Bullnosing Techniques on Your Router Table

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Have you ever wondered how to make the edge of a board perfectly rounded in a continuous semi-circle? This is called a bullnose edge. Bullnosing on the edge of a shelf or other decorative piece adds a nice stylistic element to any project. With some careful setup, bullnosing can be created efficiently on a simple router table setup. For occasional bullnosing, the bit that you will want to use is a standard roundover bit, which is one of the typical router bit types that you will want to have on hand in your shop. With a good router table and a nice set of router bits, you are ready to tackle a variety of router projects.

Bullnosing can also be created using a dedicated bit that is specifically designed for this operation, but by knowing how to create bullnosing with the much more versatile roundover bit, you’ll save yourself a trip to the store before setting up.

Setup

As with most router table operations, bullnosing with a roundover bit is all about the setup. The trick is to “sneak up on it”. You will start out by removing too little, then make adjustments to the bit height to slowly advance toward the perfect height without going overboard. If you set the bit too high, it will leave an unsightly ridge on your work piece, and you will no longer have a bullnose but rather some other profile.

Running the pieces

When running the pieces through your setup, you’ll need to ensure that you feed at the appropriate rate for your router, and that you run both sides of the bullnosing equally. Watch for a perfect semi-circle with no hard ridge, and when you’re done it should only need a light sanding to achieve the perfect edge.