Curved Panels

The end assemblies are complete now. When i was designing this piece in SketchUp, I figured the end assemblies would be the biggest challenge. That is because i have a curved rabbet on each panel joined to a curved stile.

Inside of end assembly. Panels are flush to rails and stiles here.

I created an mdf template for the curve on the stiles and used a router with the template to cut the curves on the stiles. The dado in the curve was mostly cut on the table saw, before I cut the curve. I finished up the middle portions with a chisel.

I used the actual stiles to mark out the curve on the panels, then cut them down with a jack plane. This sounds like “work”, but it honestly took me no more than a couple of minutes to work down to the line with the jack. 1/4″ on the ends curving to 0″ in the middle needed to be removed. Cutting it out with a jigsaw then cleaning it up with sandpaper or a block plane would have taken much longer.

Once i had a tight match to the curve on the stile, I just used a stanley #78 rabbet plane to cut out the rabbet. I made sure the fence was always referencing near the point where the plane was cutting. I wasn’t sure how this tool would handle a curve, but it worked nicely.

Trusty stanley #78

My father-in-law gave me this plane, which belonged to his uncle.  It was in pretty good shape, so I didn’t need to do much besides a general cleaning. Some old planes just work.  As expected, the iron needed to be flattened and honed, and I reground one of the 3 spurs.  The spur is used to score the cut before the cutter gets to it when working cross grain.

I’m on to the bottom stretchers now.  I have the mortises cut on the legs and am working on the tenons now. The shoulder here is slightly off square since the legs are tapered in that dimension.

Once the bottom and top stretchers are complete this thing will finally start to look like a table.

Slowly but surely.


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