Beveling a wooden countertop edge requires the use of a router to shape the material to the correct form. When using a router to bevel edges, it is necessary to keep in mind that wood can split or crack more easily than some other countertop materials. When done correctly, a beveled edge gives a wooden countertop a more finished look and increases its overall durability.
Step 1 – Size the Routing Bit
Bits for tabletop routers are sized by degree number, and the size of the bit will determine how much wood is subtracted when actually beveling the edge. Take some care and attention to detail when using a router. It is helpful to have some basic prior experience with this power tool before attempting this countertop project. Most edge beveling projects require a router bit between 20 and 24 degrees, although there can be some variation depending on the shape of the finished countertop edge you want. If you have no previous experience with routers, acquire a small piece of wood equivalent in size to your counter top and practice beveling it until you achieve the look that you want.
Step 2 – Set up Router
Set up the routing bit that you've determined will be appropriate for the counter edge in the router. While table routers are generally more accurate than hand-held devices, in most cases you will not be able to detach the countertop to mount it on the table. Still, if the it's is loose or detached at all, you can secure the countertop into place with clamps to attach it to the base to make the process easier.
Step 3 – Do a Trial Run
Before running your actual countertop edge through the table top router, test the router settings with at least one piece of scrap wood. This way, you can determine if too much or too little wood is subtracted and make any needed adjustments accordingly. Often, small adjustments are needed to the router fence to arrive at the correct shape of the counter top edge that you have in mind.
Step 4 – Bevel the Countertop Edge
Run the wood for your countertop edge through the router in a steady, continuous movement in order to get a consistent bevel. Always wear work gloves and safety glasses when working with a router. Once it has been completely cut to the shape you want, clean up and smooth the wood with some medium grit sandpaper. Repeat this step on any additional sections of wood for different sections of your counter top area.
Step 5 – Finish the Countertop
You may be happy with the appearance of the beveled edge after using the router. If not, however, you should plan to sand down any rough patches using sand paper. You can also treat the edge of the countertop with a sealant if you wish to better protect it.