Face frame question + Sketchup question

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• posted on July 27, 2015, 9:15 pm
If you wanted to build a face frame whose top member was arched, like this:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/20038718386/in/dateposted/
... how would you form the tops of the stiles? My sense of geometry tells me that over a 2.5" width, an arc with a radius of 36 feet would deviate from a straight line by a very small amount. (the height of the deviation in the middle of the arch is 1") So would you simply cut the tops of the stiles at the proper angles, leaving the cut straight, or would you somehow form a very slight curve to mate with the arched rail?
Now the Sketchup question:
I drew the bottom and top rails first, including the arch. Then I drew the stiles in place, butting up to the bottom rail properly, but with excess length at the top. I opened a stile for editing, selected the front face and tried to "intersect faces with model". Sketchup told me there was no intersection. I think I've had this happen before. If two surfaces are in the same plane, even if they obviously overlap, Sketchup does not consider that "intersection".
As a workaround, I moved the top rail forward by half the thickness of the "wood" and then did the "Intersect Faces" procedure on the front face of the stile. This time it drew the line I was looking for on the front face of the stile. I used the "pull" tool to "trim" the stile to mate with the arch. Then I moved the top rail back to its intended position.
Is this simply how Sketchup works? Or is there some other way to make parts whose faces are in the same plane "mate"?

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• posted on July 27, 2015, 9:36 pm

You might rethink how your rails and stiles intersect. Look at this. Typically rails, outer rails fit between stiles. This does not address the inner stiles but I think you cab rethink a bit and come up with a simpler solution.
https://flic.kr/p/e5u1yW
Anyway if you stay with this design exactly, cut the top rail first. Cut the stiles next and long. Clamp stiles precisely where you want them, under the top rail. With a top bearing flush cut bit in your router use the clamped top rail as the guide to cut a groove on the face of the stile. Once you have all stiles grooved, remove and cut off the excess, close to the line you want to keep. Now use that edge again to guide the bit to remove the remainder. Make several passes.

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 1:48 am
On 7/27/2015 5:36 PM, Leon wrote:

Perhaps I misunderstand, but this sounds like a recipe for a stile that is too short; too short by the diameter of the router bit. Further, suppose I were to shift the stile 1/2" (my bit diameter) with respect to the rail "template", it still won't trace the same curve, not quite anyway. Now in this case it would probably work as the "curve" is extremely close to being a straight line. But with a tighter curve, I don't think the parts would mate properly.
Have I misconstrued what you meant somehow?
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• posted on July 28, 2015, 2:11 am
On 7/27/2015 8:48 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

OK, you left out the part where I said to cut the stiles long. Cut those to the correct length after tweaking the fit at the top rail joint.
Further,

Yes! you are right and I just a moment ago and addressed this. The radius on the stile will be 35'-11.5" instead of 36'.
On my cutting boards this work great because I fill the 1/2" removed material with 4, 1/8" thick strips.
Others have mentioned cutting a straight line and what is going to leave you with some kind of gap. BUT John mentioned tweaking with a block plane, so that would work too. Regardless of which method you use cut your stiles several inches too long and after you have it good enough cut the stiles to the correct length.

No you understood me correctly, I made the mistake. I was just remembering how I did this 7 months ago with the cutting boards. It would still work for you but you would have to put a 1/2" filler strip in the middle of the joint and that in this case would look wonky.
Alternatively clamp the stiles in the correct position, trace the curve with a pencil, and use a disk sander to remove the material to the curved line.
Keep in mind that your arc is probably not going to be perfect so unless you use the exact position of placement as a reference the fit may be inconsistent on all of the stiles.
Just something to think about and it may not fit into your plans but build it like my cabinet doors in the link I supplied, Top rail between stiles. Then cut another rail to put over the front of the top rail to hide the joints. That top rail doing the hiding could be most any thickness.

