How To Use A French Curve In Woodworking? Things to know

How to use a french curve in woodworking? Once you’ve got the desired frame, everything turns out to be a breeze. Click it on, so see more!

Sketching curves is among the most challenging tasks for all carpenters. They employ a tool named “french curve” to solve this problem.

How to use a french curve in woodworking to draw the most flawless curves? The procedure is quite simple. You need to employ the appropriate frame and mark the endpoints on your wood surface.

The detailed instructions include more steps. Let’s join us and learn how to use this powerful tool!

Before starting your project, make sure that you don’t miss anything in this checklist:

The preparation step may be quick because the necessary tools are available in most workshops.

You should choose an area on the tool that produces the most aesthetically appealing curve. Then, draw a line connecting the two places.

You may not discover a single section that will fit in some cases. Instead, you can create a single beautiful line by combining small portions from various areas of the arc.

The step-by-step instructions below will show you how to do it:

  • Start by drawing a long axis of the ellipse. Then, cross it with the short one.
  • To sketch the ellipse’ quadrant, you need to choose a suitable curve. You need to seek the frame that becomes a tangent to the rectangle. It should also border the ellipse.
  • Be careful to demarcate the curve after you’ve found it.
  • Now, mark on the start and endpoints of the arc.

Mark on the two ends

Mark on the two ends

  • Alternatively, use masking tape and fold it over to the other side of the pattern. If you don’t use a pencil, there is no need to erase any lines after you’ve finished your job.
  • When you turn the pattern over to design the mirrored quadrant, the masking tape trick comes in handy again.
  • Now, you can cut and adhere little tape triangles or simply use a marker to determine the critical edge. This step helps you make it more transparent which of the edges represents the endpoint of the curve.
  • Finally, take off the tape and save the templates for later use after drawing the four quadrants.
  • You have the form on the wood. Now, use the saw to cut it out and attach it to your workpiece.

Cut the template out

Cut the template out

How To Make A French Curve?

The key to using this tool is to take full advantage of its frame. If you can’t find the template you want, make a DIY tool to meet your needs.

Creating your customized curve takes time and effort. Fortunately, advanced technologies make it easier by offering you a variety of suitable templates from which to pick.

First, gather all of these tools for your work:

  • Printer
  • Drill
  • String
  • Acrylic
  • Saw
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sandpaper

Here is how to create your own template:

  • Find a template sample and print it. You may uncover templates by doing a fast picture search online.
  • Print the pattern to the size you desire, making sure the edges are clear.
  • Cut the outline from the paper and glue the form to the acrylic. You may also copy the design with a marker.
  • Cut off the form with a saw. You may cut the template straight, but any inner patterns may require a pilot hole carved with a drill.
  • Use sandpaper to smooth off the edges. To smooth down all of the uneven areas, you can use progressively finer grits.
  • Mark and fractions and inches of an inch on the thread.
  • Stretch the thread all along the ruler and note the dimensions with a pen.
  • Make measurements on the curve using the string.
  • Stretch the thread around the bends and note the dimensions with a pen.

You may employ hardwood with a fine texture for the project. They are durable and have a smooth finish.

You can also utilize thicker cardboard if you only need something for a brief duration.

How to use a french curve in woodworking

You can make your own tool

Other Tools For Drawing Curves And Circles In Woodworking

Aside from the curve, some other tools help carpenters draw curves perfectly.


A beam compass has an intense beam with a pencil on one tip and a spike.

You may sketch arcs and curves up to two feet in diameter on wood or other materials.

Trammel points are spikes that can transform a wooden yardstick into a beam compass.

Many home repair shops or hardware stores will offer a free promotional stick that is the correct size for these products. It allows you to sketch a circle with a diameter of nearly six feet.


The string can work as a compass.

To draw a circle with string, you can nail a spike in the center. Then, tie the string to a pencil and start to move the pencil in a circular pattern.

With this method, you can make a circle at any dimension by adjusting the length of the string.

You may now form ovals rather than circles by driving two nails and tying a loop. By expanding the nails out, you may alter the oval’s form. Shortening or stringing the oval affects its form.

Circle templates

For creating arcs and circles in wood, circle templates are handy. Because of their simplicity, many people like to use them to sketch the circular edge.

You don’t have to determine the measurements of the circle or arc’s heart. Hence, this approach is significantly faster than utilizing a compass.

You can watch this video for more hacks to draw a circle without a compass.

Final Words

The curve is essential in many fields, including woodworking. Thanks to the tool, carpenters can guarantee the perfection of their artwork.

There are also some other pieces of equipment that help your sketch curves and circles. However, the French curve should be your way to go when it comes to irregular curved shapes.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for being interested in our post!

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Lisa J. Thompson

Hello, my name is Lisa Thompson and I’m the Founder of Daily Home Insider, your go-to resource for all things home security and home improvement. In this day and age, security should be your top priority, and that’s exactly why my dedicated team of writers and I offer reliable information pertaining to gun storage, home safes, and so much more. When I’m not running the blog, I enjoy gardening and homesteading. As an avid nature lover, I also love going on camping trips. Currently, I happily reside in the heart of Los Angeles.
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