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I have a 110mm square laminated pine post.

I want to put a 45 degree bevel on the top of the post, around all four edges.

I don't have a mitre saw, but I do have a plunge router and a 45 degree chamfer bit.

Working on a scrap section of post, and chamfering from the sides of the post, not the top (that is, I rest the router base on the side of the post, bevel that edge of the top and then turn the post onto a different face) I've found that I can't keep the router level -- not enough of the router base is on the post.

Is there some jig or trick I should be using? Or is a plunge router an unsuitable tool for this job?

  • I know it's not as rewarding as doing it yourself, but have you considered buying a post cap instead? – Maxime Morin Sep 16 '17 at 12:05
  • That's a great idea Maxime -- googling I see that I can get something nice for AUD 30. I'd still like to know the answer to the question though :-) – tgdavies Sep 16 '17 at 12:09
  • Any time you're trying to route a small or narrow piece it's almost always preferable to extend it somehow by tacking on, adhering or clamping on more material to make the bearing surface larger (as large as feasible). So if you want to go ahead and do it with a router see the Answer..... but alternatively this can be done with a sharp chisel or block plane, which would be quite fast. In theory you could do this with a file if it's just the one post you're doing (and it being pine) while it's slower than paring or planing it won't take that long. – Graphus Sep 16 '17 at 17:39
  • From your question it sounds like you only have one work piece to do. If your bevels are not going to be that deep (i.e. more than half an inch) I would probably just do this with a block plane. Just mark lines on the top and sides the same distance from the edges and plane to the lines. The only tricky thing is that you should skew the plane so it doesn't chip out the corner as it exits. – SaSSafraS1232 Sep 18 '17 at 18:22
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Here's a simple approach.You can place some pieces of the same thickness stock on both sides of the post, and another perpendicular to it at the top to provide a surface at the same level for the router base to sit on.

I wouldn't use the plunge feature - just set the bit to the correct depth and let the router ride on the flat surface provided by the post and the other pieces.

Note that all the wood involved - the guide pieces as well as the workpiece -should be clamped in place.

  • This is the right answer if a router is to be used for the job. But more detail in the description of the process or, better, some added pics would be useful and help make it a great Answer. – Graphus Sep 16 '17 at 17:41
  • This works very well, though I'd point out that clamping the support pieces helps quite a bit. (Probably obvious to most, but that's the kind of thing that's resulted in my having an imprint of my right hand semi-permanently embedded in my forehead. :facepalm:) – 3Dave Sep 17 '17 at 14:07
  • @DavidLively - good point - I added it. – Mark Sep 17 '17 at 14:41
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I usually use a circular saw with a bevel set to 45 degrees for exactly what you're taking about. I set a speed square against the post to give me a rail to cut against to get a straight cut. As long as the end of the post is cut off square, you get good results with the bevels all matching up. Run the saw against the face of the post, not along the end grain. That way you get more surface to hold your saw against.

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