Big round-overs without big-money bits
Sometimes I'll run into a project plan that calls for a large and expensive round-over bit. Rather than shelling out for a router bit that I might use only once, I turn to PVC pipe for a low-cost solution. It comes in a variety of standard sizes and when quartered on the bandsaw, becomes a quick, curved sanding block. 1 1⁄2 " I.D. pipe yields a 33⁄4 " round-over, 2" I.D. pipe yields a 1" round-over, and so on. A 5 1⁄2 " length of the quartered pipe makes a good fit for a quarter sheet of 100-grit sandpaper adhered to the inside with spray adhesive.
To start a large round-over on your workpiece, trim away excess wood from the edge with three angled cuts on the tablesaw—one at 45° and two at 22.5°. Then use your new sanding block to finish smoothing it round.
—Lenn Heighes, Loveland, Colo.