Rosewood Studio School of Fine Woodworking; Tools, Courses, Workshops and Instruction

Curves and Bends

Tuition: $930 Cdn
Materials Fee: Approximately $100.00


     Incorporating curves into your work can add grace, visual interest and excitement to your furniture. It can also add complexity and challenges in construction. In this class, we will look at numerous options available to the furniture maker to “break out of the box”, and ways to simplify joinery of components at angles other than ninety degrees.

     We start the class with the tools and techniques for laying out the fair curve we want to create, including symmetrical and asymmetrical curves, arcs and ellipses. French curves, drawing bows, compasses, trammels and battens are demonstrated and discussed, as well as simple techniques for calculating the radius of an arc of any given dimension.   

     One of the strong suits of the band saw is its ability to cut to a curved line, so we follow layout with an examination of the benefits and the limitations of the sawn curve, pattern routing and bricklaid and stack-laminated construction.

     From there, we look at alternative ways of creating curved components, starting with the technique of kerf bending. Parallel bent laminations come next, followed by the more complex tapered bent lamination. Finally, we will demonstrate compression steam bending and low-tech techniques applicable in the small shop.

     Students are encouraged to work on a small round table using some of the techniques demonstrated. We utilize floating mortise and tenon joints to attach the curved aprons to the legs, and traditional cabinetmaker’s “buttons” to affix the top, allowing for seasonal wood movement should a solid top be incorporated. Alternatively, the radially matched veneered top made in our Studio Veneering Techniques class could be used to top it all off.
Table by student Roch Laviolette


Pre-requisites: Excellence With Hand Tools and Mastering Machinery or equivalent. Please see our note on pre-requisites.


Tools you will be using:

    Complete tool kits are available for student use free of charge, but attendees are encouraged to bring any of the tools listed below that they already own, honed and ready to put to work where applicable. 

           - smoothing or jack plane                                - marking gauge
           - adjustable mouth block plane                       - dovetail saw
           - flat and convex spokeshaves                        - set of chisels and chisel hammer
           - 12" combination square                                - .5 mm mechanical pencil
           - sharpening stones and honing guide            - carpenter's pencil
           -  card scraper, burnisher and file                   - 18” or 24” steel ruler

 Please remember to bring your notebook, safety glasses and hearing protection.
Registration Form
© 2007 -2021 Rosewood Studio
Last Modified 2021-01-04 09:37:47