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Thread: drawing a serpentine top

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    64

    drawing a serpentine top

    gmorning

    i'm wanting to make a new coffee table and would like to make a serpentine top.
    i dont have cad drawing. im a bit perplexed as to how to make a full size drawing,
    how to get the curve and return right. is there a ratio? im guessing to draw the bow
    with a narrow strip and weights, but how to get the return curve right? is it just trial and error till
    you get it right? any advice would be appreciated.

    regards,
    Eric

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    3,034
    On curved work, I will usually tape up several pieces of poster board and use a compass (with one end a pencil) to get one end of the piece where I like it. I just do half the piece then cut that out and flip or rotate that piece to trace the other side.

    Or for more gentle curves I use a drawing bow like this from LV...easy to make one as well.

    988B2123-524F-46F6-AEAF-D393B1E073DF.jpg
    Last edited by Phil Mueller; 04-14-2021 at 10:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Clarks Summit PA
    Posts
    1,095
    Eric, I agree with Phil's suggestion of doing half the piece and flip or rotate to trace the other side. As far as the curves, I think you can freehand it. I think grid paper will facilitate drawing, along with a good eraser as you modify your pencil line to your liking.

  4. #4
    There is stuff on line about drawing that . You might want to look at "ox-bow"....also

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Morocco IN
    Posts
    1,270
    Eric - Popular Woodworking had an interesting article about curves back in Feb of 2020. I was looking at it the other day and would be happy to scan it and email it to you tomorrow if you PM your email address to me.
    You know, the worst ain't so bad when it finally happens.
    Not half as bad as you figure it'll be before it's happened.
    - Bob Curtin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    858
    Lee Valley sells a set of large French curves for $40 which might suit your needs.
    Rustic? Well, no. That was not my intention!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    64
    Thanks everyone,
    and thank you Bill, sent you a pm

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