How to Round Wood Edges without a Router – Experts Speak!

Routers make our job easy. They are handy tools that help us with rounding the edges of wood as we build masterpieces. However, these spectacular tools come at a price. They are quite expensive, especially when you consider CNC models. Thus, we advise you to learn how to round wood edges without a router instead of spending money on one. It is the best solution, especially if you are just a hobbyist and won’t be using the tool regularly. 

But, can’t we just leave the edges without rounding them? You can, but you shouldn’t. Besides looking amazing, rounded edges protect users, especially children and pets. They also avoid chipping, which is generally a common complaint with wooden furniture. So, for your safety and your wood’s, we recommend that you round the edges by hand.

How to Round Wood Edges without a Router

By now you must be wondering how it is even possible to make rounded edges without a router. The fact is that there are many other tools that can help. A hand plane is one of them and it is very easy to use. Other tools that you can use include a chisel, a spokeshave, a card scraper, a file, cornering tools, and a scratch stock.

In this article, we will help you learn how to round wood corners by hand using a hand plane. The steps are as follows:

  • Choose the correct hand plane. This is very important because there are many types and sizes of hand planes. Each of them has a definite purpose. While long planes work the best, you will find it easier to control short planes, especially if you are new to the world of woodworking.
  • Use a circular with an appropriate radius to note the depth of the rounding. This needs some focus and care. If you are doing this for the first time, go slow.
  • With your hand plane, cut a 45-degree chamfer. Cut it straight and until the marks you made. If you have a long plane, this step will be very easy and smooth.
  • Now, plane the corners of the chamfer down. You can use your hand plane for this step as well. 
  • Now, with a block plane, pass over the corners that you just planed. For soft wood, even a sander will suffice, but for hardwood, you will need the right tool and a lot of patience.

Hand Plane

Things to remember

Any woodworking project or step needs precautions. Here are a few things you must note to be safe:

  • If you are working on multiple edges, start with the end-grain edge.
  • New woodworkers can count the number of strokes to get identical rounded edges. For a 45-degree chamfer, you need 20 strokes. The rest need around 5 strokes.
  • Before you begin, make it a point to think about the rounding method and form a picture in your head. It is ideal to work towards something instead of shooting in the dark.
  • If you are working on doors, pick up a jointer plane. 
  • Unless this is your first project, use a long hand plane only.

Rounding wood edges without a router doesn’t seem intimidating anymore, does it? You are welcome! ☺

If you have any doubts regarding the process or if you would like to pitch in with your ideas and thoughts about this, please feel free to comment.

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