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Make flawless miters on your router table

For cutting miters in small project parts, nothing matches the dead-on accurate results of a router table equipped with a chamfer bit. Because the angle is machined into the bit rather than being set by eye, as on a mitersaw or tablesaw, there's no opportunity for error.

Begin by cutting your workpieces to final width and length. At the same time, also cut a plywood or MDF template to the same dimensions. (Because this technique calls for removing the flat edge of the workpiece, the template provides a surface to ride against the bit's bearing.) Double-face tape the template to the "good" face of the workpiece (right), keeping the ends and edges flush.

Adjust the router-table fence so it sits flush with the bit bearing, and the bit height to cut the full thickness of the workpiece, leaving the template untouched. With the help of a scrapwood backer block to keep the workpiece steady during machining, make the cut. Rotate the workpiece and cut the opposite end. Reuse the MDF template for identical pieces.

Note: If your router lacks the power to make a full-depth chamfer cut, make a template for each workpiece and cut all the workpieces at partial depth. Adjust the bit depth and cut all the parts again, creeping up to the final depth.

More Resources

  • Strengthen those miters with splines. See the jig at woodmagazine.com/splinejig
  • Find tons of router tips at woodmagazine.com/routingtips


 

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Comments (4)
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bradleywnelson1 wrote:

Suggest you tape the MDF template to the workpiece and the cut to size. It will save the hassle of trying to align the two pieces.

6/12/2014 10:11:50 AM Report Abuse
imrockin2 wrote:

I used this method today and it worked great!! All I have to work with is a router and table and a compound miter saw and using a chamfer bit with my router gave me perfect 45's for a shadow box I'm making!!

3/10/2014 08:46:37 PM Report Abuse
bmeyers747 wrote:

A fence can do the job if your very careful. However, once routed, the top edge is sharp and easily damaged on the outfeed side. By simply adhering a board on top of the work piece with double sided tape gives the chamfer bearing a surface to ride on and protects the outfeed edge. I use the template, usually just a straight piece of wood for straight cuts, but if the fence works for you then go for it.

12/20/2013 06:36:44 PM Report Abuse
unkhvn wrote:

Why waste time and money on extra templates when you could achieve the same results by using your fence?

12/19/2013 10:11:45 PM Report Abuse

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