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The Benefits of Making Partial Profile Router Cuts

How to Use Multiple Bits to Make an Infinite Number of Profiles

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Rounding Over Using a Router Table

Rounding Over on a Router Table

(c) 2009 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
Take just one look at the router bit section of your local fine woodworking supplier, and you'll find a huge assortment of router bits. You'll find not only these ten common router bit profiles, but quite a few specialty bits as well, all of them in various diameters, lengths and shank sizes.

The good thing is that one really doesn't need to invest thousands of dollars in collecting bits when many very unique profiles can be obtained by using a series of partial profile router cuts. Just because a bit has a certain complete profile doesn't mean you need to USE the entire profile. For instance, exposing only a small portion of a roundover bit can yield a very attractive oval-shaped roundover. Of course, because the bit didn't round over the entire 90-degree edge, the bit will leave behind a small ridge, but that can easily be cleaned up with a couple of passes of a piece of sandpaper.

Even better, one can create very complex shapes by using a series of router bits. For instance, by using (in any order) a large cove bit, a roundover bit and a chamfering bit, one could easily turn a 1x6 or 1x8 into a really unique piece of crown molding that would cost many times more than just the board if one were to buy it.

One tip to keep in mind: in most cases, I find that when making complex shapes using a series of router bits that I have better control on a router table than when routing by hand.
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