Cutting shapes out of curved objects

I use Sketchup regularly for my Fine Woodworking design. I have come across a problem that do not know how to solve. I need to cut a slot out of a curved shape and trim slats across a curved shape. Specifically, I am designed a trivet with ends that have dado’s to hold the slats and at the bottom of the ends, there needs to be a slot cut out for finger holds. The problem is that the faces on the ends are curved on both sides. If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate some help! Thanks!!

Trivet.skp (37.5 KB)
Trivet - 2.skp (5.7 MB)

Can you share the SketchUp model so we can see what you are working with? If you can’t share it publicly you can send it to me in a private message by clicking on my name here.

I just posted the first drawing with the errors and an updated drawing with pictures that still has errors.

I’ll look at them as soon as I can.

Awesome! Thanks!

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It’s not exactly clear to me from your models if I’m on the right track for what you are trying to achieve here. I’m not much of a fine woodworker. Is this the kind of finger holds you are trying to model, are these to be routed in?


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I unexpectedly had to go collect my kid from school. Does the method @endlessfix showed work? I have a slightly different method I’ll show if you want.

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I bet @DaveR 's method is better :wink:. I was just trying to understand the needed shape.

Please take a look at the bottom trivet. To make it, I used a 5/8" cove router bit and made a straight pass on the end before I cut out the curve on the bandsaw. This allows the finger hold to be gently curved on the top and both ends of the slot. The drawing you shared with me has routed straight edges which are a little less forgiving on the fingers.

Here is the free plan from Rockler:

Your solution is close but the ends of the slot need to be rounded to blend smoothly into the end so that there are no sharp edges for your fingers. I just sent you a picture of what I made and the free plan from Rockler that shows the finger hold in greater detail.

Tim Lutgen

I also need a method to trim the slats flush with the curved ends. If you notice on my model, the ends of the slats are cut straight and do not follow the curve the the end pieces.

I haven’t offered a solution yet. I’m working on redoing your model to reflect what you show in the “plan”. I’m also working on showing you how to trim the ends of the slats efficiently. If you want me to continue I will but if not I’ll stand down.


I appreciate all of the help I can get. Thanks!

Your solution is very close but the ends on my pieces continue straight through and blend into the ends. See attached picture of the finished product and the Rockler plan for more detail. Thanks!

Trivet by Roy.skp (5.3 MB)
Sorry, I saw it, got interested, and came up with this. Of course, I was much slower than the masters above.

Trivet - Royce.skp (5.3 MB)
Okay, this is better, maybe like you want it, and each side, when selected from the nested group, is solid. Basically, techniques are Mihai’s, but just extended two-point arcs in order to blend in to the end. Of course, I’m not near as quick and smooth with it as Mihai.

Thanks for all of the help! I think your advice helped me to find a workable solution!