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  1. #1
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    Joining Contours

    Assume I have two different woods and want to contour each and then join.

    How do I cut the contours accurately such when they join, there are no spaces?



    Joining Contours.jpg

  2. #2
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    If you were cutting a contour with a bandsaw or jigsaw, you could stack the two boards on top of each other and cut them both at once. Then the left top piece would match with the right bottom piece, and vice versa.

    Dave in Elmhurst, IL

  3. #3
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    I have done this by making a template of the edge, use that to trace the cut line on the wood, use a bandsaw to make the cut and then a drum sander to sweeten up the fit and "joint" the edges to get a good glue up.

  4. #4
    Member deepwood's Avatar
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    I would use the band saw to make a single template out of 1/4" mdf. Obviously a bandsaw won't give you a nice smooth surface, so finish the template with a drum sander. Then use some strong double sided tape to attach the template to the piece, and use a router with a flush trim bit to make the cut. Then flip the template over and attach it to the second piece. This will ensure that both pieces have the exact same contour.

  5. #5
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    Considered this, however, because of the saw blade thickness, there would be areas of open spaces. I'm looking for a perfect joint

  6. #6
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    Yes, I've tried that. The drum sander does help to get the contours close. If many curves (in different directions), it's still impossible to get a perfect joint fit. Any mistake in sanding leaves a gap and the only way to fix it, is to drum sand the entire profile all over again - probably making another 'over-sanding' mistake.

    The gaps may be small and can be filled with wood filler, however, I rather not see 'any' trace of wood filler.

    Thank you

  7. #7
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    Thought of that also and flipping the template gives you an opposite profile.

    I'm beginning to think I need two perfect templates (one for each side) and then use a flush trim router bit on each piece.

    Now the challenge is how to make the two perfect templates - this brings me back to a jig saw and drum sander.

    The contour problem is created by the curves changing direction - a circle or an arc is relatively easy (no direction reverses).

    I'm not sure there is a method - other than a lot of hand fitting.

  8. #8
    Member deepwood's Avatar
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    hahaha... oh yeah. I guess my method would only work if the contours were mirrored.

  9. #9
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    Eureka! Another method.

    Router Kit.jpg

    Think of the contour as part of a template you would use when doing inlays.
    Using the homemade template, cut one piece of wood using a Router Inlay Kit (see attachment) with the small diameter guide.

    To cut the contour on the other piece of wood - add the bushing to the inlay cutter (to achieve the larger diameter guide). Now, using the same template, cut with the router.

    There are limitations with this method:

    1. The contour template should have only 'easy' turns of changing directions.
    2. The radius of the curves should be much larger than the larger diameter guide (above).
    3. The router faceplate should be supported over the entire surface (so it will not rock/tip).

    The results will be close but not perfect. A drum sander will still be required to fix some areas.

    I'm beginning to think that the old method of:

    1. Create your contour template and rough it out with a jigsaw and smooth with drum sander.
    2. Trace a pencil line on both pieces.
    3. Do the jigsaw work and drum sander work on the two pieces - being very careful with the drum sander.
    4. When 'close enough', give in and use a wood filler with the same wood color as one of the pieces. If the gaps are slight, they may not be noticed.


    ..... will be just as successful.

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