Smooth Curves with Hand Tools
To create silky, sinuous edges on furniture, hand tools are faster than routing or sanding.
Synopsis: Every furniture style has its own visual language, and that language often involves curves. Whether you bandsaw curves or rout them, they all require smoothing afterward. Some furniture makers get frustrated by this task and resort to sanding, but that can be dusty and tedious and can fail to yield fair curves with crisp surfaces. If you are new to curved work, follow the advice of Jeff Miller: Use this handful of basic tools—handplane, spokeshave, rasp, and scraper. It will be easier to smooth both convex and concave curved surfaces, and you’ll get the results you want.
When I started building furniture, my designs were simple, squarish Shaker and Mission-style pieces. But as my skills grew, I began drawing curves inspired by the human body, nature, or architecture. Curves became crucial to my work, making it more expressive, more appealing to eye and hand.
Whether you bandsaw…