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 3:26 am
My block planes are not sharp enough to trim end grain, properly.
I think I'd have better control using a sanding block to form the arc on th e stiles. It's not a lot to sand off, even for 4 stiles. I'd try to cut the stiles' ends with less than 1/4 degree of bevel, *straight across. M ost of the sanding would be along the point of the beveled edge/face and it would be sanded as far as, at least, 3/4 of the face. If 3/4 of the face fits flush, that should be good enough.
I'd set the saw blade to perpendicular and prop up the other end of the sti le about 1/16" ( < 1/8"), to cut that small an angle of bevel.
*Straight across cut: If you want the best angle (not exactly straight acr oss) brace end of the stile away from the (miter/chop) saw's fence by a tad . That angle is nominal, but at least you can easily adjust that "eyeball ed" cut, also.
Do a test cut and sand/plane on some scrap.
Sonny

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 2:13 pm
On 7/27/2015 10:11 PM, Leon wrote:

Sounds like a good idea.

It had to happen sometime. :) Consider me the stopped clock.
I was just

No disc sander here. But we are talking about less than 2 thousandths. That shouldn't be difficult by hand. What I'm still trying to visualize is whether or not that .0018" "rise" that represents the difference between the curve and a straight line would be visible. Is there a rule of thumb?

That's something I'm reminded of all too often.
so unless

I may draw that to see if I like the look. This is all pretty far off - time-wise - by the way. It's just a twinkle in my eye. My wife and I were just discussing the possibility and I whipped up a sketch.

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 2:37 pm
On 7/28/2015 9:13 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Yes, any time you get into something other than a straight cut on a joint it is a good idea to cut a little long so that you have some wiggle room while you sneak up on the fit.

LOL, I make plenty of mistakes but then that is how you learn and see why that idea or method will not work.

Test on a scrap. BUT .002 would probably not be viable especially on a coarse grain wood. BUT there is going to be less glue contact area, 2 points that actually touch and regular wood glues need to have a tight a fit. NOW if you dado the backs of the face frame, to receive the carcass of the cab, that would probably reinforce the joint and you could putty the gap if it is visible. OR pocket hole the joint from the back side of the joint and you would probably be good to go although dadoing the back of the face frame could be touchy to miss the pocket holes.
And or build it like in the drawing in the previous post and add a curved piece on top of the face frame.

Well unless anyone has a CNC it is not going to happen.

Well good luck!

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 5:10 pm
Greg Guarino wrote:

Yes, absolutely!! A RCH MAY make a difference (sometimes) but <1/500 never.
Cut it staight, clamp tight; no need to obsess, wood compresses.

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 5:38 pm
On 7/28/2015 1:10 PM, dadiOH wrote:

Geez. Yet another tool to buy:
http://www.chruler.com/

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 6:27 pm
Greg Guarino wrote:

I see that they are cheaper in bulk...time to stock up for all your friends :)
Precision in woodworking is rather a "sorta" thing. Once, long ago and far away when lumber yards still did mill work, I needed to make a skylight for my boat and took a cut list to a yard. I don't recall the exact measurements but one piece was so many inches and some 64ths. They balked at that, said they couldn't cut it that precisely so I asked about 32nd of an inch. Yes, they could do that.
So how is cutting to 1/32 any easier than cutting to 1/64? Both are precise and measurable. The answer is, there is always some slop, regardless of the measurement; i.e., cutting to 1/32 may be close but there is some slop +-. Ditto to 1/4. Or even 1"...blades wobble, the marking on measuring devices have width.
Since then I haven't worried NEARLY as much about precision. Which is not to say I don't TRY to get stuff "on the money", just that I don't worry about things being a skosh off. As I said, "Clamp tight, wood compresses". It does. It also bends.
What I DO worry about is getting everything that is to be a particular length/width/thickness the same; if off a bit, I want them ALL off a bit, all the same. To that end, I don't use measuring tapes all that much, prefer story sticks marked with a knife cut.

