Making arches/curved railings...

I am interested in cutting arches, like arches over a doorway, curved railing on a deck (top rail is simply 5/4 x 6 cedar, no fancy detail), and other similar projects using straight flat stock (or multiple pieces as needed) turning into curved flat stock. I looked around the web a bit, and can't find much in the way of here's what you need to make/cut/shape an arch, and here's how to do it.
I'd like to know what tools are best/recommended for this, and one of the projects involves 2" thick mahogany, so I have to be able to accommodate that. Also, any suggestions/tips on how to get the smoothest/most accurate arches would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
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Each project brings on a totally differant set of circumstance and differant methods of procedure. Do you have some plans, or sketchs that you can e-mail to me and I could then give you some guidence
Good Luck, George

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Hi George,
All I want to start with is making a flat board, say 5/4 cedar x whatever, into an arch, say, 3' wide with a cord of 4". For tools, cutting the arch, I am guessing a bandsaw would be best, and for smoothing the arch, I am guessing a shaper (or a router table with a straight bit). Any other suggestions are welcome.
Thanks.

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Routing against a pattern gives the best cut and the pattern is reusable. There are router bits up to 2" long, so you can cut something quite thick by going from both sides.
Rough cutting with a sabre saw will save wear on the router bit. Wilson

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Dawn breaks over marble head! I couldn't figure out how the pattern would help...but...if my router bit has a bearing on it, I can ride the bearing on the pattern! Duh! That would work great! I'm not sure a shaper would be able to do the inside arc...so my router table (which I do have a 2 1/4 hp router) without the fence etc. would work perfectly!
Would I be best using the largest straight bearing bit I can get?
I still believe I need a bandsaw, instead of trying to cut 30 pieces of mahogany on two sides with my jig saw...that would get tiring... Any suggestions on bandsaws would be appreciated!
Regards,
Austin
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on BS's: the new Powermatic 14" is GREAT! It's got a work light, high table like the Delta's, compressed air for blowing the cut line clean (runs when the motor is running), and great workmanship. Runs smoothly like a sewing machine. Just got mine last week after given up the shaking Delta 28-299A. To be fair, the newer Delta, the X-5 seems much smoother than the 299-A, but not quite as nice as the the new Powermatic. Carter guides, quick tension release lever. It ended up being a bit cheaper than the Delta also, as it comes with a nice fence. Miter gauge is included too. Just used mine a few minutes ago to make some precise cuts (notches). The don't look rough like a typical BS cut because the thing runs so darn smoothly. and that's with the included blade!
dave
Austin Franklin wrote:

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I forgot 2 other details: there is a brush riding against the lower wheel to help remove sawdust, and there is a 4" port in the cast iron lower housing, just below the table. The port actually captures most of the sawdust; it's much more efficient than the pre X-5 Delta's. I've seen the X-5 run, but it wasn't hooked up to a DC so I don't know if their newer port design is any better than previous models.
dave
Bay Area Dave wrote: snip
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Austin Franklin wrote:

Tom Plamann has done a LOT of really nice curved work. I recommend you browse his site if you haven't. There are quite a few tips & tricks all over the site.
http://plamann.com /
-- Mark
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He his the master of twist! Awesome work!

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