends to your will

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


Comments (1)
vinfonet2783638 wrote:

But what about a large, complex curve, as on a sleigh bed?

3/29/2010 09:28:39 PM Report Abuse

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