Around-the-corner curtain rod
Rachel wanted a new curtain rod, one that goes around the corners. No problem, I said, but not really that useful because the curtain wouldn't slide around the corners because of the mounts for the curtain rod. But what Rachel had in mind was that the curtain could slide around the corners.
Normally, curtain rings go all the way around the curtain rod, which means it can only be mounted at the ends and sometimes in the middle where the curtain doesn't slide past.
If I were to put a gap in the ring (as shown at right), it could slide past some mounts, but how to keep the gap in the ring aligned with the mount?
So my idea a was to have a rectangular rod with rectangular rings, shown at left. This ring is made out of a twisted nail (the only nails I had kicking around that were long enough were twisted ones)
I cut the curtain rod from red oak left over from making the baseboards for the house.
I used my bevel gauge to mark the angles for an infill piece for the inside of the joint, then roughly cut that out on the bandsaw....
For the other three joints I made the infill piece but fit it to the angle I had set on the bevel gauge before gluing the butt joint. That way I could glue three pieces at the same time, with the infill piece helping to fix the exact angle.
After that I cut the tip of the corner off to make the next steps easier.
The stop is behind the blade and allows me to push the workpiece only so far into the blade.
Then cutting the corners round on the bandsaw. The board on the table saw (in foreground) is at the same height as the bandsaw table and helps me keep the workpiece level as I swing it around to follow the curve of the cut.
Then sanding it smooth with the belt sander. The guard for the drive belt of this sander just happens to be flat and square to the sanding belt, so I supported the rod the right height above the table, then slid the sander along to follow the curves.
Ironically, the last 45° bend was the most difficult bend and I broke about a quarter of the nails with that bend, but the 90° bends were no problem.
The nail's shank near the head is work hardened from how it's grabbed by the machine that forms the head during manufacturing. So the last 2 cm of the nail's shank is kind of brittle.
After that I immersed the nails in vinegar for 20 minutes to remove surface rust, then applied water based Varathane diamond floor varnish. This is a wood varnish but seems to help against rust a bit. I used it because that's what I had at hand, I know that it's slippery, and I didn't want to go shopping.
Then screwed it in, with two holes big enough for the screw heads. I drilled these holes before cutting out the slots, so I didn't have to deal with the drill making a mess as it breaks through the thin layer of wood.
The mounts screw to the top of the window trim. The way it goes around a corner, the four mounts were enough to hold it, but the ends, extending further out, ended up sagging if pulled down, so I made separate mounting brackets for those.
After that, it was Rachel's turn to make the curtains. The curtains have a white liner on the back to help protect the red fabric from fading. It should also help reflect some of the heat in the summer.
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