Homemade arches in homes are usually of three main types. A segmental arch is a section of a circle, being a fairly gentle curve. Semi-circular arches, first used for construction about 4000 BCE, and employed widely by the Romans, are also popular arch forms for homes. The pointed arch profile, known as the Gothic or ogival arch, is also a well-liked domestic arch.
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To construct a wooden arch, measure the width of the gap where you want it. Saw a piece of plywood or similar board to this width. Hammer a nail part way into the board at a point central to the width and 1 inch up from the bottom edge. Tie a piece of string around it. Tie a pencil at the other end of the string so the point of the pencil is at the edge of the board when the string is taut. Draw a semicircle from one edge of the board to the other. Cut it out with a jigsaw. Make a second identical piece. Join the two pieces with wooden battens, as wide as you want the arch to be. Screw your wooden arch in place and cover with stucco.
One of the quickest ways to build an arch in your home is with a prefabricated Build-Lite arch or the equivalent. Buy the prefabricated arch and fit it in place. Several styles are available, including single-brick semicircular, double-header semicircular, single-brick segmental and double-header segmental. One type is load bearing and self supporting and another type is non-load bearing and requires a supporting steel lintel. Both are strong, lightweight, have a precise shape and size, colour consistency and quick availability.
You can build a homemade arch using a custom made StyroTrim standard arch, outer barrel arch or inner barrel arch. The company will also custom make a non-circular arch if you provide a pattern. To order your arch, first decide the width and height. Enter the interior arch width and the dimension from the centre point of the arch to the internal top point. Also choose a coating preference. The available options are base coat, stucco coat, double net stucco coat and smooth cement coat.
Metal Arch Formers
Metal arch formers by companies such as Expamet are made from pre-galvanised steel with a parallel strand mesh. You fix them in place and apply plaster or stucco onto them. The horizontal strands of the mesh are angled inward and downward, providing an effective keying surface. Expamet's metal arch formers are intended only for internal use and cannot be used for load bearing. They are for purely decorative purposes but can be used to create a wide range of styles of arches and curves.
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