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What router bit to round edges

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  • What router bit to round edges

    I keep thinking, after getting all these excellent answers have I asked all my questions. The answer seems to be no. They just keep popping up like Bugs Bunny checking to see what's going on.

    I've never used a router before and just bought one with a table. I'd like to put a round edge on some of my projects and I know one type I need is a round over bit with a bearing. My question has to do with which type of bits and sizes are typically used in completeing projects like portraits, etc.. Also, I see different quality bits and seeing I'm doing this as a hobby, what quality should I buy.


  • #2

    I use different sized round over bits depending on the thickness of the wood and the "look" I want. Shank size is important to know when buying - I have a 1/4" shank router, so can only go up to 3/8" radius round over bits. take a look at Rocklers catalog online or get a paper copy - they have half a dozen pages of router bits with all their available profiles.

    As for what quality to buy, I always try to get the best I can afford at the time. My closest "borg" stocks Bosch so I've been buying them.

    Good luck and I'm sure the true experts will chime in with more detailed advice!
    ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

    D. Platt


    • #3
      Book recommendation


      I would recommend that you buy this book The New Router Handbook by Pat Spielman. I got it at Amazon for $5.74 here is the link.

      It is a real good router book and explains just about all.


      My saw is a DeWalt788 Measure twice; cut once; count fingers after cut


      • #4
        If you look at the bits in the store (your local hardware box store or whatever), they are typically have a life size profile right on the packaging. Whether you buy them there or online or whatever, it's hard to know what you want without seeing them.


        • #5
          Harris this is a roundover bit with a 1/2" shaft. When talking routers and bits and jigs for a router I can go on for pages. Being new to the router it would be wise to get a begginners book on routers. Routers used improperly can become a very dangerous tool. But used corectly can be a very useful tool. Used in a table can help with control but again there are so many things to concider. Having said that the answer to your question is not black and white. but I will try to enlighten you a little. First you need to know what size bits your router will accept. 1/4" or 1/2" or both. Some come with interchangable collets. Second you always want to buy carbide edge bits or solid carbide as the one shown because they last hundreds of times longer than HSS steel. You pay for this though. You want to buy quality you will make a mistake if you buy cheap. The best out there are probably the Whiteside bits but there are many other brands that are cheaper in price but still good quality. The Viper bits you get in Home Depot will do you and are on the lower end of the price range but still a good bit. Lowes carries Bosch which are a little better quality but more in price so it goes on from there. If you really get into it there are many mail order stores that make very good bits and just write back and I will give you a list. When buying any router bit look at the bit and make sure the carbide is welded to the body without any gaps or burn marks present. If there are that is a faulty bit and can come apart. I try to buy all 1/2" shaft bits whenever possible because they give you better security of not breaking and cause less chatter which will show up in the final outcome. This does not have to be the case with someone just starting out you can get 1/4" shaft bits and be well supplied. Just remember the golden rules do not try to take off too much wood in one pass. It is better to take multiple of passes to get a safe clean cut. As far as profile go as mentioned most bits come with a card attached to it to give you an idea what the profile looks like. As far as roundover bits for projects it depends on the look you are after. It can be anywhere from 1/8" up to 1".

          An advantage with roundover bits is if you change the bearing size to a smaller bearing you can make a beading bit out of it. Boy there is so much to say and correct ways to use a router you really need to get a book. There is correct ways to feed the wood, things to look for when feed with the grain as opposed to against the grain., some times you have to do a "climb cut" where you feed against the correct direction, feed rate is important, installing the bit in the router is a must: NEVER install a bit bottomed out in a router. Always install a bit by pushing in as far as it will go and then pulling it up about 1/8" or 3/16" The reason for this is the flare at the cutter portion. If you tighten the collet around that this will work loose and the bit may fly out. If you have never used a router please do yourself a favor and get a beginners book. Hope this was of some help and I do not mean to scare you but the router is not a tool to be guessing with.
          Last edited by jttheclockman; 01-06-2006, 08:17 AM.
          John T.


          • #6
            fine routing

            If you are going to round over some finer pieces you can use a rotary tool.
            StewartMacDonald, a musical instrument supply house has some great attachments for precision routing with rotary tools.

            I see no reason why a skilled scroller couldn't fabricate their own.
            CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
            "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
            Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


            • #7
              I have a table router I use on thick --over 3/4 inch - wood and I use the router attachment for my dremel to do smaller .. if you chose to use a dremel which is awsome for routering less than 3/4 I suggest you stop in and look at Sloans router bits they have to offer- they give you 10 bits for $ 25.and if you get dremel brand at the store it is 27. for six bits... besides sloans has better looking bits..and you can order them one at a time .. I made the mistake of getting dremel bits before I saw Sloans were more bits for the same money.== Sharon


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