Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/convertible cribs

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Question
Hello there Jamie . How are you ? I'm wife is pregnant and I am wanting to build a convertible style crib for my soon to be child . I do have some wood working knowledge and have done blanket chests and dovetail joints and what not before . I have some tools and have a good idea on what I need to do but I am stuck on one thing . The headboard is curved and also looks to have a curved molding cap on it . I'm curious if there is a way to make something work without a steam bend or vacuum box . I've attached a photo of the design we both like . Please take a look at that headboard piece and tell me if there is a way a garage weekend woodworking worrier can make that curve . I'm trying a sample just cutting the shape from stock but I'm at a loss of how to connect the pieces dado ? On a curve ? Please help!! Thank you so much for your time . I look forward to hearing from you .

Answer
Hi Mike,

Congrats on the upcoming new addition! The picture you sent did not show up on my end, but I know what you're talking about.  

There're a couple of ways to make that curve, as you know. As you said - you could steam bend it, or laminate it in a vacuum  box, but those all take special equipment. Without that equipment– the best way to do would be to simply cut it out of straight stock. Trace that curve on to wood, and then simply cut it out. A jigsaw or a band saw would be best, but you could make a pattern and template rout the curve, too.

So how do you get the dado in it, once it is cut? You would need to do that with some sort of a slotting router bit, one that will cut that dado to the right width of your panel. Luckily, it shouldn't be too hard to find one like that. (I would buy the bit first, before making the panel.)  It has to have a bearing on it, so that it will ride along the perimeter of your board, tracing its exact shape. If the dado slot is cut deep enough, you will have a little wiggle room as far as your panel goes -  it will not have to be a perfect fit, just a decent fit. The dado will hide any variations.... sweet.

I hope this makes sense. Write back if you have more questions. Good luck with this project, and with the upcoming new addition to your family.

Jamie in Vegas


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Jamie Yocono
Wood It Is! Custom Cabinetry
Las Vegas, NV
www.wooditis.com  

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

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Jamie Yocono

Expertise

Woodworker, Furniture designer/builder, industrial arts educator. Bachelor degree in Furniture Design, and journeyman carpenter, with a 4 year apprenticeship. Currently owner of custom furniture/cabinet shop in Las Vegas, NV. Can answer most woodworking questions EXCEPT those regarding repairs, refinishing, and antiques.

Experience

Bachelor in Furniture Design - Ohio University (1980) Journeyman Carpenter, Local 639 Adult educator - Developed adult education woodworking program for the University of Akron, and taught classes there for 9 years. Opened a private woodworking school in Las Vegas, NV and teach private and semi-private lessons. In 2011, I will begin teaching UNLV woodworking classes at my school. Sweet!

Organizations
Furniture Society

Publications
Tile Design and Installation Magazine (Article on inlaying tile into wood)

Education/Credentials
Journeyman Union Carpenter Bachelors degree in Furniture Design (Ohio University) College of Hard Knocks!

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