Monday, February 4, 2013
Creating an Archway
Hello out there! Things at the house are happening quickly now and it is amazing the difference walls make! The sound is echo-y again and it feels like we moved forward months in the span of several days. While the dry wall is happening John and I are working through the list of to dos and pretty much kicking its ass. Soon I will show you the kitchen sink unit I have been welding and the soffits John has been dealing with, but right now I want to show you something that happened before the dry wall started.
I really really wanted to build something akin to a Hobbit house. Lots of curves and round doors and general smallness. Thankfully this did not happen, but I did get an Archway and I am so happy with it. There was a space from the Mudroom into the Kitchen that showed some archy promise and so we decided to make it round and low and cute.
The first thing we had to do was figure out how to make the arch symmetrical and fit the space and give a nice surface to attach dry wall. We tried and failed two ideas. The first was mine and it involved feathering ( making a cut that doesn't go all the way through the wood every half inch) a piece of wood on the table saw so it would curve. The second was Johns and it involved making a big header and cutting the shape out with a jig saw. They were both okay ideas but neither of them did the job. My way had no structure to speak of and Johns didn't account for finding the perfect arch.
We ended up with a hybrid idea that worked great. Here's how we did it. To start we had to decide how low we wanted the archway to come down. This space was less a "doorway" than it was a space between two walls, so we dropped the top of the arch down over a foot. We cut a 2x 4 to the desired length and nailed it into the ceiling. Once we had the top height of the arch, we had to decide where the arch would start on the opposite walls or, in other words, we had to determine the rise of the arch. To get this we just made a visual call ( " uhhh, this looks good") and measured the distance from the floor and marked it on each wall.
Now this next step is really the key. We cut a piece of Masonite
( super duper floppy material) and attached it to the 2 x 4 we had centered in the doorway giving us the arch height. With this we were able to create a template in the space.
You can see in the picture the arch being formed with the Masonite. To get the arch you desire, you can just play with it. Pull the Masonite down and create more of a V shape. Push the Masonite up and your arch becomes more shallow and U shaped.
Once we had the shape we liked we tacked the Masonite to the walls and traced our shape onto a piece of plywood.
We had already determined that the thickness of the wall ( 3 1/2 inches) could be achieved with 2 pieces of 1/2 OSB, one piece of 3/4 OSB and 2x 4's turned width wise ( 1 1/2 inches). So we cut the OSB to fit in the doorway and clamped it all together.
To cut our shape I used a jig saw with a nice sharp blade and went very slowly. I was going through three pieces of material and it is really easy for the blade to start going at a slight angle. If that happens it's kinda hard to get it to ever look right because when you separate them you no longer have a nice flat surface.
When the shape was cut we un-clamped it and nailed it to 2 x 4 spacers that John had nailed into the king studs on either side of the archway.
Nailing the spacers beforehand gave us something solid to attach the OSB to and ensured that the entire thing would have structural integrity.
Once the OSB was in place and attached, we shoved 2 x 4's into the gap to be sure that the wall couldn't be crushed.
The next step was to sand the edges where the OSB meets the King studs so that there are no abrupt lines.
Here we are! The solid, sanded, ready to go archway on the left and the arch with dry wall on the right.
It really changes the feel of the kitchen and the flow from the front door. I Love it and it was pretty easy, taking us about a full day start to finish ( including the first two failed attempts) Not bad, eh?
Posted by Christy