It was all built from green oak and Redington and I cut and fit all the joints. The joints are simple traditional joinery.
The first thing we had to do was make a template to cut the curved cross sections. We would use a router to create a the finished curve on each cross piece. This was to give a graceful look to the project but required some extra work. The template was cut from 1/2" plywood and the curve is based on a ellipse set by pressing in two thumbtacks and using a loop of string slightly longer than the distance between the two tacks. A pencil was placed in the loop and tensioned and a half ellipse was drawn on the wood.
Several attempts were made until the curve had the shallow grace I was looking for. I had to be careful to compensate for the offfsets caused by the router template guide and 1/2" bit that would make the final cut in the wood. Redington then next cut carefully to the line of the curve with a sabre-saw then sanded out any bumps or flat spots until we had a fair curve.
I screwed on a couple of cleats to position the template consistently against the oak plank. I also drilled two counter sunk holes. Short wood screws would serve to hold it tightly against the oak plank while we cut the plank.
|The finished template with cleats in place.|
|Detail of cleat.|
The template was secured to the 1-1/4" x 8" x 6ft oak plank. Next the router was fitted with the template guide and a 1/2" straight cut bit 2" long. The depth was initially set on the router to just barely scribe the surface of the oak. The plan was to lightly route the path of the bit to mark it, then use the sabre-saw to cut away most of the waste and finish with a final pass with the router to give a clean edge. This would take longer but should reduce wear on the bit and make the cutting easier and less hazardous.
After the line was scribed with the router the template was removed and Redington used the sabre-saw to cut the waste away. Then the template was reattached using the same screw holes. The router depth was then set to 1/2" more than the thickness of the wood. This would leave the most worked end of the bit protruding below the plank and thus using the length of the bit that is rarely used. This produced a nice smooth curve. A simple decorative angle was cut on the end of the plank with the circular saw and it was finished.
|Examples of the finished cross pieces.|
|Finished slots in the posts|
|The 2x4 resting in its slot and the crosspiece likewise behind it.|
|Pounding in the spikes.|
|The pockets keep the metal spike tops from being visible.|
|The finished result.|
|Posing for a photo after completion.|