Elliptical Arch

By Robert Robillard on Design

Installing A Plaster Arch

Awhile back I made this elliptical archway to separate and  distinguish a t.v. room from a hallway.






Image: the archcompany-com

What Is an Elliptical Arch?

An ELLIPSE can be defined as the locus of points, the sum of whose distance from two fixed points is constant.


Image: Google-images

How to Draw An Ellipse

I drew my ellipse on the 1/2″ plywood with string and two fixed point finish nails. The ellipse was traced out by moving the pencil just inside the string held tightly.

This method can be used on a piece of cardboard, plywood or drywall. Once traced, the plywood was carefully cut with a jigsaw, attached to the doorway frame nailers and 2×4 nailers were attach along the arch. Ready for plaster board.

Another way I could have drawn my ellipse is with trammel points, shown below. More on that in another post.

Another way to accomplish this is to use a commercially available product similar to the one pictured here.  It is designed to facilitate and streamline the elliptical arch building process but if does have limitations.

Building My ellipse Arch

  1. I built my elliptical arch by using two sheets of 1/2″ plywood sandwiching a series of evenly spaced solid wood blocks.
  2. To determine the thickness of my solid blocks, I measured my wall framing thickness and deducted 1″ for my plywood skins.
  3. I installed a half sheet of 1/2 plywood into the opening to determine and draw my ellipse.  Once I had my reference points I placed it on the ground to complete the ellipse drawing.
  4. I cut both pieces of plywood the same and installed them in the opening.
  5. Once the plywood was fastened in place [around perimeter] I inserted my solid blocks evenly throughout the arch and fastened them in place with screws.
  6. The plasterer then installed blue-board and curved bead at the elliptical arch and then a coat of veneer plaster
~ a concord carpenter

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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