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Thread: making oval top

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    making oval top

    i am making or wanting to make a oval top for an end table i am working on,,the table is 24x15so i cut the boards about 18x30 thinking it would give me a little room to play,,,and i watched some you tube videos and i did get the oval made but each side cuts in too soon,, leaving part of each corner knocked off,,,,i guess what i am trying to say is the oval needs to start somewhere past the sides,,if that makes any sense,,lol,,,,this is my first oval and any help would be appreciated

  2. #2
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    You need to provide more information. This is an oval:
    Oval-Shape.jpg

    NASCAR calls this an oval but it is not:
    MyTurnstone-Bassline-LineDrawing-Racetrack-960.png

    Which shape are you attempting to create? If your cabinet is 24 X 15 then the oval top would be as shown below (almost round):
    table with oval top.JPG

    A cad drawing program can give you the dimensions pretty easily.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 11-18-2021 at 8:53 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

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  3. #3
    The string method is the easiest, plenty of it on line. I too have to make an oval frame ,gonna use two layers of wood . Both will be segmented pieces rub glued or pinch dogged. The layers will over lap . After gluing ,Iíll saw it out , rabbet, etc. Iíve noticed that 18th and
    19th century frames did not vary much in proportions. Our eyes are in general agreement on oval proportions.

  4. #4
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    All you need is to buy one of these or buy this. https://www.googleadservices.com/pag...6BAgDEAE&ri=16

  5. #5
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    the 3rd one down is what im interested in but it actually looks round,,

  6. #6
    3rd one looks round because it is close to round . IMO itís seldom worth the time to make something like that unless itís for an existing fine
    piece, for sophisticated buyer.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff oldham View Post
    the 3rd one down is what im interested in but it actually looks round,,
    How about this one?
    elliptical table.JPG
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    It's not too difficult to make a router jig to make ovals. Plenty on YouTube. Make a little sub jig to replace the router with a pencil where the router bit would. The one I made, Izzy's I think, is fully adjustable from a complete circle out to an elongated oval. As a matter of fact if you are near Marshall, MI you can use mine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Wilmington, NC
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    I recently completed Norm's hanging Wall Console table and used the Rockler Ellipical jig to cut the pattern. That worked very well.

  10. #10
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    Drawing curves is a developed skill. Don't try to find a pattern to copy, learn to make your own. Here's how.

    Don't be constrained by the mathematical proportions for an oval. Make one that looks and performs as desired. Start with a few sheets of printer paper. Sketch a few ovals to get a feel for it then start getting more precise. Fold a piece of paper into quarters and cut out a quarter of the oval. Unfold to see the whole thing. After a few of these you will be much better prepared to move on. Next make a full size one from cardboard, using the folded paper to get 4 equal curves. You're not done. It looks different full size and may require refinement. Paper and cardboard are cheap and the satisfaction found in making a nice curve is a great reward.

  11. #11
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    Cardboard cuts nicely on a bandsaw for the test patterns. The cuts are a little fuzzy but it is a lot easier then tin snips, razor knife etc. Straight cuts on the tablesaw also work well to cut it to down.
    Watch out for kickback as the wind from the blade can lift the work up and into your face.
    Bill D

  12. #12
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    I needed to cut some fairly large and long elliptical and circular curves for a couple of furniture projects. Once I had the dimensions established I had my neighbor make router templates from 3/8" MDF on his 3 axis CNC. Is sure beat trying to draft, cut out and freehand sand the templates.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Cardboard cuts nicely on a bandsaw for the test patterns....... Straight cuts on the tablesaw also work well.
    Bill D
    1+ on this. I made this discovery a few years ago; wondered why I hadn't figured it out sooner. I also save printer paper printed on one side, and cut down stacks of it to 5 1/2 x 4 1/4" on the bandsaw for note paper.

  14. #14
    I have a 3/4 ply template I made with the string method. It is a bit more than 1/4 of the oval for a dining table.

    I have used it several times over the years, cutting with a top bearing pattern bit.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Cambridge Vermont
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    I use a piece of wire. Something I can bend and will hold the shape easily. I do just one quarter of the oval on a piece of paper (that I cut with scissors). I hold one end while I adjust how long the wire is. The wire is stiff enough so it wants to make an oval shape but if needed I'll put a slight bend in the wire to help it make the shape I want. I usually use wire that is sold for tying rebar (cement work) as it's about the right stiffness to make ovals and curves the size I'm looking for.

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