Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-02-2006, 15:09   #1

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Question How to Measure Complex Curves?

A lot of you have done headliners from the material at Lowe's or Home Depot. These are flexible, yet rigid panels. I started our headliner today, but I found out... I STINK!

I have many complex curves to do, and measuring points every 6 inches doesn't even come close to cutting it. When I do my cut, I get a wavy line.

What's the best technique for making a template, or measuring out a complex curve? (ie: a flat, squarish piece of material where all 4 sides are not a straight line?)


ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2006, 17:25   #2
Registered User

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Boat: Tayana 37, M-20/I-20 Scow
Posts: 250
The answer is "tick stick". Very ancient and very precise way of measuring such complex curves/surfaces. Do websearch for "tick stick" ... (quotation marks necessary). One of the better explanations:

Richhh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2006, 20:14   #3
Registered User
BC Mike's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Gabriola BC
Boat: Viking 33 Tanzer 8.5m Tanzer 22
Posts: 1,034
Images: 5

Not sure exactly what you are after but there are two ways of doing what I think you are doing.
1 Make a pattern from a piece of material.
2 Take lots of measurements starting from the middle going out.
The measurements will need to be taken close together at the outer edges. HTH.
BC Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2006, 20:34   #4
Registered User
Thermal's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Honolulu
Boat: S2 11.0C 36' Puka Wai
Posts: 157
Images: 1
You might try going to a drafting supply place (if such places still exist). There is a thing like a flexible french curve that you can bent to shape by pressing it against the existing curve, then align it to your measured points. Should smooth out the wavy lines problem. Alternatively, I often head to the dumpster for large pieces of cardboard to cut to fit and then trim or extend with masking tape til you have a template that fits. Or you could just buy a square boat
In theory, Practice and Theory are the same. In practice, they are not.
Thermal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2006, 22:22   #5
Senior Cruiser
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
1/2" PVC piping Sean. It bends and curves very nicely and yet remains stiff enough to run the pencil along.
Use cardboard to make a template.
Place the carboard into the position and run a pencil taped top a block of wood around the obeject you want to copy. It's called profiling.
Depending on what it is exactly you are cutting, if you use a jigsaw, place masking tape on the area you are cutting. This stops the edges of those ceramic faced boards from chipping away.

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2006, 12:41   #6

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Thanks, everyone. I am using a modified version of what you all said. Sometimes one method works best, other times, it's another.

Much better to trace these out as suggested. Measuring was getting tedious!
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2006, 07:35   #7
Registered User
markpj23's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Black Hills, SD
Boat: Now Boatless
Posts: 1,148
Images: 47
Get it right - we demand pictures of the finished product!

markpj23 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:16.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.