The best way to make a curved knee brace

When I'm making curved knee braces for our frames, rather than cut curves out of straight material, I procure trees that have grown with curves already in them. This means, first of all, that there is no short grain runout, which makes the brace stronger, and secondly it means that each knee brace is bespoke — original; beautiful.

Finding this material takes a great amount of knowledge, time and energy, and above all a developed artistic eye. The artistic eye begins in the forest, in the tree selection itself, and ends in your home.

I air dry our brace stock to insure dimensional stability. The result is a stronger and much lovelier knee brace that is completely unique to your project.

Hand selecting crooked timber. What is typically used for firewood now becomes the highest expression of the craft.

Hand selecting crooked timber. What is typically used for firewood now becomes the highest expression of the craft.

The second step is to slab the timbers on two sides.

The second step is to slab the timbers on two sides.

A finished brace on top of an unfinished brace.

A finished brace on top of an unfinished brace.

Douglas Fir brace in the shop.

Douglas Fir brace in the shop.

A bifurcated version.

A bifurcated version.

Douglas Fir braces in use.

Douglas Fir braces in use.

Naturally curved Birch braces in situ

Naturally curved Birch braces in situ