Machining "Chicago Bar Moulding"

Advice on making a curved bar arm-rest moulding. December 24, 2009

Does anyone know how to make curved bar arm rest molding without using a CNC machine? I have a molder but since this molding doesn't sit flat, I don't think I can use it. The biggest head I can fit on my shaper is 5". The molding has to be the standard 5 1/2" stuff.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor B:
A curved molding machine. We have a US Concepts machine. There are videos on the web site.

From contributor D:
You could also do it with a tilting spindle shaper, if you have one. Sometimes it is better to outsource something like this.

From contributor J:
If you have never run something like this, I would sub it out because this would be very difficult for your first curved job. If you are going to think about a curved moulder, be careful because most bar rails have a lot of material off the sides, so you still want to be able to feed it. So you really do not want a curved moulder that feeds from the side.

From contributor O:
I have successfully made curved Chicago bar rails without a CNC. I start with 3 thick stock, like a 3" x 14" x 36" slab will handle a 21" radius for an outer corner. Unlike the stock you can buy, which is made from 1" stock and sits on an angle, I cut it on the flat. I start by cutting my stock on the band saw and then use the piece that drops off the outer cut as a jig which I clamp to the table saw and use as a guide for plowing. I plow the straight stock also and I have really had great success with this method.