What is your go-to hand tool for chamfering or rounding edges

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Keith Cocker

Established Member
Joined
27 Jan 2021
Messages
150
Reaction score
146
Location
Lancashire
Veritas Apron Plane for me. Very satisfying to use! Makes a lovely quiet swooshing sound and delicate curly slivers of wood.
 

IWW

Established Member
Joined
15 Oct 2017
Messages
331
Reaction score
245
Location
Brisbane
......Two folks here I know of use both, @IWW & @hennebury
If beveling isn't the sole reason that they choose to use a plane like that, then I'd like to stand corrected.....

Actually, Tom, the plane I use most for easing edges is my "English thumb plane". Before I made that I used a Veritas "apron plane", but the new plane is just so much nicer to hold, & the poor little Veritas has been made redundant. Neither has a cap-iron, being low-angle BU jobbies:
Apron & Thumb.jpg

But I sometimes use an even smaller plane, or a spokehave, or a scratch-stock, it depends what treatment the edge is getting & how big the piece is. I occasionally use a plane with a cap-iron for this sort of job, a small rear-bun smoother, but really, a cap-iron isn't necessary, it's usually easy to read the grain & go with it. If the grain is so wild a plane can't handle it I just use a rasp & a lick of sandpaper.

And yeah, I always do this sort of job by eye, or occasionally 'finger-gauge' some lines with a pencil if it's a large round-over, to help keep them even & straight

One of the handiest home-made tools for profiling edges is a scratch-stock. Anyone who isn't familiar with this extremely simple tool is missing out on one of the handiest tools in a cabinet shop, imo!:
1 Scratch stocks.jpg
A scrap of hard wood, a bit of old saw-plate or worn-out scraper blade & about 10 minutes & you have a scratch-stock. There's no limit to the number of small profiles you can make (or match if repairing some old piece). The harder the wood, the better it scrapes, and it's surprisingly quick. No screaming routers, & no dust...... ;)

One of my favourite edge treatments is a "quirked bead". These legs for a pedestal table took about 20 minutes to do with a scratch-stock:

2a beaded legs.jpg
Cheers,
Ian
 

Craig22

Established Member
Joined
15 Aug 2021
Messages
165
Reaction score
74
Location
Abingdon
Depends on how long the edge is. If small, regular block plane for along the grain and low angle block plane with a tight mouth for cross grain . If longer edges I'll move across to a #4, but probably still a low angle block cross grain.

I've never used a scratch stock, but having seen those beaded edges maybe I ought to revisit the idea.

Craig
 

tibi

Established Member
Joined
27 Nov 2020
Messages
507
Reaction score
188
Location
Slovakia
Depends on how long the edge is. If small, regular block plane for along the grain and low angle block plane with a tight mouth for cross grain . If longer edges I'll move across to a #4, but probably still a low angle block cross grain.

I've never used a scratch stock, but having seen those beaded edges maybe I ought to revisit the idea.

Craig
Garrett Hack is famous for advocating scratch stock. You can find it also in Robert Wearing's books.
 

Jonm

Established Member
Joined
17 Jun 2020
Messages
705
Reaction score
337
Location
Warwickshire
festool granat 120 sanding block
Not heard of these, just looked them up, price around £6 for six, or cheaper. Various sizes, grades, including one with different corners, 90 deg, rounded, acute and obtuse which looks interesting.

Are they good/useful? I could add them to my extensive Festool collection which comprise one pica pencil, without breaking the bank.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

Established Member
Joined
2 Mar 2005
Messages
2,905
Reaction score
467
Location
Perth, Australia
I wonder what @Derek Cohen (Perth Oz) uses, since he has many fancy planes.
Can a high angle achieve the same polish/chatoyance as a tight set cap iron?

Personally I wouldn't chance deviating from anything without a cap iron,
but have often heard suggestions that a tight mouth might be beneficial here.

Not really done any precise long grain decorative beveling to make note of any issue
with an open mouth and it pulling off a chunk at the start of a cut....
so an interesting question to put to the folks who combine a tight mouth and some influence from the cap.

Two folks here I know of use both, @IWW & @hennebury
If beveling isn't the sole reason that they choose to use a plane like that, then I'd like to stand corrected.

