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How to use a round-over router bit

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.

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

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

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

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

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

  8. Tip

    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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Things You'll Need

  • Protective gear
  • Tablesaw
  • Scrap material
  • Nonslip pad

About the Author

Jim Wildman served in the United States Marine Corps as a Communication Chief for 10 years. After his tour of duty in Desert Storm he attended Oklahoma State University receiving his Bachelor of Architecture. He worked as an architect for 10 years before starting his own design/build company. He began writing in 2009 for Demand Studios and published on eHow.

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