How to Round a Wooden Plank in 7 Steps

Whether you want to round the edges of a wooden plank slightly or want them fully rounded, there are certain steps you should follow to insure the end result is as you intended. Usually, when you want to round the edges slightly the best method is sanding the edges or If you want the edges with a larger radius it’s better to mark the plank edges appropriately. If you have just started woodworking or an experienced woodworker the aesthetic and functional aspects of rounded wood pieces in your projects cannot be denied.

Your requirements for your project and the size of the planks will determine the method used in rounding off the wood edges of your plank. Firstly, if you require 1-3 mm radius corners then you can simply sand off the edges. For larger radius edges you can use a router for automated rounding, use a power sander, or round them manually using various hand tools (block plane, sanding block etc.). When you require larger radii edges, it is better to mark the workpiece to ensure the edges are accurate.

Read on to so you don’t miss the steps required to guarantee your wooden edges come out perfect.

Step-By-Step Guide To Rounding Off a Wooden Plank

  1. Get your workpiece ready for rounding (remove any splinters)
  2. Ensure your workbench is ready to work on the required wood pieces. For thicker pieces you can just clamp them in place however for narrow blocks clamps get in way so in order to secure smaller pieces it is best to fasten small blocks which keep your workpiece in place)
  3. Secure your workpiece on your workbench (for smaller pieces it especially is necessary so they don’t move suddenly while you are working)
  4. Choose your tool (a block plane, sanding block or router are recommended)
  5. Start from the ends and then work on rounding off the sides (this will eliminate any splinters)
  6. While working on outside edges with a router move the router counterclockwise for easy cuts. For inside edges, you should move the router clockwise
  7. Remove saw and sand marks from the edges by using sandpaper (can use a sanding block in conjunction if needed)

How To Round Wood Edges Using a Dremel

When using a Dremel to round off wood edges it is best to test the Dremel on a scrap piece to ensure the Dremel bit is aligned properly according to your needs. Another thing to keep in mind is the recoil so it’s better to keep a firm grip and test out the tool before working on your required piece.

  1. Attach your bit to the Dremel (if your Dremel wired, unplug it from power)
  2. Tighten the bit in the router
  3. Wear your safety goggles (need to protect your eyes from sawdust)
  4. Clamp the wood piece or use a non-skid pad to keep it from moving (better to use a test piece first to find the perfect bit that meets your requirements)
  5. Switch on the router and pass the tool over the wood edges (Make sure to move it in a counterclockwise direction for outside edges and clockwise for inside edges)
  6. Pass through the edge until done
  7. Check the edges for unevenness (use sanding paper to even out any uneven edges)

A Dremel tool is best used to detail work as the Dremel bit provides small and more detailed cuts. When using a router, it is best to use a template in order to make your workpiece edges perfect every time. It’s easy to make them yourself with scrap plywood you have or you can even buy them if needed.

How To Round Wood Edges Without a Router

If you don’t have a router or prefer to use manual tools to round off the edges on your wooden plank then there a multitude of tools you can use for this purpose. One of the most basic ways but also effective is to use sandpaper with a sanding block to sand off the edges of your workpiece. A sanding block is especially effective when you require round edges with a small radius.

A block plane is another tool which you can use to round off those wood edges of your workpiece. It’s as easy as setting your workpiece on your workbench and running the plane over the edges of the wooden piece until done. In order to use a block plane, you need to set it up according to the thickness and curve required by your wood piece. Then hold it in a 45-degree angle and move it over the edge of the wood to make it rounder and smoother.

PRO TIP: count the number of strokes when using a block plane/sanding block to ensure all sides come out equal.

-Rounding Corners On Plywood

Being readily available, and inexpensive, plywood is a very good choice for many woodworking projects. However, due to its multiple layers, plywood is prone to splinters when working on its edges. To round off plywood with minimal risk of splinters:

  1. Put masking tape over the plywood edges
  2. Mark the outline to be cut using a round object over the tape
  3. Use a jigsaw to cut over the marked line
  4. Use sandpaper to even out the edges

 Alternatively, you can use a router with a 1/4” bit to smooth over the plywood edges.

Fastest and Safest Way To Round The Edges Of a Plank

Using a router is fast and accurate however when we are talking about the fastest and the safest way to round off the edges of a plank for your project, manual tools such as the block plane and sanding block fill the requirements nicely. Setting them up requires minimal fuss and you can be done with just a few strokes whether you are using a plane or sanding block. Just make sure to use the right type of setting for your block plane according to the type and thickness of wood you are using for your project.

-Final Thoughts

Rounded edges are what give the professional look to your woodworking projects. They also have the function of protecting the wood from splinters while also protecting from nicks (after all sharp unrounded wood edges can cause cuts). We have explored some ways to give perfect round edges to your woodworking projects using both manual tools and a router. When using a router make sure you choose the attachment according to your project requirements and test on a scrap piece first. If using manual tools ensure you follow the steps in order to get the perfect outcome

All in all, whether you prefer to use a router or manual tools you have quite a few options to choose from. Good luck on your woodworking projects!

Martin Swizz

Hi! This is Martin, I like to research, experiment, and learn new things related to wood carving and other kinds of woodworking.

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