When most woodworkers start out, the world is a very square
place. Every cabinet door has four 90° corners and straight
rails and stiles. Every table apron is a rectangle.
However, as their skill levels rise, woodworkers are exposed
to new design styles. Curves take projects from plain to dramatic.
Arched top doors and gentle flowing components add a sense
of movement. This new design feature brings up the question,
what's the easiest way to draw it to arrive at a flowing,
woodworkers will turn to an existing curve template to
lay out the cut line. If you have ever used a paint can,
a trash can lid or some other round item to draw a curve,
you have used a template. Other woodworkers rely on tacking
some brads into a piece and using a flexible strip of
Masonite or thin plywood to draw the curve. This is okay,
but it might not be able to hold the flowing line that
sets a perfect curve apart from a good attempt.
The way to obtain that ideal arc is to jump into, yes, math!
But I promise (especially for those who aren't terribly
mathematically inclined), this math is easy and you'll
be happy with the results.
arches in your project can provide design interest.
you have a piece of wood you want to cut an arc on, in this
case, a stretcher for a table rail. I carefully mark out the
maximum height of the arc at the midpoint of the curve and
the total distance of the arc. Here, the arc is 24" long
and 2" high at its maximum.