Cheers
Tom

My preference is to bevel an edge with a small block plane, but not a low angle. It is very easy to tear out on an edge, where any reversing grain will present a great risk for this. At a minimum, I use a LN #103, which has a common angle bed (45 degree cutting angle), a HNT Gordon small smoother (60 degree bevel down), or a Veritas DX60 with a 62 degree cutting angle. When bevelling, the amount of edge removed is about 1-2mm. Very little.

If the bevel was wider, and then needs to be exact, I have a chamfer plane I built about 20 years ago, which is still going strong. This has a 15 degree bed, but with a high secondary bevel for a high cutting angle. It is good across the grain as well ...


Chamferplane-1.jpg


I am not fond of rounding edges. If this specifically needs to be done, a Round moulding plane is my choice. If a rounded bead is required, I use a scratch stock or plough plane.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

cmoops2

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2008
Messages
21
Reaction score
15
Location
Northampton, UK
Because Tibi asked: 'what hand tool' (singular) do you use to chamfer/round edge my immediate thought was a straight-bladed tool of some sort (plane / spokeshave) ut they both produce a sharp edge at the meeting two surfaces at an angle with one another (which also applies when producing an arris).

Tibi then went on to say: ' I do not mean excessive round/chamfer, just a small one so that the edge is not sharp' and that made me go back to the definition of a chamfer or arris as they both result in a sharp / defined edge. If a plane / spokeshave is used to 'round-over' an edge, the end result isn't 'rounded', it's facetted because a straight blade has been used to produce it - to get a 'rounded' edge, you then have to resort to an abrasive to achive the desired 'profile'.

If all Tibi wants to do is 'break / soften' an edge, isn't an abrasive the best way ?
 

tibi

Established Member
Joined
27 Nov 2020
Messages
507
Reaction score
188
Location
Slovakia
Because Tibi asked: 'what hand tool' (singular) do you use to chamfer/round edge my immediate thought was a straight-bladed tool of some sort (plane / spokeshave) ut they both produce a sharp edge at the meeting two surfaces at an angle with one another (which also applies when producing an arris).

Tibi then went on to say: ' I do not mean excessive round/chamfer, just a small one so that the edge is not sharp' and that made me go back to the definition of a chamfer or arris as they both result in a sharp / defined edge. If a plane / spokeshave is used to 'round-over' an edge, the end result isn't 'rounded', it's facetted because a straight blade has been used to produce it - to get a 'rounded' edge, you then have to resort to an abrasive to achive the desired 'profile'.

If all Tibi wants to do is 'break / soften' an edge, isn't an abrasive the best way ?
This is the kind of round that I am looking for, or even a bit smaller, just to be clear


This might be the ideal size for me
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
9,517
Reaction score
1,912
Location
PA, US
facets like that will look better if they are actually crisp off of a plane, just as beads off of a plane or with very fine sanding look better than coarsely made beads sanded with something like 180 grit.

It's a little thing, but it will wink back at you every time you see it if the finish is clear and crisp and not overly scuffed. If surface tension of finish is a concern on the very corner of things (like where two boards are joined), you can do something to strike the tip of the corner off).

having special planes or tools to strike corners or edges is probably a modern thing. The benefit of something like a #4 in hand is if it's set up to smooth, it won't create any tearout - and it's already in your hand all the time.

I like lots of planes and chisels as much as the next guy, but having rows of tools to do simple operations is for the type of person who changes oil in a car with a bib and disposable suit - it's dainty - like play, escapism, etc.

When the escapism is purely in the result, the escape is better.
 

Ttrees

Iroko loco!
Joined
18 Nov 2012
Messages
3,651
Reaction score
499
Location
In me workshop
I like lots of planes and chisels as much as the next guy, but having rows of tools to do simple operations is for the type of person who changes oil in a car with a bib and disposable suit

Though you're comment doesn't say much David,
I wish to know if you have a plane specifically for the task or not..
Do you make any adjustments to your no.4 plane or leave it as is with an open mouth?

