Good way to cut this curve?

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I'll be fabricating some towel racks for our bathroom. The "arms" that hold the bar will be made of 3/4'' stock -- MDF or something easy to work -- and painted. They are pretty simple.
The pattern is at
http://users.adelphia.net/~elliottfamily/House/towel_rack.gif
I'll be making four of them. I want the curvy part to be nice and clean, and I could use suggestions on how to cut that curve so it looks "professional."
The tools I have are a router, a handheld saber (jig) saw, some sandpaper, and a tin of Cloverdale brand Elbow Grease.
--
Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
71 Type 2: the Wonderbus
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Hey Mike,
I have a couple of suggestions here.
First, trace this pattern onto a small piece of luan plywood (it's approx. 1/8" thick) and use it as a pattern to trace onto all of the pieces of material that you need. Next, cut them out with the sabre saw and be prepared to spend some time sanding.
Second, trace this pattern onto the luan as mentioned above, and then place a router bit into your router. With the router turned OFF, slowly trace the outside edge of the router base as you move the router along the edge of the pattern's profile. This will give you a template to use so that you can clamp it to the material and cut out the pieces using your router. You may want to use a large enough piece of luan to give you room to clamp.
Hope this helps, Paul
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Hi Mike:
I suggest you make one piece by cutting it out with your saber saw and sanding to shape. Then, use a bearing-guided router bit in your router to duplicate that shape on other pieces after roughing them out with the saber saw. You may want to start with a pattern made from something thinner, like 1/4" plywood to reduce the time spent sanding to final shape, and use this pattern to make all the pieces. If you think you'll be making more of these later, having a pattern already on hand will save you lots of time.
Regards, John.
Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott wrote:

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On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 07:34:30 -0800, "Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"

I was going to suggest "carefully" ...and that's still true.
Cut away most of the material in a rough-cut. if oyu feel it's necessary make further straight line-cuts up to the mark [well, real close.] All the material stress is gone, and you just have to have a steady hand to finish with a final clean no-stress cut by jig-saw to the line [or *really* close]. Then finish by sanding by hand and sanding block. The block keeps the paper straight. otherwise you see slight bends here and there as the hand/finger pressure changes.
Or, you can make a jig and use a router.
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On 12/27/2004 8:53 AM Guess who wrote:

As John and Paul have helpfully suggested, the pattern/router approach can give good results. I like the idea of making the template from thin stock, to make sanding easier. I reckon a "pattern bit" for the router -- a straight bit with a guide wheel that sits between the business end and the router motor -- will work just peachy. The tricky part, as I see it, will be sorting out how to clamp the template and work piece prior to routing. After that, it appears to be a fairly straight-ahead procedure.
--
Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
71 Type 2: the Wonderbus
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On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 09:18:28 -0800, "Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"
My main point, Mike was to remove the bulk of material with a jigsaw/scrollsaw/bandsaw, then attend to the remainder. With little to remove, and a steady hand, the jig saw with a good blade will get close enough to allow for little sanding. I'd do a template if I was fitting together as in a jig-saw puzzle or doing a larger length, such as the S-curved sides and front of the oak sofa-table I did. Like they say, nobody will see the difference in that short length and its location when driving by at 40.
I'll get smoked by the people with their complete set of computerised micrometers, but the best advice I was given a long long time back by an old craftsman who built the bedroom furniture we enjoy to this day was, "You can cut a line too straight.". He meant, without going overboard about it, it can have a little character that adds, rather than detracts.

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On 12/27/2004 10:25 AM Guess who wrote:

You speak as someone who obviously has better skills with a jigsaw than I! Despite that I was taught how to use one when I was a kid by my father, and despite that I've always owned one and have it for for various projects my whole adult life, I know better than to try to cut four curves like that by hand -- I'd have to spend the next several years looking at my lousy jigsawmanship at close range every time I went into the bathroom to use the facilities.
Nope. I know my limitations.
But with a clean template, a sharp router bit, and enough clamps to keep everything in one place, even I will be able to do a job that will pass close inspection.
--
Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
71 Type 2: the Wonderbus
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On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 12:29:03 -0800, "Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"

I doubt it. Perhaps I don't expect as much? As my aged father used to tell me, "Son, always let the tool do the work." Most people push way too hard; same when sawing with a hand saw. Same with sex, I hear as well.
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Guess who wrote:

Just lie back and let the tool do the work.... ;-)
-- Mark
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"Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"

I'd make them out of real wood. I'd cut the curves with a saber saw or a coping saw. I would clean up the curves with a spoke shave. A spoke shave can be purchased in the neighborhood of $30.
Just my 2 . :-)
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On 12/27/2004 10:01 AM Lowell Holmes wrote:

I've seen folks use those tools. They appear to be fast and efficient. The tools, I mean. I can't comment on the folks.
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Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
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"Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott" writes:

I like to make patterns using 1/4" hardboard for this kind of job.
It's low cost, easy to work, and holds a good edge for the bearing of a router pattern bit to follow.
BTW, don't have a pattern bit, use a collar and a straight bit.
Layout the pattern on the hard board, then trim proud with the saber saw.
The easiest way to clean up an inside radius shown on the piece would be a drum sander, say 2" dia, and a drill press, followed by some hand sanding.
Don't have a drill press, maybe a neighbor might be able to help.
HTH
Lew
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On 12/27/2004 11:16 AM Lew Hodgett wrote:

"George, can you give me a hand here?"
"Well, I guess so, Rocky. What do I need to do?"
"Turn this little drum sander thingy around real fast for a few minutes."
<neighbor stares at me for a few moments then starts backing out of the garage>
(Thanks for the suggestion on how to clean up the inside radius. I do have a drill press. Sounds like a good way to go.)
--
Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
71 Type 2: the Wonderbus
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"Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott writes:

You have it made in the shade.
You made a comment about your capabilities with a saber saw.
I consider a saber saw strictly a "roughing" tool. Cut out each piece allowing about 1/4" of material for the router to clean.
BTW, IMHO, you are totally wasting your time and money trying to use MDF for this application.
MDF for the shelf, well OK, but not the supports.
Consider using something like 3/4", 13 ply, cabinet birch ply. which would look good natural, if you decided not to paint.
HTH
Lew
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I'm with Lew, though I think that the 1/4" floor underlayment made with five pieces of birch veneer is a better template material than even tempered masonite. Use of the collar allows trimming with a spiral bit, with the extra smooth that shear cutting can bring.
Not that it will work for you, but after years of using the kids as my drill-press oscillators, I had SWMBO help me on a project with a lot of curved pieces. After an hour, she gave permission for purchase of my JET spindle sander....
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On 12/27/2004 3:46 PM George wrote:

Oh ho, the old "if I don't get my toy I'll work you like a mule" ploy.
--
Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
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"Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"

Forget the other suggestions. There is only one proper way to do this. An 18" Laguna (or equal) bandsaw. Maybe, just maybe, you can squeak by with a 14" Delta with riser block.
But the bandsaw. Your wife will appreciate the towel racks. Honest, you can trust me.
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On 12/27/2004 12:42 PM Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

LOL! You know, if there is ONE thing I don't need to be encourage to do, buying new tools is it!
Hi, my name is Rocky and I am a toolaholic.
-- Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott 71 Type 2: the Wonderbus 84 Westphalia: "Mellow Yellow (The Electrical Banana)" KG6RCR
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Hi Rocky!!! Welcome!!!! "Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"

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On 12/27/2004 6:52 PM Bullwinkle J. Moose wrote:

An alumni from Wassamatta U!
--
Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
71 Type 2: the Wonderbus
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