You are designing a bookshelf with some curved arches at the top, or simple small round table. In some cases, it may be a curvy and curly wooden piece crafted for decorating your drawing room corner. The spectrum for making curves is never-ending and never enough to satisfy you!
So, with such varsity and diversions in making curves on wood, you are wondering at the range of woodworking tools for creating curves, especially how to cut curves in the wood with a router?
No worry or any hurry! Just sit back with a coffee mug and read this article before you proceed!
Range of cuts!
The cuts in the wood can be as simple as making an arch and as complex as making different cut out patterns from eye-catching models.
So, in order to meet such variations, the woodworkers have come up with a variety of tools. We will discuss them briefly with a viewpoint to tell why a router is better?
Curve cutting tools options:
You can use a lot of saw types for making curve cuts. You can use a band saw, a circular saw, and in most cases, the jigsaw is preferred over others. They all can carve out a curve slowly but steadily. But why should I choose a router over others?
Why is the router better?
It is preferred over others because of two reasons. One is that router treated wood pieces have perfectly square ends. You can further treat them with sandpaper for a perfect finished look.
The other benefit we have with a router is that when you attempt to make curves in the center of your plywood, the results are not as encouraging as you get with a router. Sometimes, you get a small niche while creating an angle for the arch. So, the best option is to use a router.
Getting ready for a router curve:
As preparation for driving the router, preferably a plunge router. You need to have a pencil marked layout. It should be perfect for your innovative crafting. This is followed by a jig guide and pivot setting. Then you can start!
Making and marking curve layout
There are a lot of options for creating and sketching a layout for your future curve cutting. There are lots of options available for making such design drawings.
First of all, you can use simple small round lids for making simple rounds. A perfect circle can be obtained with the help of a compass. This is not necessarily a perfect circle; you can draw a quarter or half according to the demand of your project.
For curves longer than your compass, you can use long rulers with pencils attached for making curves. You can also use the thread between two nails for a curvy outline.
They can be manipulated according to your requirements. You can use a template from making any repetitive model.
For dealing with a router, you need something to make the curves, and it should be made to stay fixed. This is done with the help of a jig. You can keep it set at some specific angle by using a pivot. Let us read how?
Using a jig and Pivot settings
Depending upon your task, you can either get a jig ready-made from the market or make it on your own. For making a jig, you need to have a piece of wood, take the router sub-base plastic cover.
It has a central hole for the router and markings for the side fixation bolts. Just make the tracings on one side. Now use the Dremel bits for making out the holes. Cut out the jig with a broader end for the router and a longitudinal end for fixing the pivot.
This end is treated with a plunge router to make an extended cut in the center of this. This cut helps to hold the pivot at different lengths as per your size requirements.
Now that your jig is ready, you can adjust your pivot at the required point according to your layout. Fix it with a butterfly wrench to make it immovable. Thus, this jig is your guide.
Your router is ready! How to cut curves in wood?
Yes, once a layout is completed, your jig has been pivoted as per your size. You are now prepared to go about it.
But you have to make some changes to the bits. As all the dimensions are not the same, and all the patterns are not identical. So, we will guide you, which changes to make when.
Cutting small curves:
If you are cutting small curves in your wood piece, then you need to use MDR bits. They are convenient. You can tape it and roll the tip with sandpaper if the width and size of the required curves are minimal. This treatment will ensure that even the tiniest holes will have perfect edges.
Cutting big arches:
The big angles will be dealt with using a jig guide. Fix your jig over the wood to be cut. This is done by screwing it at the holes that we made while preparing for the jig.
One necessary adjustment to make for the trammel guide is that its pivot point should be at half the distance you want. For instance, if you are aiming a hole circle with a diameter of 2”, you should mount the pivot at 1 inch from the center of your router base.
Now, start moving your router in the counter-clockwise direction. Remember to remain steady and keep moving while cutting with it. A repositioning of the router may result in a wrong angle.
This for keeping it fixed; some people clamp it with a feather board and keep things going smoothly by using push boxes.
Remember, if you want to make a slight adjustment in the curve, you should work on the inner angle and not outer. As it may not produce the desired results and may give you a curve with less tensile strength.
To work with a router is preferred over others because of the perfect finished curve cutting with square ends. The only things to keep in mind is the fixation of your jig and mounting your router over an ideal base.
Once done, you can get perfect curves in the wood. No matter your layout is simple, supported by a trammel guide or a template. Just keep the things going great with beautifully arched wooden with the router!