How to use a round-over router bit

Written by jim wildman
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The round-over router bit, a carbide-tipped cutter for use in a router, allows you to make decorative or rounded smooth edges in wood. By flipping your stock over and making a second pass, you can produce a beautiful half-round edge on your project. The round-over router bit comes in 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch shafts and has a collar for freehand use, in case you prefer not to use it in a router table.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Protective gear
  • Tablesaw
  • Scrap material
  • Nonslip pad

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  1. 1

    Always think safety first and put on protective gear, such as safety glasses and hearing protection.

  2. 2

    Cut several pieces of 3-inch-wide by 12-inch-long scraps of material the same thickness as the material you are using on your project; you can employ a tablesaw for this step. You will use this material to adjust your router and fence to get a perfect fit.

  3. 3

    Install the round-over router bit into your router if you want to use one.

  4. 4

    Adjust the height of the bit so that it will just start to remove material when you start to router your work piece.

  5. 5

    Take a piece of your scrap material and place it on a nonslip pad, and then router one edge.

  6. 6

    Adjust the depth of cut a little at a time until you have the edge profile want for your project.

  7. 7

    Save the pieces of test scrap material for a set-up block to set the router quickly and accurately for future projects.

Tips and warnings

  • Make multiple passes to achieve the final edge detail you want. You do not want to burn the wood or cause chipout by trying to remove too much stock at a time from your project.
  • Try adjusting your cutting depth so that you expose the upper straight cutting edge and add an extra decorative touch to shelves, table edges and mouldings.
  • Never use bits that are dull or damaged.
  • Never start the router with the bit in contact with wood.
  • Always unplug your router when changing bits or making adjustments.

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