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Not sure how to cut a chamfer. HELP !!!

4635 Views 37 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  johnhutchinson
I have a round disk that's 1" thick x 5-3/4" diameter, and I need to cut a 60-degree x 1/2" high chamfer around the perimeter. I can think of two DANGEROUS ways of doing it, but I'm looking for a non-911 solution.

I don't care if there's a center hole because I'll plug it.

I also need to drill 36 equally-spaced holes, centered on the face of the chamfer, but I know how to safely and accurately jig that.

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I would head to the bandsaw for this…tilt the fence, hole in the middle of the piece to pivot around (just like cutting a circle).

If you dont want a hole showing, just plug it with a dowel. Better safe and have a dowel showing than cut off a finger.
You didn't mention if you had a lathe or not because that's precisely the sort of work a lathe does well.

Outside of that I'd consider a radius jig that can be presented to a stationary sander at an angle.
I have done something very similar before with a 45 degree chamfer. I used a chamfer bit on a router table and used a starting pin to do it freehand.
Use an Incra Protractor to lay out the markings for the holes (every 10 degrees for 36 holes) and drill them prior to doing the chamfer
I think you'd be safe with the router. Either with a hand held router with the piece sort of anchored so it won't move. You may want to make a few passes. Other way is on the table freehand. I do this frequently when making quilt stands. The pieces are oddly shaped, but I need to round over all the edges. Use something to pivot the piece into the bit then maneuver it all the way around. Again you may need to make several passes. I understand though that when something feels unsafe, it may make it unsafe. Be sure that you are not making a climb cut, that would be unsafe and could pull your hands into the bit. Take care.
I would make a jig for my table saw something like this. I would start at the corner and make several passes moving the fence in a little each time until I reached the desired depth. I would place the circle into the guide and raise the blade into it while turning the circle backwards to let the blade cut into the material.
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The drawing is for the conceptual idea only, you should improvise the idea to make it work safely for you.


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Okay, here's an odd idea. Mount the disk with a bolt and nut in the center hole. Put it in a drill press. Glue some 60 grit sandpaper on an angle block and clamp it to the table. Bear down on the drill press handle till the correct depth chamfer is reached.
I would use a 12 inch disk sander with mitergauge slot perpendicularly arranged to the surface of the disk (Delta has a combination disk / belt sander with this capability but you can easily use a temporary table with the aforementioned slot clamped on to the table of a benchtop 12 inch disc sander). A small moving block that includes a small pin pricking the center of the workpiece is moved in the miter gauge slot toward the spinning disk to produce the chamfer ( i.e., the table is obviously tilted). A stop block can be affixed in the miter gauge slot to ensure that the desired diameter is maintained. A preliminary planing to remove most of the material will reduce the sanding required. See the following:
Wood Lathe

Like you inferred that's extremely dangerous to do on a table saw. The blade's forward momentum is going to try to chuck the work piece at you. Any lateral movement can cause the blade to bind.

You could do this with safely with a hand router w/ a guide bearing, pinned piece + table router, a jig for a bandsaw, a lathe or possibly a custom shooting board.
Wow, this discussion really highlights the creativity, and versatility of wood workers.

Rarely is there one and only one way to perform an operation.

So much depends on available tools/machining capability.

Great ideas and suggestions.

Good to see that the OP is asking a question to keep himself safe.

I Really like this site for this reason. (among others) Great Job everyone.
A lathe would be the easiest and safest tool for this job and if the lathe has an indexing system the holes could be marked with that and if the holes are 90deg. to the bottom they could also be drilled while still mounted on the lathe using a Jacobs chuck to hold the bit.
I would be inclined to make a jig for the bandsaw where you would first tilt the table to 45 degrees and have the jig designed to add 15 more degrees for the total 60 required. While it would leave a rough finish, you could use the same jig on a disc sander, again, tilted to 45 degrees and finish the surface to the final dimension. You could then tilt the drill press table 15 degrees the other way to register the 36 holes that need to be bored perpendicular to the chamfer face. Getting all 36 holes evenly spaced could be done after cutting and sanding, with a protractor, sharp pencil and patience while laying out. A brad point bit would help keep the holes dead on your mark.
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Good Lord. I go out to mow the grass, and I have about ten solutions waiting for me. THANKS, EVERYONE !!! I've picked up some creative problem-solving buddies in the process.

Mowing gives me a chance to meditate, so here's what I've come up with …
1. I don't have, or have access to, a lathe, but I have done some sorta-turning on my drill press.
2. I thought about making the chamfer with both my table and radial arm saws, but they're still my least-favorite tools for experimentation.
3. I know there's no such thing as a 60-degree chamfering bit, but there is a 120-degree v-grooving bit. That would serve as a 60-degree chamfering bit if I put it in my router table and put the stock face down. And because of my Radial Wave Lamp project, I just happen to have one !
4. I'll need to put the rough-cut disk on a sled, with a threaded pivot so I can loosely bolt it down, and then advance the sled toward the bit. Since the bottom of the disk will be facing up, I'll drill a stop-hole close to the edge and insert some sort of knob to rotate the disk. I'll make the chamfer in multiple passes until it's 1/2" high.
5. Or … because it's so small, I could just sand it on my drill press with sandpaper glued to a 30-degree ramp.

I think Craftsman on the Lake gets the prize. Less, sometimes, is more. :)
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I would use a panel raiser. Something like a 3 1/4" Cutting Diameter x 1 3/8" Reveal x 1/2" Shank 15* bevel
Scribe two lines (side and top extremes of the chamfer), use a block plane to cut to the lines with downward strokes with the tool.
I think Steve Kreins is onto something.
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