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 Post subject: Skirting a round corner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:29 pm 
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About to renew skirtings in a Victorian house- 150mm Ogee has been specified- in the hall there is one round outside corner approx diameter 200mm- any ideas how to do this? I think traditionally steam was used-skirting can be mdf or timber. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:45 pm 
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I think I would make up a bespoke piece but it depends on what tools you have I guess. I would make a former up to match the curve in the wall and glue up a lamination of strips of birch faced ply to make up the thickness of the skirting. Using a combination of router cutters I would form the profile. It might be easier with bendy MDF but this would need a fair bit of filler.

Steaming is a way but is a bit of a process.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:53 pm 
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It is an unbelievably common misconception, especially on the Internet, that curved skirting's in Victorian times were steam bent to all sorts of fantastic curves. That is, however, a wrong assumption. Quite apart from the fact that you normally couldn't steam on site, it isn't normal practice to steam bend softwoods because most of them just won't steam bend (they tend to fail quite dramatically) and in any case the smallest curve radius you'll achieve is well above the small radius they require. So how was it done? On small radii it was normally achieved by either turning the profile out of a solid piece of wood on a lathe then quartering it on the band saw or in late Victorian times by working the required profile by ring fence work on the spindle moulder. If the job is seriously worth it I'd recommend finding an architectural wood turner (there really are such people) or a pattern maker who should be able to carry out the first of the two processes I mention above. If a hollow back is required to accommodate the masonry this can easily be achieved on the lathe

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:03 pm 
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may be easier to make up a former and make out off plaster or filler :dunno:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:33 pm 
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Oops, sorry I did not see the 200mm diameter curve. In my imagination it was that curved wall you get in some Victorian hallways between the front and back rooms.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:44 pm 
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https://www.wrp-timber-mouldings.co.uk/ ... /skirtings


It depends on the situation, and couldn't be done everywhere, but I've seen corners of that size skirted square and then a feature made of the plasterwork leading down from the round corner to the square skirting.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:04 pm 
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Thanks for replies- making up a former seems doable- plaster would work but its a very busy corner of the house!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:42 pm 
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I've seen original Victorian in-situ formed plaster on skirtings in good condition after 100 or more years although they are often roughly formed of mortar (with fine aggregate and in many ways more like concrete) with a 2 to 3mm final skin of a white Plaster of Paris moulded to final shape

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:00 pm 
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Job and Knock wrote:
with a 2 to 3mm final skin of a white Plaster of Paris moulded to final shape

An old spread with one lot I worked for used *Keene's cement* for repairs to plaster coving/cornices, or even just for standard corners in heavy traffic areas.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:48 pm 
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Could you not take a piece of straight skirting of the same as used for the straight walls, make numerous shallow cuts in the reverse (perhaps using a circular saw set to the correct depth) and then it would bend round? A little bit of filler in the notches left visible at the top. Might take a couple of experimentations to achieve the curvature.

You can get mdf panels already grooved in this way from the diy sheds, so the principle is the same.

Or, https://www.wrp-timber-mouldings.co.uk/moulding-profile/550/in_profile/ogee-


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:05 am 
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As discussed above - kerfing will not work on extremely tight curves. If, and it's a big if, it doesn't break apart then it will look like and old threepenny bit (or a new pound coin if you don't remember them) with lots of flats which won't easily sand out, if at all.

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:33 pm 
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Wouldn't be surprised if most of us have tried the cutting the back out method at some point , probably when we were younger and thought we knew it all and ended it with the old boy having that "told you so " look on his face. To be honest I don't even feel it's a wonderful method for shallower curves nowadays.
I've seen these corners run in plaster both originals and replacements and while a little messy to do it works well. I've also had to do such things in timber too. It's easier to do if the skirting is being painted as for example the normally flat vertical face can be formed with two or three layers of hardboard glued together. For unpainted skirtings then cutting out of solid block is the usual method although I have seen it done by cutting a series of short dovetailed cuts from a straight piece and glued together and sanded to smooth out the curve. Think of how the staves of a cask fit together except that the grain will be going the opposite way. Takes a bit of working out and of course there is the problem or gluing end grain but by cutting successive pieces the grain will be quite closely matched.



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:35 am 
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the house i used to live in was like this. a curved corner with the radiused skirting. curious as to how it worked and as we were laying flooring and had the skirtings off i removed the corner piece. it was quite deep from memory as its over 10 years ago now.... think it was made up from a few pieces sorta laminated together maybe.... or maybe it was just a say 3 inch or 4 inch thick piece of timber,

ive done curves on skirting before. but not like a 90 degree curve. i marked the walls exactly where the curve started and ended. then measured the length of the curve. divided it by a suitable amount (8 from memory) so i knew i had 8 pieces to cut and that would be 16 seperate angled cuts one on each side of each piece. i then measured the original angle so i had the correct angle to divide by 16 to get the angle to set my chop saw at. i needed obviously for each piece to be the same size and when glued together to add up to the lenght of the curve.

it took me a couple of goes the first time like.
https://www.facebook.com/paulfinnonjoinery/

skirtings are on my page to give you an idea



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Nice work . That's the method I was (trying to) describe , a picture and a thousand words and all that.
I have seen this method on much tighter curves including once on the wrap around bottom step on a staircase. To be honest it always struck me as a pretty skilful operation especially if it's cut by hand and probably therefore pretty easy to bodge up.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:42 pm 
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the skirt was mdf and the bits were glued together with mitre bond. went spot on like i thought especially for a first time bash at it.

first time id had the opportunity to do a curved section. the original was just 2 lengths mitred and the back filled up with loads of filler :lol:


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