Making an Arch Template

Making an Arch Template

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Paul shows his method for laying out various arches that can be used on various projects. Paul uses a layout stick to describe the arch onto the piece. It can be set up with various measurements to be used for multiple arches on any given project. It helps you get a perfect arch consistently.


  1. dpawson on 30 January 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Accuracy in everything (as usual).

  2. António on 30 January 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you WWMC team!

  3. redwood on 30 January 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks guys 😉

  4. Peter Carson on 30 January 2017 at 8:46 pm

    And Ive been using pencil on a string for years. Thanks so much. Excellent video and so simple.

  5. Larry Geib on 30 January 2017 at 9:32 pm


    A Gothic arch is layed out using the same techniques Paul shows in the video, except it is two circular arcs with the Foci along the base line of the arc arch having radii that are greater than half the span. Laying out the circular arcs uses the same techniques.

    The architects and builders were pretty clever in the radii they chose in order to make their jobs easier, but arcs equal to span, 4/5th of span (quinto acuto), 5/4th of span (erecto), and halfway between those radii (mezzo erecto) were very common.

    As a mathematician, you’ll have fun figuring out why they picked those arches, which are instantly recognizable in cathedral windows.

    • Anthony Murray on 3 February 2017 at 5:51 pm

      That’s a great piece of info thanks. To all who read my post thanks, I know that an arch can be laid out using arcs it’s just the title of the video lead me to think that is exactly what paul was going to demonstrate. I think he is a true teacher who does it all for the passion he has for his subject. No offence made and non taken from all the great feedback

  6. Bob Young on 31 January 2017 at 12:42 am

    Paul I just love how you make things look so easy, so that persons such I can do them just like you would.

    Bless you,

  7. Michael Anderson on 31 January 2017 at 3:25 am

    Does a drawing bow (a thin wood lath with a bowstring) not yield a true arc (a segment of a circle)? Seems easier. Would it be detectable if it didn’t?

  8. patchedupdemon on 31 January 2017 at 12:09 pm


    • Philip Adams on 6 February 2017 at 5:02 pm

      The length for the template is for an aspect of the rocking chair build, but can be changed to whatever suits the project you are working on.

  9. dpawson on 7 March 2017 at 9:59 am

    Is it worth adding a notch to the centre of the beam to sit the pencil in.

    • Philip Adams on 7 March 2017 at 10:33 am

      @dpawson, good plan. Paul often does when using a pencil. It does help to keep it in place.

      • dpawson on 7 March 2017 at 10:35 am

        And a panel pin on the other end? Bit more secure than his compasses (Looks like we were both at school at the same time – I never kept mine!)

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