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How to make flat
Curved
Window Trim!

10/08

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This project will be rather simple, since we're working with a perfect circle, not an elips. So the first order of business is to make a big compass. My total diameter needed is 74-5/8" so the radius or length of my compass will be 37-5/16". Obviously your dimensions will be different!
At one end we'll have a high tech pivot point....
.....and at the other end, 37-5/16" away i drill a hole for a pencil. While I'm at it, I drilled a hole 3-1/2" away, the width of the trim. Drill the holes so the pencils fit snuggly. 

Be sure the pencils and the pivot all in line, this will be important later! My compass is 2" wide, so i drilled my holes in the center

After testing the cumpas for accuracy, start laying out some curvesd! I needed 3 pieces for mine, but i made 2 extra in case i screwed up! 
It takes a little finagaling to get both pencles to contact at the same time. hold onto the compas, not the pencils as you mark your pieces.
Just another view from the other side. My bench is large enough to make these pieces, but I will need to lay out a sheet of plywood when I assemble the pieces. 

save the compass so you can use it to draw a full sized pattern on the plywood. This will aid in getting all the joints at the right angles.

Ok, so how do we lay out the ends of our curved pieces? Well since the pencils are drilled in the exact center of the compass, we can reasonably assume the pencil points will point back to the center of our arch. 

So If you put a steel rule against the pencil points.....

.....you can draw a line that should be pretty close to perfect!

Starrett 6'' Rule
Starrett 6'' Rule


Ok, now take your parts over to the bandsaw and rough them out, I say about 1/16" outside the line.
I use my 12" disk sander to clean up the out side of the pieces.....

Delta 12'' Disc Sander with Integral Dust Collection
Delta 12'' Disc Sander with Integral Dust Collection


.... and my ossilating drumsander to clean up the insides. Remember this piece is going to be about 25 ' in the air, no one is going to be doing any detail inspections, I'm the last person who will see this piece up close!

Oscillating Spindle Sander
Oscillating Spindle Sander


Now to rough cut the pieces, i use my fingers between the fence and the stock to hold it roughly at the proper angle. 

Next take your pieces over to your plywood pattern to tweek the angles so they fit and stay on the pattern.

With the Pieces "tweeked" with new cutt off lines, you can either go back to your chopsaw, radial arm saw or disk sander to make the final adjustments.
Next I cut some biscuit slots to help keep the pieces flush with each other......
 

Porter-Cable Deluxe Biscuit Joiner, Model No. 557
Porter-Cable Deluxe Biscuit Joiner, Model No. 557


....and then drilled some pocket screws to pull the joints together, and secure them permanently. Since I made this trim with Azak pvc plastic, i used pvc cement at the joints. But I suppse that wasn't really necessary. 

Mini Kreg Jig and Kit
Mini Kreg Jig and Kit


Ah, that doesn't look to bad, eh?
Woodcraft.com - Helping You Make Wood Work
Ok, all this work and heres why! Both sides of the trim are rotted where they meet the sill. I have already replaced the sill with a plastic one provided by the window manufacturer. Now its just a matter of cutting the painted joints with a utility knife, and pulling the nails.
I made the trim long on both ends. After test fitting the trim i was able to layout the new cut lines, notice the angle where the trim rests on the sill.
Now that doesn't look to shabby, eh? And the customer was thrilled!
And yes, I washed the window when i was done!
Remember I said no one would notice if it wasn't perfect? It's ok if things are off a little, only you will know!

 
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