My wife wants new curtains in the living room, and wants me to cut out
special shaped brackets for the curtains. They will basically be half
oval with additional wood to attach each bracket to the wall.
To cut the half ovals the grains would be both horizontal and vertical
across the oval, so it seems there would be no way to maximize the grain
to minimize splits.
Can some one recommend the best wood for this application or a technique
to minimize splitting.
Can't really visualize what your brackets really are, but clearly ply
would be the most stable/strong of a given thickness that wouldn't be
terribly bulky. Use a paper-backed edging veneer to cover the edge(s)...
If solid, any of the hardwoods would undoubtedly be sufficiently strong
unless these are really heavy drapes or somesuch...just stay away from
the common framing lumber pines, cedar, etc., they're the ones that are
most prone to split along a grain line w/o much provocation.
Again, pictures would undoubtedly help, even if it's just an example of
what SWMBO thinks she wants...
??? I don't understand. If you draw an oval on a piece of wood, does
the orientation of the grain not depend on which way you cut it in half
(assuming the cut edge is against the wall)?
What am I missing?
But plywood is a good answer to any strength issue as long as you don't
want something more interesting than maple, birch, oak, etc.
Woodworking and more at <http://www.woodenwabbits.com
The thought was to draw the oval on the flat surface of the wood, and
then cut the bracket out. This would cause the gran to be
perpendicular to the plan of the oval.
I like the plywood idea and if there is no way out I will cut all 14 of
them from one piece of plywood and laminate.
I'm sitting here looking at a piece of maple with a circle drawn on it.
Grain is oriented north-south. I bisect that circle with a line running
north-south. All the grain in both halves runs parallel to the flat
I bisect that circle with a line running east-west, and rotate the hald
90 degrees so the flat is oriented with the previous, north-south, flat
edge. ALL the grain in both halves runs perpendicular to the flat edge.
So I can align the grain in any direction I choose. QED.
I still can't understand the issue you are describing, where you end up
with a mix of grain direction.
If you do not look at the surface but the ends as you rotate the board,
you will see that in one direction you are looking at the end grain and
in the other you are looking at the side of the grain. Or across the
grain in the first orientation and parallel to the grain in the other.
My concern is the bracket piece when the endgrain is visble on the side
of the cut out bracket.
Ah. Gotcha. Then I would definitely use plywood with an edge banding.
Your original post said nothing about appearance, only strength re:
splitting, so that's where I misunderstood.
Thanks for the clarification.
On Fri, 07 Sep 2012 08:16:43 -0600, Dave Balderstone
if the grain runs horrizontal it will be weak in the vertical plane.
If the grain runs vertical it will be weak in the horizontal plane,
and if it runs on the bias it will be weak in both planes. So either
the bracket will split horizontally from the forces exerted by the rod
and gravity, or it will split vertically from any other forces exerted
on the bracket by the rod.
The only realistic solution other than plywood with an edge banding is
to use hardwood and drill across the grain to install dowelling to
re-enforce the cross-grain.
Forget that it's a bracket. IF splitting is an issue - and we do not
know for sure that it is or will be, cross doweling it is a well
proven method of preventing the splitting. It is, if not THE only
realistic solution, certainly one of the few simple effective
The same is true if you don't cut it at all...there are two sides (parallel
to grain) and two ends (perpendicular to grain).
Frankly, I think you are worrying about nothing. I think you could use
*any* wood without having to worry about the weight of the rod and curtain
material splitting the brackets.
Certainly not cedar - and I wouldn't trust spruce either. Maple,
Mahogany, oak, birch, and most other hardwoods would stand a fair
chance - but drilling across grain and gluing in dowells would improve
the durability of any hardwood significantly.
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