I also built a jig to help construct my own version of the ladder method. Using the miter saw, I cut a bunch of the 2x2 for spacers. The jig allows me to easily space them and provides support for screwing them together.
Here's a shot of one of the plastic strips from Home Depot...
Once I've put the spacer in place, I lay the plastic strip down with the appropriate curve and attach a strip to the other side. It holds the curve pretty well.
Next, I'll paint it and then stake it in place. It's still a bit flexiible so I can change the curve slightly, but I can also adjust elevation and make sure it's level from side to side. While building my switches, I use a similar structure to provide support. I paint everything with Krylon Ruddy Brown Primer just to get rid of all that white.