Knife-edges on workbenches?

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Forum topic by DrPuk2U posted 10-04-2012 03:21 PM 1117 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 2288 days

10-04-2012 03:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench finishing round-over

I am almost done with my Holtzappfel bench (hooray!). So am thinking about finishing touches. As I milled all the wood carefully, all the edges (except parts of the legs which I already chamfered)are “knife-edge”. The question is what to do with them. I built the bench out of Southern Yellow Pine which is relatively soft. A couple of spots already got dings in them (as I am already using the bench ;-).

So what to do? Options:

  1. leave it
  2. “break” the edges by sanding
  3. roll the edges over with a round-over router bit

I am inclined to #3, round-over. I have 1/8” roundover bit which would be a breeze. Seems like a reasonable way to minimize the inevitable dings. I don’t see a real downside – I think it is mainly an aesthetic question, but thought I would throw it out there.

BTW, there is a variant of this for the chops of the two vices, which are also currently knife-edges, but they are hard maple.

-- Ric, Northern Illinois, "Design thrice, measure twice, cut once... slap forehead, start over"

3 replies so far

View Murdock's profile


128 posts in 2480 days

#1 posted 10-04-2012 07:39 PM

I would use either a round over or a chamfer. I chose a chamfer for my bench works well fro me

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

View WoodWorkWarrior's profile


46 posts in 2069 days

#2 posted 10-04-2012 07:44 PM

I personally like chamfered edges. They look good, even after some dinging. A roundover will “show” the dings a bit more because of the smooth surface tangents with top and sides. By creating a “broken” (chamfered) edge, it will look intentional even after additional dings make their mark (and dings there will be!)

-- Jason

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2965 days

#3 posted 10-04-2012 08:52 PM

Another good reason to chamfer the edges (besides lessening the pain of hitting yourself off it) is to allow a surface at the corner for your finish to adhere to.
If it were mine I’d rub the edges with sandpaper.

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