How to bevel cut on a curved edge -- Popular Mechanics Adirondack

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Forum topic by ramblinwreck posted 03-25-2018 05:59 PM 1881 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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25 posts in 667 days

03-25-2018 05:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: adirondack popular mechanics bevel curved

Hi folks, long time lurker, first time poster.

I’m planning on building some adirondack chairs using the Popular Mechanics plans. I’ve seen several folks build these here on LJ and they look great. The plans seem relatively straightforward, but I have a specific question about one of the cuts that I’m not sure how to do.

The plan calls for a “7 degree bevel on curved edge”—see attached, lower back-rail, the part labeled ‘C’ in this diagram:

How do I make this cut?
If it were straight with a bevel, I’d use my tablesaw.
If it were just a curve with no bevel, I’d make a template and then pattern route it (as I’ll do for other curves).
But how do I put a bevel on this curve?

I notice that there are some dovetail router bits that have a bearing on them (like a pattern bit) and have a 7 degree angle. Like the Freud 22-506 shown here:

But even this bit has only a 7/8” cutting height which is just shy of the 1” thickness of this part, but maybe this is close enough, especially once the lumber is milled..

But I can’t help thinking maybe there is some easier more standard way of doing this type of cut that I’m just not aware of. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks!

-- Chris

6 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4252 days

#1 posted 03-25-2018 06:10 PM

To just do a few, cut out the curve with a band
saw or jig saw with the table tilted, then fair
the curve with a half-round file.

Machining can be done in many ways but the
expense and hassle of setting up for it may
not be worth it.

View TimInIndiana's profile


152 posts in 744 days

#2 posted 03-25-2018 06:11 PM

Just watched Norm Abrams’ adirondack chair build on YouTube… he used a band saw with the table set at the proper angle.

View John_'s profile


225 posts in 2310 days

#3 posted 03-25-2018 11:28 PM

Well…..I was going to say that maybe it is time to change plans? (unless you have a band saw)

Norm’s plans call for 30 degree cut on that piece and a 30 degree bit is readily available. Buy, he has some other pieces that need to be cut at an angle – for example, 6 degrees… (Can’t win for losing)

Norm Abram's - Popular Woodworking Magazine

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225 posts in 2310 days

#4 posted 03-25-2018 11:30 PM

double post

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

395 posts in 1254 days

#5 posted 03-26-2018 02:11 AM

The first time I built a pair of these chairs I used a circular saw, a jig saw, and a drill.
I had access to construction grade redwood from Home Depot that was 3/4” thick so that is what I used.
The angles were not perfect but they still turned out great and were used for many years by some very large people.
I know you want them to be perfect, but unless you can mill your lumber straight, flat, and the same thickness called out the plans will be more of a guideline.
My buddy liked them and he built a pair using 2x pressure treated lumber, he just rounded the edges that were supposed to be beveled with a 1/2” roundover and his chairs lasted for years too.
Thanks for asking about this.
I think I need to build some more of these and gift them to my young relatives that are new home owners.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View ramblinwreck's profile


25 posts in 667 days

#6 posted 03-26-2018 11:50 AM

Thanks guys. Thanks for all the ideas.

I don’t have a bandsaw (very small shop) which is why that solution was completely off my radar. However, I do have access to a buddy’s bandsaw, so I might give that a shot. I own a good jigsaw that I can bevel, so I may try some practice cuts with that and see if I can get “good enough”.

Interestingly, I did find another post on another forum (initials S-M-C) asking exactly the same question that I did, and someone pointed out that the Amana 42424 router bit might handle this task—it’s got a 7 degree bevel and a 1-1/4” cutting height. I’d need to put a bearing on the shank, and offset my template, but I think I can do that. I’m thinking this will give me the best cut, since this would be a template based cut rather than free-hand like with jigsaw/bandsaw. Also looks like the Whiteside K35 or Amana 45884 bits (both 1” cutting height) will do what I need.

Charlie, thanks for the perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in the strive for perfection. Indeed, I am building wooden chairs, not rocket ships! :-)

PS: Switching plans not an option. The wife decided the PM chairs look best. :D

-- Chris

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