Broken Arches

Broken-arch panelled doors are a nice feature, but the working out can be tricky.

The flat inner area of the fielded panel must be topped with a full half-circle - this means that the outer perimeter of the panel is less than a full half-circle, as is the radiused inner edge of the top rail. Because the panel is grooved into the rail, its outer radius is greater than the rail's - I strongly recommend making a full-size drawing first!

Working from your drawing, mark out and cut the shape of the top rails first, finding the centre of the radius as described below.

Chisel work

You will notice that the cutter leaves a radiused internal corner where the internal mitre should be, see photo A - this can only be completed by the use of chisels.

First define the quirk of the raised, flat part of the panel by scribing downwards with a wide chisel and paring a flat at the top of the chamfer, then doing the same for the tongue at the base of the chamfer, see photo 8.

To be absolutely correct, the intersection of a curved moulding with a straight one should be a curve, but life's too short for that, frankly, so scribe a straight mitre line, again with a wide chisel,from corner to corner. Don't go too deep.

Now pare the chamfer of the shoulder, working in towards the mitre. A wide chisel will do most of this, but a skewed chisel will help to finish off. Complete this side of the mitre before proceeding, see photo C.

Finish the job by paring the arch's chamfer, again working towards the mitre, although you may find it easier to make the cuts across the grain.

This process sounds worse than it is - my carving skills are pretty feeble, but I managed to produce the results shown here quite quickly, see photo D.

Piloto D

Marking out

Working on thé back of the panel, draw a centre line, top to bottom. Dry-assemble a door frame, then measure from the inner edge of the bottom rail to the inner edge of the shoulder of the arched top rail. Add twice the length of the tongue to this measurement to give the distance from the bottom of the panel to the cut line of the shoulder - mark this dimension (A) across the full width of the panel.

Next, starting from the point where this line crosses the centre line drawn earlier, measure back towards the bottom, a distance equal to the length of the tongue plus the width of the fielding (B).This gives you the centre of the various radii involved.

Now, starting again from the intersection of the shoulder cut line and the centre line, measure towards the top a distance equal to the height of the arch of the top rail (C), and mark.

With its point in the radius's centre mark, set a trammel to the arch top mark, and draw the radius.

bearing. Make no mistake about it, this is a bit scary, so use a start pin, ensure safe guarding - if necessary make a perspex guard fixed to the table and covering the cutter - and use temporary handles pinned to the back of each panel to feed the work. Go carefully, in shallow passes, until the correct depth is reached.


Cut the square shoulders, then the radius - this latter is best done with a router guided by a trammel. Clean up the internal corner with a chisel.

Now the fielding can be routed, on the router table as with the straight edges but this time using the cutter's guide

Photo C

A modified mule chest - part two

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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