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 7:49 pm

--------------------------------------------- Amen.
If you need multiple pieces of a specific size, then cut them all plus spares from a single set up.
No matter how hard you try, you can never repeat a setup exactly.
You will always be off by a few RCH.
Lew

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 7:54 pm
On 7/28/2015 3:49 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

I'm not sure why, but I grasped that pretty early on. I think it's my abiding faith in my own imprecision. I figure I may not get the measurement exact, but I can make all the parts exactly the same.

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• posted on July 29, 2015, 2:04 pm
On 7/28/2015 2:54 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

It's called "batch cutting" and, as has been preached here numerous times down through the years, is absolutely necessary to obtain the holy grail of woodworking: SQUARE
In cabinetry and furniture making, SQUARE is the goal, "batch cutting" the most important methodology in attaining it.
--
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• posted on July 29, 2015, 2:40 pm

I would suggest that "batch cutting" leads to consistency, not squareness.

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• posted on July 29, 2015, 3:45 pm
On 7/29/2015 10:40 AM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

I think he means that if you have four members arranged in a rectangle, you can only achieve square corners if the two horizontal members are exactly of equal length, and the same for the verticals. Now you also need square cuts, or else you may end up with a parallelogram (or worse) instead.

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• posted on July 29, 2015, 11:38 pm
On 7/29/2015 10:45 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

As your need to clarify attests ... and even with the Subject clearly dealing with "face frames" ... the main reason for some being here is not necessarily sharing woodworking experiences, but instead looking for an argument using misdirection, silly semantics, and unsuccessful attempts at logical thought.
> Now you also

LOL Absolutely no doubt there are some, with square components being a stated goal, who would NOT go to great lengths to insure that his/her cuts were indeed square to begin with .... like that woodworking ace teaching drawer making?
;)
--
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Wood Shop: www.e-WoodShop.net

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• posted on July 29, 2015, 6:12 pm
On 7/29/2015 9:40 AM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Well that went with out saying but with out batch cutting, square, the goal, is more difficult to achieve.

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 2:11 am
On 7/27/2015 8:48 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

OK, you left out the part where I said to cut the stiles long. Cut those to the correct length after tweaking the fit at the top rail joint.
Further,

Yes! you are right and I just a moment ago and addressed this. The radius on the stile will be 35'-11.5" instead of 36'.
On my cutting boards this work great because I fill the 1/2" removed material with 4, 1/8" thick strips.
Others have mentioned cutting a straight line and what is going to leave you with some kind of gap. BUT John mentioned tweaking with a block plane, so that would work too. Regardless of which method you use cut your stiles several inches too long and after you have it good enough cut the stiles to the correct length.

No you understood me correctly, I made the mistake. I was just remembering how I did this 7 months ago with the cutting boards. It would still work for you but you would have to put a 1/2" filler strip in the middle of the joint and that in this case would look wonky.
Alternatively clamp the stiles in the correct position, trace the curve with a pencil, and use a disk sander to remove the material to the curved line.
Keep in mind that your arc is probably not going to be perfect so unless you use the exact position of placement as a reference the fit may be inconsistent on all of the stiles.
Just something to think about and it may not fit into your plans but build it like my cabinet doors in the link I supplied, Top rail between stiles. Then cut another rail to put over the front of the top rail to hide the joints. That top rail doing the hiding could be most any thickness.

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<%-name%>
• posted on July 28, 2015, 2:16 pm
On 7/27/2015 5:36 PM, Leon wrote:

I've done that with doors. But in this case the entire unit will be above head height:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdguarino/19840944120/in/dateposted/
[this drawing didn't have the arch]
I figured it would look better without the end grain showing.

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• posted on July 28, 2015, 2:39 pm
On 7/28/2015 9:16 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Yes and you could always cover the bottom of the entire face frame with a 1/4" strip of wood to cover the entire bottom, joints and all.