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Make flawless miters on your router table

Board going thru router bit, blue top

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

Folder back double face tape

Board going thru router bit, blue top
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