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How to Cut a Tapered Chamfer With a Router and Chisel

December 22, 2015

Dress up a post with a beveled top and tapered chamfer sides

To make a beveled pyramid top with round over edges:

  • Set the saw blade to 17 degrees and crosscuts each side at the end of the beam. This is more easily done with a chop saw, but it can work with a circular saw too. Samurai cleans up the bevels with his boss chisel.

"There's really no way you can round over the ends with a router, so I just take a belt sander and feather it in."

  • Clean it up with a piece of sand paper.

For the edges of the post, Samurai will cut a tapered chamfer

  • Get a big chamfer bit—the biggest you can find. Samurai has a 2 inch bit.
  • Measure from the edge of the router plate to the edge of the bearing. That number is 2-7/8 inch.
  • Measure 2-7/8 inches in from the edge of the post and make a mark. this will be the deepest point of the chamfer.
  • Next, measure from the edge of the router plate to the edge of the blade, this is where the chamfer will disappear. In this case, the measurement is 2 inches.
  • At the other end of the chamfer, measure in from the edge of the post 2 inches and make another mark.
  • Clamp a straight edge to the two marks and use as a router fence.

After the cut, you'll notice a nice chamfer.

And then you'll notice that the top of the cut has a radius and the bottom is square. No matter—use a combination square to make straight 45 degree angles on each side and chisel them both to a perfect 45 degree bevel to a straight point.

That way it doesn't look like a router did it, it looks like it was done by hand. 'Cuz it was.

Editor's note: Level = Not a Step


The Samurai Carpenter is a timber framer and furniture maker in Victoria, BC. See more on his YouTube channel.

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