What’s That Tool Used To Shape The Edges Of Wood Called

Woodworking is all about shaping wood to your imagination. Whether you do it as a trade or hobby, you are bringing the construct of your mind to reality using wood. There are many ways one uses wood, some people use it for making furniture while others carve out objects with it. To do that, you use various tools at your disposal, depending on the type of project. Wood carving requires specialised tools that are solely used to detail and shape wood. If you are wondering what that tool used to shape the edges of wood is called, then you aren’t the only one.

Routers are the tools that are used to design the edge of wood. It is a power tool that has the ability to change the depth it cuts allowing you to make intricate designs on the edges of any wooden piece. With the option of switching bits, you can design edges to your heart’s content. You can also use routers to not just shape edges but also make grooves and mortises in lumber as well. However, for more detailed work a rotary tool will be the best choice.

There are two types of routers available in the market. One is a plunge router and the other is a fixed base one. In a fixed base one, the router’s base stays locked in place. This is ideal for shaping edges, whilst in a plunge router, is good for dadoes, mortises, and grooves. There is no possible way of shaping edges of wood with a plunge router unless you have a fence to guide it with. But a fixed-base router cannot carve mortises, grooves, and dadoes.

How to Correctly Use a Router to Shape Edges of Wood

Depending on the type of shape you want to give to the edge of the wood, you need to choose a specific bit. A bearing-guided bit is the best choice for shaping the edges of the wood. First, install the bit in the router collet, and tighten it using wrenches. Once that is done you now need to adjust the depth of the cut. Depending on the type of shape you want to achieve, you can choose a different cutting depth. Also, it is a good idea to take a few passes to shape the edge of the wood. Cutting too much might cause splintering in the edges which will ruin the overall look. 

Now that you are done adjusting the depth, you can start by placing the base at the edge of the wood and starting to route it. Make several passes if needed to get the desired shape of the edge. Rounding off edges of wood is great with routers. As you make passes you can adjust the cutting depth for deeper cutting. By using a combination of bits, different cutting depths, and several passes, you can shape the edge of the wood to your liking.

Best Alternate Power Tool for Shaping Edges of Wood

Another power tool that is great for shaping edges is a rotary tool. A rotary tool is not limited to just carving wood, it can do a multitude of tasks. The only limit is that you have to purchase separate bits for everything. Whether it is carving out wood or shaping the edges, you will need a separate bit for it. However, it is a great investment to make, because there is a vast array of attachments at your disposal.

These attachments can turn your rotary tool into entirely different tools as we speak. You can also get attachments that can turn your rotary tool into a plunge router. Even without a router attachment, you can use sanding drum bits to round off the edges of wood. You can also carve designs, cut wood, and even drill holes into it using this amazing power tool.

Best Hand Tools for Shaping Wood

The best hand tools for shaping wood are wood knives. There is a variety of wood carving knives in the market, with each having different functionality. Some knives are designed to scoop out wood chunks to create a hollow. These are great for making things like spoons, bowls, and cups. Then there are whittling knives used to carve wood into different shapes. For instance, you can carve out animals or objects using them.

If you want to round the edges of the wood, you can use whittling knives for that purpose too. The only issue with carving knives is that it is harder to shape woods that are hard with them. It is not impossible, but it becomes quite a challenge. Using these carving knives you can shape wood into pretty much anything your heart desires.

You can also use chisels for carving shapes into wood. People often carve floral designs into wooden doors using chisels and a mallet. So depending on the type of shape and the task at hand, you can use multiple tools for the job. If it is chamfering the edges, a hand planer is the best tool to use. If you just want to round off edges, using files or sanders will do the trick.

Tips for Shaping Wood

  • Don’t cut too much at a time: It is always a good idea to take it slow when it comes to shaping wood. If you cut too much there is no way to go back from that. However, in the case of cutting too shallow, you can make another pass with any tool to reach the desired depth.
  • Take your time: There is no hurry when it comes to woodworking. Of course, time is a precious resource, but you also have to avoid any mistakes. Making a pass slower will make sure there is no burnishing on the wood and that it cuts clean through it.
  • Using the right tool for the job: If you are planning on just shaping the edges of the wood, then using a router will be the best choice as it can do the job faster than any other tool. If you want to hand shape wood then a carving knife will do a better job. Power carving using a rotary tool for the required job is also an option.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a hand planer to shape the edge of wood?

Yes, using a hand planer is a viable option when it comes to shaping the edges of wood.

Can you use a chisel to shape wood to your need?

Chisels are great for carving wood, people often make intricate designs and patterns using a chisel and mallet.

What carving knife is best for beginners?

A whittling knife of medium length is the best carving knife for a beginner.

Can you use sanders to round off sharp edges?

You can use any type of sander to round off sharp edges on wood. It will make the edges of the wood smooth to touch.

Can you carve hardwoods using carving knives?

Yes, you can, however, the harder the wood is, the more challenging it will be to carve shapes on it.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of tools that can be used to shape wood, but knowing which tool will work out the best in the situation is something you learn by experience. Hopefully, our article answered your query on what tool is used to shape the edge and wood itself. Just remember that the tool is only as good as its user, so practice a lot before getting into it.

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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