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Quick cutting for curves and straightaways

A bed rail on a recent project called for curved ends with a long straight section in between. Normally, I would rough-cut curves on the bandsaw and sand them to final shape, but it’s hard to freehand-cut the long straightaway precisely.

In order to make the straight portion of the cut truly straight, I came up with this removable guide that drops into my bandsaw’s miter slot. Here’s how to make it: Position a piece of hardboard to act as a fence for cutting the workpiece along the straight line. Sandwich the hardboard between two pieces of 38 ×34 " hardwood with wood screws, as shown.

Start the cut with the curved section. When you get to the straight section, pause to drop the guide into place, and continue the cut. When you reach the opposite curved end, remove the guide and complete the cut.
—Jeff Stikeleather, Mill Spring, N.C.

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