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Creating a Curved Trunk Lid in SketchUp

Creating a Curved Trunk Lid in SketchUp

A new woodworker is preparing to build a sort of steamer-trunk-inspired chest with a curved lid and was a bit daunted by the idea of cutting the staves for the top. One option for working out the bevel angle required would be to lay out the cross section full size.

You’d draw the arc, divide it into the number of staves you want, and draw the seam lines between them. You could lift the bevel angles from the drawing using a sliding T-bevel.

But how to accurately divide the arc by the number of staves?

Another good option is to draw it digitally using SketchUp. You can leverage the way SketchUp represents curves with short line segments. In the case of this trunk, will be 12 staves, so a default 12-sided arc drawn with the 2-point Arc Tool is perfect. And the Arc Tools in SketchUp automatically make all of the segments the same length.

Watch video below for the details.

Video by Dave Richards