Rout Arches of Any Size
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