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I am looking for ideas on a jig / fixture that I can route either a fixed radius or variable sizes of radius. Let me explain a bit further. I am building small animal caskets and I have come up with a way to take flat boards, cut the angles, and get a somewhat curved top. Now what I need is a way to smooth out the joint areas so it looks like a commercial casket top.

If you have ideas, I sure would like to hear them.

Thanks.

Dan
 

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Not sure I completely understand your needs, but would a circle cutting jig work?
 

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Woodpeckers makes a great set of corner radius and chamfer jigs. A little pricey but I think they can be bought individually.

You could also make your own custom ones to get the right arch for the top of the coffin lid. A flexible straight edge and some plywood material for a template.

OneTime Tool - Corner Jig

 

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I am looking for ideas on a jig / fixture that I can route either a fixed radius or variable sizes of radius. Let me explain a bit further. I am building small animal caskets and I have come up with a way to take flat boards, cut the angles, and get a somewhat curved top. Now what I need is a way to smooth out the joint areas so it looks like a commercial casket top.

If you have ideas, I sure would like to hear them.

Thanks.

Dan
If I understand correctly, what you are trying to do is create joints on several flat boards and round the joints over to create a smooth curved top, similar to the staves on a wine barrel.

Not sure how large your caskets will be, but I would be more inclined to join the edges with a butt joint, with the appropriate angle depending on the number of boards you use, then use a plane to remove the sharp edge, slowly transitioning to a "rounded" top.

Hopefully I've understood your requirements correctly
 

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I am looking for ideas on a jig / fixture that I can route either a fixed radius or variable sizes of radius. Let me explain a bit further. I am building small animal caskets and I have come up with a way to take flat boards, cut the angles, and get a somewhat curved top. Now what I need is a way to smooth out the joint areas so it looks like a commercial casket top.

If you have ideas, I sure would like to hear them.

Thanks.

Dan
can you post an image of what you are after...
are making coffins or caskets??? both???
how large are they...
I googled images and there so many variations it's difficult to know where to begin...

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=coffin+images&t=ffsb&ia=images&iax=1
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=casket+images&t=ffsb&ia=images&iax=1
 

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I have seen handmade/custom router fixturing that does clean up outside radii.
That is, a router on a carriage/support that has concave fixturing attached to its base plate. These sit on convex rails. Both created with a per-determined radius, not something that is adjustable. The one example I saw radiused a 16' long balance beam which had its upper surface radiused to ~12-14". A lot of work, big mess but clever indeed.
See Taunton's "More Proven Tips", 1990.
 

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If I correctly interpreted your request, it seems you want the ability to vary the cut from an elliptical arc to a semi-circle. There are a couple Youtube videos on building ellipse cutters that you might be able to modify for your purpose. Good luck.
 

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I remember seeing an episode of the Router Workshop where Bob and Rick built a jig that would do what you want but I never made one and I don't remember the details clearly. Maybe one of our other members will.

You can make a sled that will do that though. The sled would need an arch between the runners that has the curvature for the width you need. Any size would need a different sled because of the arc/width differences. You need two sides that are tall enough to hold the router up with the curve cut onto the bottom edge and plywood glued to it that is thin and flexible enough to follow the curve. There would be a slot cut through the middle of the jig for the router bit to stick through. You would also need guides for the sled to run against to keep it in position relative to the board. You'll still need a little sanding at the end.

Another way if you have a large enough belt sander is to build a pendulum type jig to hold the boards and swing thing past the belt in an arc. This will give you a perfect arc and take care of the sanding at the same time.

Then there is the old, old fashioned way where you take a plane or planes and plane the surface curved by eye. A lot of people think that a curve like you want has to be perfect but the eye can't tell that close so it only has to look perfect which is something quite different.
 
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It's hard to know exactly what you are looking for but I think you are asking for something like the top of this:


You might be able to make a carrier that moves a router sled through different angles. It might be easier to have a single track and rotate the work piece. Then adapting to different radii is simply a case of moving the pivot point. Might be worth the investment if you are turning out hundreds of them. Kind of like a giant router crafter.

Frankly, I'd make the bowed surface out of a number of segments and use a power sander (belt or 6" ROS) to get the rounded effect. 6 planks each with a 7.5 degree bevel will get you 90 degrees of bow - sanding that to smooth would be fairly easy. The smaller the angle, the more the segments but the less sanding need.

If the curve isn't too much, it might be easier to use 1/4 plywood and bend it to a frame.

Take a look at boat and wooden bucket building techniques. They both produce smoothly curved wooden structures without specialized routing jigs.
 

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Dan, making some templates will handle what you are after. If you plan to build a lot of these then a custom made router bit will greatly simplify things.
 

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Chuck, is episode 1307 the one you were thinking about? Bob sculpted the legs for this table using the rolling jig and a pair of supports.
 

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look to the profile of thumb and finger nail router bits...
 
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If I understand his request correctly, he wants to round his tops over. The pic below shows a faceted casket top I think he wants to make a jig to fit over the top so he can route it round.

If so, he would have to make a jig for every size coffin/casket he constructs and the only way I can see it working at all is if the casket is the same width and height head to toe. I'm thinking it would be easier to rough the top out with hand planes, rasps and scrapers then palm and hand sanding.
 

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Marc Sommerfeld , Sommerfeld tools, has a router bit set for making round corners on cabinets ( if you're only building one probably wouldn't be worth the expense )
Link Woodworking DVD's
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to everyone that replied. Based on some of the answers, I have a few ideas. Just to answer some of the questions and give a bit more info, I have a jig that I will take 2" wide (3/4") boards, cut a 7 degree angle on both sides, and lay them side by side until I get the desire width and height (of the dome). I will them glue and pocket hole join the pieces. The cut the two end boards such that the dome will lay flat when turned over. Now comes the part that I was asking about. At each of the joints, there will be a "high spot". I was hoping to use my router to make all the high spots disappear and give a nice round surface as in some of the pictures of the casket. Once I get the round surface, I can make two 45 degree cuts on each end and fit the end rounded piece in. Just like what you see in "Ghidrah's picture.

From the comments I have some more ideas, and truthfully, maybe the best thing is to plane and sand.

Thanks again everyone. Still open for more suggestions or pics of a fixture that may do this.

Dan
 

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Chuck, is episode 1307 the one you were thinking about? Bob sculpted the legs for this table using the rolling jig and a pair of supports.
As best I remember Mike, it resembled a planter, the horizontal half round type.
 

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Dan, this can be done as long as the radius is the same on the ends as the sides. I figured out a jig that will make the cut but need the dimensions.
 
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