Wednesday, August 2, 2017

curves in all the right places

The most difficult part of the actual construction, building the two curved beams, ended up going quite smoothly.


We looked at lots of options for how to go about creating them, including cutting them out of solid stock, ordering prefab beams, or curving the trim over an angled structure.  None of the prefab companies seemed to guarantee the materials they were using, so given that and the lead times we didn't pursue that any further.

The easiest option turned out being building laminated beams on site.  They're constructed from thin marine plywood cut into strips, screwed, clamped, and laminated together with marine epoxy.  The dimensions were all determined by our engineer.  If you attempt to do this yourself, do not underestimate how many clamps you'll need!




The curve was made by attaching the strips directly to the angled floor joists.  Quite to our surprise, the header beam was built first, using the floor joists to shape it.  Once it had cured they attached it to 2x6's (on edge) to maintain the shape and help lift it, as well as a ratchet strap on the open edge.


 Once it was finished it was moved to the side, and the curved joist was built in it's place.


Lots of work and planning, but straightforward enough.  Now, if only curved handrail were as easy!






10 comments:

  1. You must be FREAKIN' OUT with excitement!

    I am!!!!!!!!

    And I am SOOOOOOOOO excited to see that you are recreating the original entry door opening!!!!!!!!

    More! More! More!

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    1. I've been having a drink on it every night. I'm pretty sure my neighbors are now completely immune to my insanity!

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  2. It's really coming along beautifully!

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  3. Wow, that is impressive work! That's going to redefine the look of the house dramatically.

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    1. The day we can tear down the current entry porch will be glorious!

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  4. Yes, that is really big! Congrats. I am impressed with the clamps.

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    1. So was I, it made my (not insignificant) collection seem very inadequate...

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  5. Fantastic! We used to make curved casings (jambs for arches and windows) the same way, with 1/8" finish plywood (birch or maple usually) on the outsides, and a special flexible plywood in the centre. All clamped to a number of large angle brackets screwed to a work table. LOTS of clamps needed, and a big mess with the glue usually. The mouldings were usually CNC cut and passed through a special moulding cutter. Fun. Hand rails were usually done the same. You can also do brickwork lamination for the hand rails, but that then requires band saw cutting and sanding (easier to do a curved glue-up).

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    1. We have access to a CNC alpha at the moment, and were going to do the cuts out of a 2x12, but have just gotten overwhelmed with the process. We making fretwork instead lol... Maybe once we get a better grasp of the machine we'll revisit the idea. What I wouldn't do for an actual molding cutter!

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