Jigs for Elliptical Moulder Work

Aftermarket jigs let you do complex curved work on the moulder, especially if given additional shop modifications. May 21, 2007

I just ordered the Bridgwood version of the W&H moulder. I now need to purchase one of the circular moulding guides/jigs. W&H is $550, Bridgewood $500 or less, Schmidt's Arch Master $699. I'm aware of the Boneyman jig as well. The money is not really a concern. I would like to get the best one. It's going to get a lot of use this spring.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor C:
The Bonyman jig is the original one, and all the others are knockoffs of it. Mr. Bonyman was a colorful character to say the least, and I have done business with his family since his passing for nearly twenty years. My vote is to do business with the inventor and the jig I consider the cream of the crop! Support small American family business.

From contributor D:
If you are only going to cut half rounds or circles, you don't need the jig. Only time you need it is for an elliptical shape.

From contributor B:
The Bonyman jig is far more sophisticated than the others. Bob Bonyman used air cylinders, so there would be constant pressure on the moulding while the copies are all done with springs.

I'm not saying the springs are less effective. I actually designed the unit we use with springs and it works great. It just seems that theoretically, the constant pressure of air cylinders would be better. Also, you get a lot more for your money with the Bonyman jig than with all the others which, from what I've seen, are really nothing more than a plate with a spring loaded adjustable pressure rod.

From contributor A:
It looks like I'll be getting a Bonyman. Their weblink is no longer working. Phone numbers on the web don't seem to help either. Anybody know where I can purchase the jig?

From contributor R:
Bob Bonyman and Charles G. G. Schmidt & Co. both came out with fixtures for doing curved and elliptical mouldings at the same time approximately 18 years ago. It was at a time when it was becoming known that the Williams and Hussey Moulder could produce theses types of mouldings by using some kind of fixture. Our company manufactures the ArcMaster and we feel it is the best fixture for the Williams and Hussey Moulder and similar machines. Our ArcMaster uses a 3 point bearing system to keep the wood directly under the cutter head and always references off three points. This is the same type of system used by machines such as the Mikron 645 and the US Concepts Moulders. A 4 point system like the Bonyman actually allows the wood to vary under the cutterhead when cutting ellipse, resulting in an irregular pattern as the radius changes. Our ArcMaster is also the only fixture on the market with a built in, removable fence. All of your cuts can be started along the fence to insure a consistent starting point without having to rig something up with every cut. Once you put the ArcMaster on your machine it never has to be removed. It accommodates curved, elliptical and straight mouldings. The fence is removable if something like a serpentine mounding needs to be produced. It is a spring loaded system that has proven to be quite reliable and there is no need for a compressor and there are no air lines to get in the way when making cuts. It measures 10" x 24" and gives a good solid starting area for all mouldings. It's made from 1/4" thick alloy steel and is manufactured on CNC equipment right here in America.

From contributor O:
Is there a good publication on producing these circular or elliptical moldings? A how to book or something similar... I've got a lot of designs that would require circular moldings and flexwood is not the option of choice.

From contributor B:
I'm pretty sure the Bonyman Jig comes with 3 screw holes on the post side of the W/H. You can run with dual inner bearings for greater stability or single for greater accuracy. Even if that is not the case, one could always drill and tap the third center hole for a single bearing if they wanted. I honestly don't remember if mine came with three holes or I drilled and tapped it myself. I made many changes to that jig in the years I used it to make it far more automatic in operation than anything else could have been (even our current unit that I designed and produced on our CNC).

From contributor B:
You can reach Frank Bernard (Bob Bonyman's son in law I believe) at (603) 968-3522. They relocated from MA to NH many years ago and never put their website back up after their contract expired. I haven't spoken to Frank in a few years but last time I did he was still manufacturing the jig.

From contributor U:
I have owned and used the W&H machine with the Schmidt Arcmaster for over 8 years. I find the removable fence to be a big asset when starting an ellipse type moulding. Without it you have to bend over and look to find the rollers to get it to feed properly, which is dangerous and can ruin your piece if you miss the rollers. I don't know who came up with the idea first, but it was a good one. You can do amazing things with the W&H and Arc Master.

From contributor S:
Is it possible/practical to do an "S" curve with any of these jigs? I have to make some window frames that look like this picture.

From contributor M:
You sure can. Obviously you will need to run the top out long and miter the two halves. I don't know what your dimensions are, but if it is real small, you may have some profile issues. Look into one of these jigs as discussed. I own the Bonyman.

From contributor S:
I own the W&H jig. Could you give me some more specifics about how you would accomplish this? I really have not messed with the jig much.

From contributor U:
Like contributor M says, there shouldn't be any problem making this profile. But it depends on the radius. If your profile radius is under 7", depending on your cutter, you may experience a problem with the back of the knife cutting any beads that might be on the profile. The other problem could be that your template may not clear the machine supports. (Two bars at the back of the machine). Other than that, you would feed it the same way as normal. Remember to make your piece longer than you need because it will snipe on the ends.