I'm making some yard items for youth activities. One of them is a football.
Here is a picture of somethig real close to what I will be doing:
. I've used the
search function here for advice but didn't find anything that fit. If you
know of another thread, please give me a hint and I'll go there. OK, right
now I plan on drawing my template, and using my jigsaw to cut the arc. My
problem revolves around making a smooth curve instead of what I usually do.
Any advice for using the jigsaw for this?
If these go well and I want to make more I was planning on using a ( to be
purchased ) router to make the cuts. I'd make a template for the edge of the
router to ride along, position my piece of plywood, and whammo, I'd have a
nice cut. Sound ok?
And for some background.... I'm not a TOTAL idiot when it comes to
woodworking, but I'm inexperienced in the best (or even close) way to do
things at times. I'm in the process of building a small shop in which I'll
have some nicer equipment in for but now it's me, my jigsaw, a circular saw,
and a jug of water.
A good jig saw, with a sharp blade suitable for cutting plywood, would be my
first choice for doing this.
You may find that a router will have a tendency to tearout most plywood ...
With a jigsaw, go slow, take your time, cut just outside the line, use a
wood rasp sander, to "fair the curve".
The more time and carefularity you take making the cut, the less
cleanup/fairing you'll have to do.
... just my tuppence.
1) Make your template from 1/4" hardboard, doubled to 1/2".
2) Layout curve, then trim template proud with jig saw.
3) Sand to the line using a fairing board and checking your work with
a fairing batten.
What is a fairing board?
A fairing board for this application will be a piece of 1/4-3/8
plywood about 3"W x 36LG with a handle at each end,
Use rubber cement and glue strips of 3"W, 24 grit sand paper to the
Stroke the fairing board across the curved jig saw cut line until
smooth. (Change paper frequently).
A fairing batten for this job will be a 3/4"x3/4"x1/16"x96" aluminum
Use back side of angle to check for high spots.
TIP: Rub the back side of the angle back and forth against the
template surface. The aluminum will leave black marks on the high
When your arms feel like they want to drop off, your template is
fair<Been there, done that>.
When complete, you will have served your apprenticeship to fair out
You can forget about the template if...
1. You determine the radius of the arc you want to cut.
2. Take a 2-4" wide piece of ply a bit longer than the radius
3. Attach your jigsaw to the end of #2
4. Nail the other end of #2 to the ply you want to cut (one nail only)
so distance blade<>nail equals desired radius. Enlarge the nail hole
in #2 so it is the same diameter as the nail and so the nail will slip
thru it easily.
Now you have a compass and can happily cut smoothly away :)
There are several ways to draw a curve, although I don't think that's
your question. I probably would not make a template unless I would be
making more than one item, but a template and router will work just
fine. If the ply is thick, make more than one pass. If you are
making just one football, draw, cut /w jigsaw (leaving the line), then
sand to the line.
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