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Handy radius templates

bduffin104's picture

I don't know about you but  am always looking around for something curved to use for a pattern for curved cutouts. I'm currently working on a coffee table that has a lot of different radii, radiouses......curves. This prompted me to take the time to make some radius templates. I fastened an extension support to my band saw table and marked off in two inch increments 6" through 24" and then in 4" increments through 60" . I then cut up a 5' x 4' portion of 1/4" plywood starting at the 60" radius and using a screw as a pivot point then moving it closer to the blade on subsequent cuts.

Photo 1, the result is this very handy stack of radius patterns that I have hung on the wall with with some nails and which has already proved quite useful.

Photos 2, 3 and 4 shows the table base and all the different radii patterns needed.

My shop is slowly evolving, working out my work flow and tool arrangement and has now been in use for one year.

I'll post the table when I get further along.


gofigure57's picture

Table looks nice Bret, keep (post #153207, reply #1 of 9)

Table looks nice Bret, keep us posted.

WillGeorge's picture

Nice... Please keep us (post #153207, reply #2 of 9)

Nice... Please keep us informed on progress for your lovely table.. What wood are you using? Looks like Beech? Then again, looks very much like American Poplar/Tulipwood... I for one, do NOT, consider Poplar a 'junk' wood. I can get very large sizes at reasonable prices at my local hardwood supplier. They sell tons of it! I suppose to the local trim carpenters that use it for all sorts of projects.

Will the top of the table be a slab of stone or glass? Anyway, I love the legs!

Have a great day.. Life is wonderful even if you are having a bad day!

Jfrostjr's picture

Poplar not Junk Wood (post #153207, reply #5 of 9)

I was talking to the architect that supervised the restoration of the Michigan State Capitol building several years ago. It was an absolutely magnificent job. I was telling him that I used poplar as a secondary wood on my furniture.

He knocked me off my feet when he told me that they used poplar all throughout the capitol job - they painted it faux walnut and everyone thinks it is real walnut paneling.


RalphBarker's picture

those, uh, curves (post #153207, reply #3 of 9)

"radiouses" - LOL

I've always maintained that it's better to hang a curve than to throw (or be thrown) one. ;-)

The table looks good.

flairwoodworks's picture

Curve/radius templates (post #153207, reply #4 of 9)


I can already see many uses for them.  The benefit of using 1/4" (or thicker) stock instead of cardboard or even just a compass or trammel is that you can use them not only for layout, but also as a template if required.  I might have to rout myself a set.

By the way, I screw my templates to the ceiling.  Most of them are from past projects that I may or may not use again.  They are out of the way there and easy to find.

Chris @

 - Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

bduffin104's picture

cieling as extra work space (post #153207, reply #6 of 9)

Anti-gravity boots would make the cieling available for additional shop space. It would stay much cleaner as all the scrap wood and sawdust would fall to the floor. I would have to be careful not to step on the flourescent lights.


TomHigby's picture

radius templates (post #153207, reply #7 of 9)

It seems that I have always been able to find he right sized tin-can.


bduffin104's picture

My patterns start at 6"r and (post #153207, reply #8 of 9)

My patterns start at 6"r and go to 60"r. I suppose I could use the horse's water trough or a Hula Hoop but the patterns I made are much handier and more accurate.

It only took about 30 minutes to make the set. I've spent more time than that searching the homstead for just the right curve on several occasions.


RalphBarker's picture

handy and accurate (post #153207, reply #9 of 9)

Handy and accurate are important.

Of course, the philosophical question of whether the templates may be liiting your creativity remains.  ;-)