I have recently done some posting about the Grizzly G0555 bandsaw I have
recently purchased. I am nearly finished setting up my bandsaw. My first
project will be to cut a curved headboard. I will glue up cherry into a
blank 24" wide by 60" long. I will make my curve with a fairing stick. I'm
wondering how to keep that big piece stable on the bandsaw table with is
about 14" square. I thought I might rough cut the curve with a jigsaw so I
don't have too much material to remove with the bandsaw. Do you have any
advice for me about keeping the headboard stable as I cut close to the
pencil line I will have drawn?
I know your are anxious to use your new BS but if you are going to rough out
the cut with you rjig saw, why do it again on the BS? I have a large Laguna
BS and dont rely on the cut to be my final surface, I only rough out curves
on my BS also.
I use a disk of spindle sander to take out the line.
I see no sense in using both tools.
If I didn't already have roller tables that could be used with the band
saw, I personally would use the jig saw to rough cut it, then fair the
curve, either by hand, or spindle sander.
However, to me this is "jig up" time!!
Actually, what I prefer to do with any curve, is to make a full size
template of the curve in 1/2" mdf, take all the time you need in fairing
it in the mdf, instead of on the good project wood.
Once you have it perfect, use the mdf template to mark your cut line on
the real wood; rough cut on jig or band saw; attach template (make a jig
out of it that will hold the work piece securely) to the good wood; then
route to the template on the router table with a bearing bit.
IME, you get a much more satisfying, much smoother curve in the final
product this way, and without the danger of ruining your expensive
I second what Swingman said. I use 1/4" mdf (damn BORG only carry full
sheets of 1/4 and 3/4). I can make sure that it's right before I cut
the actual wood. The last thing you want to do is to try to explain to
your wife why you need to buy more of the expensive wood. You said you
wanted to spend quality time with a file/rasp/dremel/whatever.
Even with an extension table, I wouldn't try it on the bandsaw
I agree with Swingman too except that I would combine Phisherman's
trammel technique to make the pattern. You can layout the radius and
mount your router on a piece of stock long enough to give the desired
curve. The longest radius I've done this with was a little over 11'
for a balcony over a curved stair. It's not much more difficult to do
with a longer radius than a shorter one.
I smiled when I read this again.
There is a standard answer among boat builders to the question, "When
is a hull "fair"?
Answer: "When your arms are so tired you can't pick up the fairing
Fair at 50 ft is a whole lot different than fair at 10 ft.
A little tip when fairing out a curve, use a 1/2"x1/2"x1/16" aluminum
angle as a fairing batten.
Use the outside corner as a knife edge holding it against the curve
Hold it up to the light, if you can see daylight between batten and
piece, it AIN'T FAIR, keep at it.
BTW, rubbing the aluminum edge against piece will leave black marks
(aluminum oxide) on the high spots that still require attention.
I have the same saw. Make sure you TIGHTEN the knobs that lock the
tilt. Otherwise, with a heavy piece of wood it may try to tilt on you.
Did you buy a good blade? After a couple of trial cuts my Griz blade
found its place hanging on the wall "in case of emergency". Never
have put it back on the saw.
I got a 1/2" Wood Slicer blade (2 actually so I am not caught out when the
first one breaks). That blade was recommended to me at a local woodworking
show last winter as well as by several people on this group.
Whenever the piece gets too big for the table, it's time to build an
extension support or consider another method to make the curved cut. I
made a 12-foot valance with a long gentle curve. After some thought,
I used a shop-built trammel with a mounted router. Instead of a
router you could mount a jigsaw on the trammel. I used double-stick
carpet tape to hold the piece to my workbench.
Yep -- don't do it. That's *much* too large to try to handle on such a small
table. If I were doing that, I think I'd rough it with the jigsaw, then smooth
the curve with a spokeshave. Or make a template and finish with a router, as
On Thu, 3 Dec 2009 16:19:12 -0500, the infamous "Dick Snyder"
Build infeed and outfeed tables the same height as the bandsaw table.
Smaller table frames with larger diameter tops will work fairly well,
too. Roller ball in/outfeed stands can work, too. For example:
Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas
to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label
of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem
important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
-- Thomas J. Watson
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