Joinery for Curved Work
Full-scale drawings and custom-made hold-down jigs are the keys to cutting accurate joints in curved parts
Synopsis: Curved parts can add physical strength to a design while preserving its visual lightness, according to Garrett Hack who details in this article how to use drawings and custom-made jigs to cut angled joinery with machine and hand tools. He starts with quarter-scale drawings but says that full-scale drawings are crucial, in several views. He uses thin, flexible wood battens to lay out the curves, and cuts the mortises first using shims to hold parts at the correct angle. Parts to be tenoned also require hold-down devices. Included are construction plans for useful jigs, as well as tips for working curved parts safely.
Many of us began our woodworking journey by building Shaker and Craftsman furniture. The predominantly square edges and flat surfaces common to these styles are ideal for laying out and cutting accurate joinery. But as you mature as a woodworker, you may wish to make curves…