I have a no.3 which would be dandy, and I wouldn't mind setting the mouth close on it,
if it were better for some reason.
Don't know if you would detest moving the frog as much as I would on a plane which is (in my case theoretically) used frequently, :ROFLMAO: like with my pair of no 4's with open mouths.

Yet to see a reason for adjusting a frog forward, but from what i can make out from some folks comments, this is the only reason to do so.
Not messed about with this, as decorative bevels on unfinished timber is the work of an Púca, and I try and find use for every scrap of precious timber.

Tom
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
9,517
Reaction score
1,912
Location
PA, US
It's the same plane I use for smoothing, set for smoothing.

I can recall once in the last 5 years carrying a block plane around to do the same job and only because it was literally for a bunk bed and I had the block plane out (and it was away from the bench).

when you're taking a small chamfer, there's no reason to reset anything - if the cap iron is typically set a hundredth off or ever so slightly under, it doesn't work like a wide smoother shaving in terms of resistance (you can take a pretty healthy shaving - just advance the iron a little).

If the mouth opening is too big (it'll probably be around 1/16th on most smoothers), then the thing being chamfered is probably small enough that chisel or file would be better than a block plane.
 

IWW

Established Member
Joined
15 Oct 2017
Messages
331
Reaction score
245
Location
Brisbane
......having special planes or tools to strike corners or edges is probably a modern thing. The benefit of something like a #4 in hand is if it's set up to smooth, it won't create any tearout - and it's already in your hand all the time.
.......

Chamfering planes are hardly modern, unless you consider anything from the last several hundred years 'modern'. :) While a plane that does nothing but make chamfers may seem a bit frivolous for the average weekend wood warrior I think I'd take a different view if I had to make miles of precise chamfers as they did on all those exposed beams in old buildings...

For me, if just 'easing' or 'softening' a corner, it's usually a one-handed operation & I find it most efficient to restrain the job with one hand as I plane so it can be quickly flipped to the next corner. I guess you're a good deal younger & stronger than I am, so maybe using a #4 one-handed is no more difficult for you than using a block plane or equivalent with one hand, but a small plane is definitely easier for me to manage for easing corners. I don't enjoy pushing more tool around than is necessary to get the job done efficiently. Putting down the #4 & reaching for a small plane may expend a few calories, but they are handsomely repaid by the savings thereafter.... ;)

Cheers,
Ian
 

Zedgeezer

Established Member
Joined
2 Mar 2021
Messages
36
Reaction score
30
Location
Peterborough
Strangely enough, and not being a professional, just a guy who has worked with wood for many years, I'm going to stick my head above the parapet. Just to round off a sharp edge why not hand sand? It takes a bit of time to get the feel and consistency of it, but using 80 grade paper in maybe 500mm lengths at a time, start in the vertical, then at each sweep incline the block more at each sweep, feeling for the bite at each sweep. When horizontal repeat in the reverse direction with a bit less pressure. The pressure determines the radius and that's the hard bit - consistency. Finish with the same at 120 or 180 grit. Unless you are into mass production I find this the most effective / quickest method because it works on end grain as well without the obvious problem of planing end grain or very short lengths.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
9,517
Reaction score
1,912
Location
PA, US
Chamfering planes are hardly modern, unless you consider anything from the last several hundred years 'modern'. :) While a plane that does nothing but make chamfers may seem a bit frivolous for the average weekend wood warrior I think I'd take a different view if I had to make miles of precise chamfers as they did on all those exposed beams in old buildings...

For me, if just 'easing' or 'softening' a corner, it's usually a one-handed operation & I find it most efficient to restrain the job with one hand as I plane so it can be quickly flipped to the next corner. I guess you're a good deal younger & stronger than I am, so maybe using a #4 one-handed is no more difficult for you than using a block plane or equivalent with one hand, but a small plane is definitely easier for me to manage for easing corners. I don't enjoy pushing more tool around than is necessary to get the job done efficiently. Putting down the #4 & reaching for a small plane may expend a few calories, but they are handsomely repaid by the savings thereafter.... ;)

Cheers,
Ian

as uncommon as chamfering planes are, I think we'd find they weren't used much on furniture. I'm just guessing that few on here are thinking of chamfering a few thousand square feet of trim - just a guess.

we're talking about a stanley 4 here (not a wood river 4 or some way to make a plane 50% heavier. You grab it across the top or by the handle, and then lead it across the wood (perhaps with two hands on larger items) - on long items, your fingertips are saved, too.

