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Full-sized router or palm (trim) router for this job?

4574 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Bob N
This is probably an easy question for most of you pros.
If I want to put a chamfer on all four edges of a piece of 1/4 inch thick mahogany that's about 6 inches by 8 inches, am I better off using a palm router (some call it a trim router), or am I better off using a standard size (say 2 1/4 HP) router? I'd be doing this by hand. Of course, the chamfer will be a full chamfer, since I'm dealing with only a 1/4 inch thick edge.
In other words, is a full-sized router too heavy for the thin material that I'll be chamfering, or would it be fine to use a full-sized router?
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It depends on how you plan on doing this job. How are you going to hold your stock, how are you going to guide your bit?

You could secure your work to a scrap block the same size as your workpiece, and then use a bearing guided chamfer bit in ANY size router.

Whatever you do, think about how you are going to cut on a piece this small. I think securing it to a large piece of stock is the way to go if you are going to use a router.

Do you have a disc sander or stationary belt sander available? That might be an option as well.

Just a couple of thoughts, remember please to consider all the safety concerns when working with small or delicate pieces.
Thanks for the reply. I will probably try to make a template from (maybe a piece of 1/4 inch masonite), then I'll clamp the template and workpiece together, then using a chamfering bit with a wheel, I'll run the router by hand to cut the pattern into the workpiece. My only concern is whether a standard router might be too heavy when used on 1/4 inch material. If that's not the case, then I'll do it that way, otherwise I'll use the palm router. I don't have either a standard router or a palm router now, and that's why I'm asking which one to get for this job?
Hi Louis

This type of job is why you should use a router table :) it will let you have full control of the cut.
Both the 2 1/4 HP and the palm router may have the same error that's to say getting on and getting off the stock with out putting a nick in the chamfer and I'm sure you want it sharp and clean.
If you don't have a router table you can make one quick and easy,just drill hole (in 1/2" plywood or MDF) to let the bit run free, mount the router, 2 1/4 hp or palm router and clamp a block of wood down for a fence (2 x 4)( put in a pocket hole for the bit in the fence) then run your stock by to get a nice clean chamfer from one end to the other.
Note***keep the hole as small as you can for the bit....1/4" free on both sides of the bit should work fine.

Bj :)
Hello BJ,
Thanks for the reply. As a matter of fact, I do have a router table, but I haven't bought a router for it yet (I'm still looking and comparing). Even so, if a palm router would be better for this job, I'd put off getting the standard router and buy a palm router. But, it sounds as if you're saying that I'd be better off with a standard router in a table.

Use your money to get the full size router for your table. There is little that can be done with a palm router that cannot be done with the full size router with some planning both in and out of the table. The palm router will have many more limitations and therefore not as great a value.
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