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· Registered
22,920 Posts
The width of the stock will determine the limits on the arc. A narrow piece will limit the arc.

Start with a roll of paper long or wide enough to draw out the leg. Use a stick to draw the arc. Pin it at one end and drill a small hole on the other for a pencil.

Lay the Oak on the paper and trace its edges on the paper. The arc must fit within those boundaries. If you have a pattern, use it instead. You don't mention the length of the leg, so if you don't have a pattern you're going to have to work out an arc the proper length that fits within the width of the stock. Don't forget that you likely have to cut four legs, so allow for that. Move the base of the stick back or forward to make the curve sharper or milder.

Once you draw the curve, cut it out carefully and transfer it to the stock. Then transfer 3 more. Then cut out with a band saw, slightly oversize and sand down to size and smoothness.

Without knowing dimensions, this is about as far as I can go describing it. BTW, the pin needs to be set 90 degrees to the stock, use a carpenter's square to set the 90.

Tommy McDonald last week built a chair with exactly the kind of curved leg you are building. I couldn't find it on YouTube. Aha! I found the episode on his website. Just what you're looking for.

Episode 0607: Library Chair with Tom McLaughlin - Tommy Mac

· Retired Moderator
16,386 Posts
Hi Ron and welcome. You can post a drawing or photo if needed as long as they are in your hard drive and not a link to something like a photo sharing service. Use the advanced reply to do that. As mentioned, stock width will limit the arc. There are 3 other solutions that I know of.
1- steam bend the wood
2- cut narrow laminations about 1/8" thick and glue them together and clamp to a curved jig. They'll retain that shape when the glue dries.
3- glue blocks to the main piece as the curve goes so that you effectively increase the width of your stock. If you are using white oak then use a glue that dries white or transparent to reduce the look of the glue joints.
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