Cutting a really wide chamfer?

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Forum topic by jdmaher posted 09-20-2012 01:43 PM 4173 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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427 posts in 2578 days

09-20-2012 01:43 PM

How to cut a really wide chamfer?

This is for the top of “sideboard” (that will actually be used to store AV electronics). The top is 50” long and 18” wide and 1-1/8” thick. I want to cut a wide chamfer of about 8.5 degrees on three edges. That will leave 3/4” cut edge thickness, and provide a chamfer about 2.5” wide.

For the long dimension, I’ll put a nice high support on the fence, crank in the angle and run it along. Probably do it in at least two passes to “sneak up” on a nice finished cut.

Here’s the problem: in my basement shop, I don’t have the ceiling height to use the same technique for the width edges.

I’m sorta thinking circular saw. I guess I could clamp the board, upright, to the railing on the deck, along with a “box” to provide surface area for the base of the saw. Then do the same thing: set an angle and “sneak up” on the cut.

But that seems like a kludge.

Am I overlooking a nice, safe, easy answer?

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

36 replies so far

View Nick_R's profile


152 posts in 2148 days

#1 posted 09-20-2012 01:53 PM

Sounds like a tough one.. This sounds stupid, but can you lay your router table on its side?

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

View Murdock's profile


128 posts in 2483 days

#2 posted 09-20-2012 02:15 PM

I had the same problem recently on a buffet table I was helping with. Sadly we ended up taking it to a cabinet shop to have it done. I think we paid them $20 or $30 to do it. We had to call 4 shops before we found one that would even entertain the idea.

Circular saw can work if you have a steady hand even if you are using a strait edge.

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2970 days

#3 posted 09-20-2012 02:35 PM

Nice, safe, easy.

Hand plane.

Piece of cake.

View Mosquito's profile


9305 posts in 2291 days

#4 posted 09-20-2012 02:36 PM

I use hand planes to do chamfers that size, safe, quiet, less dust.

Otherwise, if you have a router, see if you can find a bit that would work, though the smallest I’ve seen is 11.25 degree… or you could go with a really large bit (such as panel raiser) but those are expensive. And you’d need a variable speed router.

edit: Michael beat me to it on the hand plane

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View jdmaher's profile


427 posts in 2578 days

#5 posted 09-20-2012 03:26 PM

Handplane, huh?

You know, I got me some of them, but I almost never use them. My hand skills – well, let’s see, what’s the word?, oh yeah! – SUCK!!!

Actually, my hand skills are pretty non-existent. It always seems easier to set up a machine, and there’e that illusion of precision. Plus, I fear making a mess of really nice figured cherry. Still, that’s probably the right thing to do . . .

I did think about a panel-raising bit on the router table set up with an outrigger, but for two cuts, that seems excessive.

Maybe its time to try hand-planing . . .

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15353 posts in 2617 days

#6 posted 09-20-2012 04:05 PM

Handplane. Use a marking gauge to mark your lines on top and edge, and go to town. Easy, safe and deliberate…

EDIT: Oh, and precision? No equal to a smoothing plane that can take a thou here and there…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Loren's profile


10396 posts in 3647 days

#7 posted 09-20-2012 04:39 PM

Snap some chalk lines, hack off most of the material with a drawknife,
move to a hand plane or a shinto saw-rasp, then to finer files, then
sand with a block.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8046 posts in 2327 days

#8 posted 09-20-2012 04:52 PM

You might be able to pull this off with a raised panel bit on a router table

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3157 days

#9 posted 09-20-2012 04:58 PM

Quick and easy with a hand plane…hog off most of the material like Loren said, though I’d use the circ saw for that.

-- jay,

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2200 days

#10 posted 09-20-2012 05:16 PM

Do you have a sliding miter saw?Cut Flip to do the other side. Of course you will have to sneak up on the second cut but you can be surprised how close you will get it.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2232 days

#11 posted 09-20-2012 05:48 PM

Make a jig and use a router. Rip some large angled wedges to put under a jig. A hinge mortise bit or something that will leave a flat bottom cut. Then sand untill it matches the front bevel.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View bandit571's profile (online now)


20005 posts in 2682 days

#12 posted 09-20-2012 06:04 PM

Start out at the edge, where you want the champfer to go. Angle a handplane so that it cuts at a diagonal to the direction you will be going. Also lay the plane at the angle of the champfer. First pass will just take off a thin ribbon. Next pass, the ribbon gets a bit wider. And so on until the champfer is finished, in maybe 10 minute per.

Go to my project gallery. Look up a “TV Table’ , made from red wood, cedar I think it was. All the edges were done this way. With a simple #3 smooth plane.

Note: when doing this, make sure the front”knob” is hanging over the edge. You want to go along at angle.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2474 days

#13 posted 09-20-2012 07:44 PM

mount the circular saw to a table / workbench set angle so as to rotate the circular saw not the table top. or mount the saw base 90 degrees to table dial in angle with saw tilt.

View 1yeldud1's profile


301 posts in 3041 days

#14 posted 09-20-2012 07:56 PM

any chance you could just roll your table saw outside and find a way to support the work piece upright while making these 2 cuts ?

View cabmaker's profile


1731 posts in 2808 days

#15 posted 09-20-2012 08:06 PM

You could have it done in the time it takes to read all these responses. (with #6 or #7), plane that is.

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