This millwork technique can be used to make curved parts with accuracy and ease.
by Ben Brunick
Much of my recent work has been making period-appropriate arch-top sash windows for an historic building. They are 61⁄2‘ tall, with a 5’-diameter arch. In other words, they’re a bit larger than what you’d likely need for a furniture piece with an arched door or opening.
But no matter what your arch needs, the same techniques apply – so although I include dimensions in this article for a small, arched cabinet door, you can apply these techniques to arches of any size.
Always begin with a drawing and a given dimension – in this case, the wood is a frame for a stained glass panel I designed and made to add some visual interest to my cabinet door.
My first step is to get a 3⁄4“-thick sheet of melamine large enough on which to draw the arch. On it, I mark an X and Y axis, then drill a 5⁄16” hole at their intersection. The hole accepts a bronze bushing with a 1⁄4” inside diameter; the bushing helps to protect the much-used center pivot hole from wear.
Instagram: Follow the author to see more of his work: @chalkstonewoodworking.
Videos: Watch Ben Brunick explain his shop-made router jig, then watch him in action as he routs several curved glue-ups of varying size. (to come)
To Buy: Learn how to make your own leaded glass panels with the help of three videos from glass artist Gillian Thompson, “Make A Leaded Glass Door,” “Leaded Glass for Woodworkers: Curves & Circles” and “Leaded Glass for Woodworkers: Miters and Diamonds.”
In Our Store: “Design & Techniques for Building Curvy Furniture,” a video by Jeff Miller on DVD and streaming video.
From the February 2018 issue