I'm trying to figure out how to layout a curved wall specially when the center point of the arc is not accessible to use a compass devise. I would appreciate any imput to this question. thank you in advance
If your center point is really not accessable for the "string method", perhaps you will have to get involved with a bit of simple surveying.Draw a precise scale drawing of your project including your wall, center point and any prominenet fixed landmarks. From this you can scale or calculate various offset points on your curved wall. Then you transfer some of these critical points from plan to reality. There are several ways to do this. You could use offsets, Or you could use triangulation. Once you have established several such points, you can connect them together with a thin, flexible batten to get your true curve. I hope this makes sense. It would help if I could include a diagram. I hope this helps. If you have Word, I could e-mail you a diagram.
The problem with scaling it off of graph paper and using landmarks as points of reference to draw a line on the floor is that, after all that work, you now have to lay out the top plate again (or plumb each stud individually).
I would take a few pieces of 1/4" luan to an open area, lay out the curve and cut a pattern. Then you can lay them on the floor and mark it, and use the same pieces to lay out the ceiling.
By the way, what are you using for plates? If you have to cut 3/4" plywood for curved plates, lay one out, use it for a pattern for the top plate, nail them up and toe-nail the studs with 4 - 8d nails at each end.
If it's a small section of a circle, try snapping a straight line from one end of the wall to the other. Calculate or graph the offset from this line for each stud.
Measure and mark each offset and you can make your curve from these marks.
If you are making top and bottom plates from 3/4" ply, you can make up these plates out in the open where you have room to swing a true arc. Then just carry these pieces into the space and lay them on your "offset" marks.
I think what jKing was trying to say, and what I have done, is layout the wall using a string method in another area of the home. Make a cardboard template, and then trace the pattern. It may seem like a lot of work, but it is fairly brainless and does work without fault!
How big is your radius? How big is your wall?If it's small, say 4 feet, the luan layout made elsewhere is the right idea. But if we're talking something large, then the survey techniques will be more practical.
How about a more complex problem? The curved wall that I need to build runs from an outside knee wall up to the ridge. Bottom plate is easy...the top plate running up at an angle (10/12 pitch) is the tough nut I need to crack. I could just plumb up studs to a sheet of luan tacked to the ceiling..tack nails at the mark...flex a piece of lattice around the nail..mark along the bent wood. But... it seems there should be an easier - more intelligent - way of doing this. The radious for the bottom plate is 14'. Anybody know how to figure out the radious to the top plate??? Mathmatically challenged, kris