How to Cut Curves in Wood by Hand

How to Cut Curves in Wood by Hand

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If you are performing any kind of carpentry, you need to have the right tools for the job. Of course, power tools and motorized saws will make quick work out of any project. That said, you might not have any power saws on hand, or have any at all.

Moreover, some people just like following more traditional woodworking methods, which in this case means using hand tools.Cutting curves in woodby hand is more than possible, but it requires specific tools and techniques. Let’s figure out how to do so now.


What is important to note here is that there are a few different types of hand saws that can be used for cutting curves in wood. Exactly which of the various saws you use will depend on the purpose at hand. What it really comes down to is how large the curve is that you need to make.


1. Bow Saw

Bow SawFirst off, we have the bow saw. The bow saw is a fairly large saw that features a blade in the bottom, combined with a long and bowed handle that runs along the top side of the blade. The blade width may be between 3/8- and 1/2-inch, with a pitch of seven to 10 ppi. The blade of a bow saw is generally between 18 and 24 inches long.


2. Turning Saw

The next type of saw that can be used to cut curves in wood by hand is the turning saw. This is a smaller saw than the bow saw. The turning saw usually has a blade between 1/8- and 1/4-inch in width, thus making it quite narrow, along with a pitch of 10 to 22 ppi. The blade of the turning saw is usually 12 inches in length.


3. Coping Saws and Fret Saws

Fret Saw是的,這些是兩種不同類型的鋸,在技術上講。但是,它們在功能方麵非常相似,因此我們正在將它們分組在一起。應對和褶皺鋸兩者的葉片長度通常約為6英寸。就寬度而言,這兩種鋸片都有從1/8英寸開始的葉片,並且可以小得多。

These types of saws are ideal for making very small and tight curves and are often used during the curve refining process. Keep in mind that due to the thin and fragile nature of the blades, they do break fairly often, so get extras.

How to Cut Curves in Wood by Hand


Therefore, to ensure that we help as many people as possible, this guide is for cutting tight and narrow curves. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Measure and Mark the Cut

The first step in this process is of course to get all of the measuring and marking out of the way.


Mark the Curve on the Wooden Workpiece

Step 2: Start the Initial Curve


You first need to saw away the material that surrounds your curves as much as you can. Depending on the thickness of the wood stock, you will want to use either a bow saw or a turning saw for this task. Hold the bow saw or the turning saw at a 45-degree angle to the wood stock, start the cut with a downward stroke, and cut out the rough profile of the curves that you will refine in the following step.

Remember, cutting curves with handsaws works best when you only do the curve on the downward stroke, not the upward stroke. Once the rough profile of the curve has been cut out, you can move on to the next step.


Now you can use either the fret saw or the coping saw to refine the curve. If the curves you are cutting aren’t too tight, you can always continue to use the turning saw. Here, you want to cut out the curve as close to the lines that you marked in the first step as possible.

Make sure to use long and sweeping strokes, and only apply sideward pressure to cut the curve on the downward stroke. For very tight curves, you want the saw blade to be nearly vertical (perpendicular to the piece being cut). Following these tips, you can cut out the curve.

Step 4: Sand it Down

You might not have been able to cut a perfect curve right on the lines you marked. Even if you did, the cut will probably be a bit rough. Use some basic sandpaper to refine everything and smooth out the curve.

Sanding Block

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

Lastly, here are some more things to keep in mind to make the process smoother:

  • 隻有在執行向下切割衝程時才轉動刀片以進行曲線
  • Make sure to match the width of the saw blade to the tightness of the curve being cut
  • 記住,漫長而緩慢的,全麵的中風cut the fastest
  • Remember that the teeth of the saw should do most of the work – don’t apply too much pressure to the blade, or else it will veer off course.