Making The Cuts

Actually, routing a chamfer isn't all that difficult of an operation. The one thing you'll want to look out for is tearout. Most of the time, tearout happens while routing the end grain of a workpiece. You can see the reason why in the upper left drawing. The last fibers on the corner of the board are unsupported and split when the bit comes along.

PREVENTING TEAROUT. I've found there are a few things you can do to prevent and minimize tearout. The best way is to take multiple light passes. It's tempting to rout a large chamfer like the one shown in the photo on the opposite page in one pass, but taking a big bite puts a lot of stress on the workpiece.

How To; Stopped Chamfers

A common chamfer technique is a stopped chamfer. I use this detail on cabinets to dress up a comer. Routing stopped chamfers isn't much different than what's mentioned in the article above.

But after routing a stopped chamfer, you may notice that the ends of the cut aren't symmetrical, as you can see in the top photo at right. To even up the ends, sand the low side with some sandpaper around a dowel (lower photo).

Flat spot. After routing a stopped chamfer, one of the sides looks a little "flat," as in the left workpiece. Once it's cleaned up, the chamfer looks more balanced (right).

Simple solution.

There's an easy way to even out the end of the stopped chamfer. Wrap some sandpaper around a dowel and sand one edge until it matches the other.

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Rout End Grain First Since tearout happens when routing across end grain (as in the left drawing), rout it first. Routing the long grain last will remove areas that are chipped out, as shown in the drawing at right.

Routing The End Grain

Support Block, To prevent tearout, clamp a block to the end of the workpiece. The block supports the corner and keeps it from splitting.

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A second way to avoid tearout involves the sequence of routing. When I need to chamfer all the way around a piece, I rout the end grain first. This way, if the corner chips, the tearout will get cut away as I rout the long grain, as you can see in the upper drawings.

What happens when you're only routing along one edge? There are two things you can do. One is to clamp a backer board the same thickness as the workpiece at the end of the cut, as shown in the lower left drawing above. The backer board supports the fragile corner, keeping it from chipping.

The other thing you can do to prevent tearout is to rout the end of the workpiece first. Then go to the opposite end and rout the rest of the edge (lower right drawing).

Tearout isn't much of a problem when routing stopped chamfers. But as the box below shows, there's still one thing to take care of. E3

Support Block, To prevent tearout, clamp a block to the end of the workpiece. The block supports the corner and keeps it from splitting.

Back Routing. Another way to prevent tearout is to back rout the end of the cut first. Then go back and finish up the chamfer.

A All it takes to convert the sofa to a bed is to lift and pull out the seat frame. A plush mattress makes for comfortable sitting and sleeping

From sofa to bed in seconds. A unique hardware system and a hand-held router template makes it possible. Heavy-duty, solid-wood construction and Craftsman features make it a pleasure to build.

A All it takes to convert the sofa to a bed is to lift and pull out the seat frame. A plush mattress makes for comfortable sitting and sleeping

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