Cut The Joinery Before Shaping The Upper Rails

Cut the tenons and the inside curve of the rails before mortising. Mark the locations of the back-splat mortises using a template and drill them out on the drill press (left). A curved fence helps support the tall workpiece. Next, following the lines marked from the template, square up the mortises (right).

Cut the tenons and the inside curve of the rails before mortising. Mark the locations of the back-splat mortises using a template and drill them out on the drill press (left). A curved fence helps support the tall workpiece. Next, following the lines marked from the template, square up the mortises (right).

Arch the top of the crest rail next. Re-use the rear seat rail template to trace the arch along the top of the crest rail, then rough out the shape on the bandsaw.

each for the front, sides, and back. Use the templates to draw the arch on the seat rails, then use a bandsaw to remove most of the waste. Now use a bearing-guided straight bit to template-rout the arches.

The two curved back rails require a few more steps than the seat rails. Mill up extra-thick blanks and cut the offset tenons on the ends. For consistency, it helps to make a template showing both the inside and outside curves of the rail (see drawing, left). Trace the concave curve first, then remove the waste with a bandsaw, and clean up the surface using a spokeshave or sandpaper. If you prefer, you can use the template to make a jig to clean up the surfaces using either a router or shaper. Now use a marking gauge to scribe the %-in. thickness of these rails, referencing off the just-milled front faces.

Before shaping the crest and bottom rails further, lay out and cut the four small mortises for the back splat (see photos, left).

The next operation is to arch the top of the crest rail using the same method and template used to shape the back seat rail (save the cutoff). Finally, cut the convex curves of the crest and bottom rails on the bandsaw, just leaving the line. Clean up these faces with a disk or belt sander.

Back splat serves as the focal point

The back splat is a curved assembly of l-in.-wide strips, with three l-in.-sq. openings at the top, that conforms to the

Finally, cut the curves on the backs of the top rails. Leave the scribe line, and clean up the surfaces with a belt or disk sander.

%-in.-thick strip

Tenoned strips are grooved on both sides.

Cut and fit the Ys-ln.-thlck strips into the mortises in the rails, then rout the Vs-in.-wide groove, % In. deep, into their edges. The outside strips are grooved only on the Inside edge.

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Responses

  • mateusz
    How to make arched rails on bookcases?
    8 years ago

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