How to Make a Beveled Edge on Wood

Create beautiful designs along the edges of wood with a router.
Create beautiful designs along the edges of wood with a router. (Image: Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images)

Bevel the edge of a piece of wood to add an attractive element to an otherwise standard square edge. With a commonly available router, you can create a wide variety of different bevel types; spice up a table, cutting board or any piece of square-edged wood. Always wear safety glasses when operating a router.

Things You'll Need

  • Router
  • Router bits
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Sandpaper

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Select the appropriate bit to create the desired bevel design. Remember that the bit cuts a bevel opposite to its shape. Choose a bit with an incorporated guide bearing to prevent mistakes.

Load the bit into the router. Insert the shaft of the bit into the collet sleeve in the center of the router; use an insert if a 1/4-inch shaft bit is being used. Insert the shaft of the bit all the way into the collet. Pull it out 1/4 of the length of the shaft before tightening the retaining nut with an adjustable wrench.

Clamp or firmly brace the wood in place and check that the edge to be beveled is square and cleanly cut. If not, pass over it with a circular saw, table saw or jointer.

Start the router and take note of the direction the bit is turning. Cut into the wood in a direction opposing the direction the bit is turning. Hold the base of the router firmly against the flat edge of the wood; then push the bit and bearing against the edge you wish to bevel.

Push the router along the edge of the piece of wood to cut the bevel along its length. Pass the router beyond the end of the piece without stopping to ensure the bevel continues to the very edge. Start a new edge in the same fashion as in Step 4 and 5 if desired.

Sand the finished edge smooth with 440 grit sandpaper.

Tips & Warnings

  • If cutting a very deep bevel, lower the cutting edge of the bit slowly from the guide plate to create the bevel in multiple passes to avoid burning the wood or damaging the bit.
  • Always wear appropriate eye protection when operating power tools.

References

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