Custom Furniture & Woodworking Studio

Red Oak Roundtop

Making the Arches

The function of the tools I use and how they work are explained here. Specific tools used are noted in bold.

The door and trim arch are made with different techniques. Because the door moves and is heavy, I used a three layer overlapping ply approach. The pieces are connected similar to bricks, where one joint is lapped by the middle of another piece(s). This results in a much stronger joint, and any short grain is strengthened by its mating pieces’ long grain. To make the plies the boards are resawn (cut parallel to the face) on the bandsaw. The plies are first planed the intermediate thickness in the planer, then sanded to the final thickness in the widebelt sander. The laminated pieces are put into the vacuum press. When the air is pumped from the bag, atmospheric pressure clamps the pieces together while the glue dries. An old yoga mat is placed over the segments to prevent any sharp corners from damaging the bag.

The trim arch is made from four segments that are connected with dominoes, which are wooden blocks, that are epoxy glued into mating slots. This provides enough strength for the trim, as it will be attached to the house and is under no load. The slots are cut with the domino cutter.

After the glued has cured the arches are rough cut on the bandsaw and then sanded to final thickness on the widebelt sander. The final arch shape is trimmed using a pattern cutter on the shaper. Because I’ve made multiple 36” roundtops, I have a wooden pattern for the arch top. This pattern is temporary attached to the wood. The pattern is held against the pattern cutter’s bearing, which is flush with the cutters. By moving the pattern against the bearing the shape is duplicated in the wood.

Craig JentzWoodZest