How do I round off finger joints? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Default How do I round off finger joints?

I have a stupid question--I'm not very experienced in using a router table -I started this hobby several years ago and got very frustrated. Tried making finger joints back then and just never had success. Quit trying but now I've decided to try again. I've started getting the hang of making the finger joints and have been able to cut some pretty good joints. They are a little tight but I'm working on adjusting everything to make them better. Anyway, I've seen a lot of boxes made w/ finger joints but the edges are rounded off- I guess with a roundover bit. So, here's the stupid question part- how do you use the roundover bit to get the effect? Do you put the box together first and then use the roundover bit (via the router table) or do you use the roundover bit on each individual side piece before assembling the box? I think that would tear the fingers off. Please don't laugh at me...I really am trying to learn this stuff and trying to be safe at the same time. Since I'm so inexperienced in wood working, I think I second guess myself to the point that I make the simplest things into something crazy. Thanks for any help you can give. I hope I'm not making a fool out of myself...

Last edited by ncparolelady; 06-21-2014 at 06:43 PM. Reason: change the wording
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 06:57 PM
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The fingers could be fragile individually but as a unit they are very strong. I would use the roundover bit after they are put together and I would use a push block to push the joint past the bit. This will help prevent tearout on the last finger. Woodworking is supposed to be fun, not frustrating. Ask questions anytime you are not sure or having problems.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 09:22 PM
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HI Lisa, I agree with Charles.

Use the round-over after the box is assembled.

Also, if you have a router table, I would use the table and push block....

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 12:47 AM
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Hi, Lisa; another way to skin the cat, if you're just trying for a gentle round over, is to flip your belt sander on its back and run the box sides lengthwise over it while rotating the corners into the belt. Pretty hard to do any damage. You were likely going to sand it down anyway(?).
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 12:57 AM
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For the type of things I do I would just use my ROS (random orbit sander) on them.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 01:31 AM
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Similar to Dan but I find it far easier to use the disc sander, it's easy to control. I use this method for many things including rounding the corners of Acrylic router sub-bases.
Routing the corners of a box with box joints is prone to chip out in my limited experience of using this method.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncparolelady View Post
I have a stupid question--I'm not very experienced in using a router table -I started this hobby several years ago and got very frustrated. Tried making finger joints back then and just never had success. Quit trying but now I've decided to try again. I've started getting the hang of making the finger joints and have been able to cut some pretty good joints. They are a little tight but I'm working on adjusting everything to make them better. Anyway, I've seen a lot of boxes made w/ finger joints but the edges are rounded off- I guess with a roundover bit. So, here's the stupid question part- how do you use the roundover bit to get the effect? Do you put the box together first and then use the roundover bit (via the router table) or do you use the roundover bit on each individual side piece before assembling the box? I think that would tear the fingers off. Please don't laugh at me...I really am trying to learn this stuff and trying to be safe at the same time. Since I'm so inexperienced in wood working, I think I second guess myself to the point that I make the simplest things into something crazy. Thanks for any help you can give. I hope I'm not making a fool out of myself...
i have made probly 500 or so with dovetales and pin's, put togother let glue dry and than this is what i do is just sand flush , that way the box will be square, or use a ros sander and make the round, , with a round over bit you may get tare out , if using a round over bit take small pass's with sharp bit , you should be ok , the box will be good and tight like solid , good luck

del schisler
port st. lucie, florida
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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I definitely want to thank everyone for both the advice and encouragement! It helps give me motivation to keep trying. So, I decided to just use a sander to round off the edges like some of you suggested. That worked great and was much simpler. The fingers weren't perfect so I used my dad's old "wood glue and sawdust" trick to fill in the gaps. I know it's not the professional way but for my purposes it works. Ive attached some photos of the final result. Thanks again for the help!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 06:37 PM
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Looks right swell from here.
Ya know that the difference between a good woodworker and one not so good is that a good one can fix his mistake so it's not easily seen. I think you've achieved that.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 07:21 PM
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Looks excellent to me,
Gene right but if you do not tell people you made a mistake nobody knows.
I do not believe that I have ever build something that did have a mistake that I had to fixed
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