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Author Topic: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??  (Read 4580 times)

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javeryh

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Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« on: November 04, 2006, 08:24:51 pm »
How do you guys cut out curves for the sides of cabinets?  Today I drew out the shape of the side, cut 1/8 wide of the line freehand and then sanded (by hand) to the line.  I used a straight edge and pattern bit with my router for the straight lines.  Is there a better way to cut the curves?  They came out pretty good but not perfect.  I also had a hard time sanding the entire surface of the side evenly by hand and using a block.  Any tips?

THANKS!!

prOk

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Re: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2006, 09:10:00 pm »
get some masonite board and make a template of your side with that.  take your time, perfect your curves etc.. then use that as your guide to cut the whole side out with the router.

kingflynn

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Re: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2006, 06:26:22 pm »
If you are using a jig saw, go slowly and cut closer to the line.  The less material you have to sand off, the better. 

miles2912

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Re: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2006, 09:32:58 pm »
I agree.  A jig saw is your friend here.  You might have to do a little light sanding but the jig saw will give you the curve if you take some time.  If you really want to use the router.. think of a 2x4 with a hole in one end.  Fix the router to the 2x4 and put the pattern cutting bit thru the hole.  The other side of the 2x4 should have a nail for a pivot point.  Length of the 2x4 is determined by what sized radius you need to cut.


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Xiaou2

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Re: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2006, 05:06:30 am »

 Actually I have another suggestion:

  Use a router with a Spiral Cutting Bit.

 Rotozip makes a 1/4" Spiral bit which can fit into your router.

 I believe Ive seen Spiral bits at Harbor Freight now too.

 The thing cuts much much faster than a typical router bit, and less dust.

 (even cuts thru plexi like butter.. no cracking)

 Much easier than a Jigsaw..  and much more straight cuts.

 Ive stopped using a Jigsaw, because they always tend to bend
when cutting..  thus you have an angled edge.  This can be a real problem
with many things.  It also is a real pain to handle all that vibrational torture  heh.
 

rdowdy95

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Re: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2006, 05:41:58 pm »
First off it took many times for me to draw a make shift 1" by 1" grid.  I used the jigsaw and went very slow on the curve.  Then I sanded it real nice.  After that I layed that badboy on another big 4x8 sheet and used the template router bit.  No problem.  My problem is screwing up so much on that dang control panel box.  None of the pieces fit for me and the wood is warped.  LOL!!!  I am glad where I live they sell the 2x4 sheets.

Leif

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Re: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 10:52:33 am »
get some masonite board and make a template of your side with that.  take your time, perfect your curves etc.. then use that as your guide to cut the whole side out with the router.


Wouldn't you have the same issue with the masonite board?  Don't you have to cut masonite with a saw as well?

prOk

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Re: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2006, 05:55:32 pm »
of course you would have the same issue, but you spend your time sanding and perfecting a 1/4 inch thick piece of cheap masonite that you use to make 2 identical clones.   Hand cutting and sanding 3/4 inch plywood will take forever and will be difficult to get jigsaw marks out of by sanding

Taborious

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Re: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2006, 01:39:12 pm »
What kind of curves are you talking about? Just a simple curve at the top near the marquee? lIke on a UAII? I built one of those and I just used a 2" whole bit on my drill to drill the whole that would be one side of the curve and then used a circular saw to cut very close to the edge of the drilled hole. Finished the last 1" with a jig and then MINIMAL sanding. Viola, perfect curve...

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dkammer

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Re: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2006, 12:43:05 am »
I did something similar to taborious...

I drew out my shape on the MDF using straight edges.  To draw the rounded corners, I placed a roll of electrical tape (about 1/4 used...) in the corner so it was tangential to both intersecting lines and traced around the tape roll...that gave me consistent corner radiuses.

I cut out all the straight lines with my circular saw using a sawboard (the building of which can be learned in a thread on this forum) and cut the corners using my jigsaw.  Since I was using the jigsaw for very short times, it was quite a bit easier to keep it on the curved line...I had to do VERY little sanding at all!

The results can be seen here: http://www.kodakgallery.com/thekammers/main/mame_project

Pics 3 - 11 illustrate pretty well how it worked...you can even see the roll of tape I used for the curves... :)

  Hope this helps!

    Darren

Darren Kammer
President - Design Cinema Privee of Dallas
www.designcinema.com

Taborious

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Re: Cutting curves out of MDF/wood? Tips??
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2006, 09:34:40 am »
Here are some pics, I thought I had one of the drill hole curves but I don't, sorry...

The other thing I forgot to mention, when you hit the lexan with the drill you need to backoff every little bit to keep the heat down from the friction or you will melt the lexan edge a little....
« Last Edit: November 10, 2006, 09:46:19 am by Taborious »
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