This is one of those things where if you get in the flow of making things, it starts to make a lot of sense. If plane use is intermittent and maybe pictures of things are being taken to post, then it may not make as much sense (that's not aimed at you, but rather that I'm learning most hand tool use seems to be to write articles or show using hand tools.
 

yetloh

Established Member
Joined
1 Dec 2008
Messages
1,443
Reaction score
46
Location
Sussex
1643924794517.png
Japanese chamfer plane similar to this. Mine is smaller, only about 3" long and less sophisticated but none the worse for that. The plane body can be slid across in the carrier so that all of the blade width is usable. Brilliant little too which does a really good job. For curves I would use one of my Woodjoy spokeshaves, also excellent.

Jim
 

Ttrees

Iroko loco!
Joined
18 Nov 2012
Messages
3,651
Reaction score
499
Location
In me workshop
when you're taking a small chamfer, there's no reason to reset anything - if the cap iron is typically set a hundredth off or ever so slightly under, it doesn't work like a wide smoother shaving in terms of resistance (you can take a pretty healthy shaving - just advance the iron a little).

If the mouth opening is too big (it'll probably be around 1/16th on most smoothers), then the thing being chamfered is probably small enough that chisel or file would be better than a block plane.

So you're saying there is no difference in polish between end grain and long grain?
No difference in polish with a tight mouth and an open mouth at this teeny depth shaving?
Seems from paring tenons that I got more of a polished surface going cross grain with a lowish angle shoulder plane, compared to my no.3 which has a close set cap, and leaving the work a bit dull.
Seemingly the same deal without the cap involved when making short chamfers on the shooting board, a slightly dull looking cut from what I've achieved that way.

Definitely not a lovely gleaming chatoyant bevel like Mr Charlesworth makes, but maybe that being due to really oily woods rather than something like iroko or I guess sapelle which you might have worked before.

I'd like to know if a really steep bevel, Warren has suggested he goes as far as 80 deg
on the cap, so I'd find that interesting to see if any differences are evident.

As I said I've not made decorative bevels before, but I guess it's a lot more obvious on long areas like Tibi has suggested, (end grain and long grain.)
although I'd sooner a perfect flat facet like David, as it jumps out a bit more, so likely shows up any inconsistency compared to a small bit of a rounding, which the piccy above appears to be to my eyes.

Maybe some like to get the most even look, which is also valid.

Thanks for making the post Tibi!
Not really read much on this specific subect before.

Tom
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
9,517
Reaction score
1,912
Location
PA, US
use the plane askew on long grain - really askew on all of it when chamfering (it's easier if there's clearance for the plane).

I"ve never had an issue with brightness on end grain with a bench plane. I've chamfered probably half of the wedges on bench planes I"ve made with a plane, and half with a chisel.

I can't really say much about what warren does or doesn't do. When I tested cap irons early on, I didn't like them with much steepness at the very tip - I just roll the stanley profile ever so slightly steeper while polishing but I don't like a wall - not even a short one - at the front where the cap iron meets the iron.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
9,517
Reaction score
1,912
Location
PA, US
I forgot to say, when you're chamfering if you run a bit much through it, you'll get a surface a bit fuzzy just as you would with the cap set too close. as you're nearing your mark if doing more than just a little on long grain, back off the shaving and it should be bright and clear.

and you can run the plane askew, and since you've got tearout protection, you just more or less go until the plane is dull or you run into stray dirt, whichever is first.

This brings something to mind - planes. I'd hate to do this with a block plane. These chamfers are actually cut with the try plane and then a few smoothing passes (they get large enough that you can plane them like an edge).



They'd be a mess with a block plane - or very slow.

I suppose I'm using two planes, but it's not like they're not two planes that aren't already at the bench. Since they're a regular rotation of planes, you never have to guess whether they were sharp when you put them away - they're never put away.

The only reason the chamfer may not look crisp in that image, too, is because I was soaking it with oil.
 

Latest posts

Top