Wood corners are always a trend. Due to their aesthetic shape and the additional safety they offer, it is not strange that many people choose them in their décor. Among those two reasons, safety is the most important. And the need for safety augments when there are children and old people around. Nowadays, shaping wood corners is easy when you use a router. However, this device implies that you have to invest some money and time to learn how to operate it. Besides, if you want to work on a few pieces only, such investment might not be worthy. Due to that, here, we will explain how to round wood corners by hand as one smart alternative instead of using a router.
How do you round corners on wood?
There 2 methods to round wood corners, and they depend on the type of tool that you use as follows:
Router: This is the modern method for rounding corners. Routers are handy and practical deices that either professional carpenters and DIYers are using to work with wood. Without a doubt, it can create stunning wood pieces that can easily take your breath away. Also, the device evolved enough to become smaller and lighter to make it easy to learn how to-route a curved edge.
By hand: Although you can round wood corners by hand, it is always necessary to use a tool to do the job. In the past, carpenters used the hand plane as the main tool. Also, they complemented it with sandpaper, chisel or gouge, spoke shave, card scraper, and rasp to obtain the best finishes.
When you learn how to cut rounded corners by hand, you will see you can obtain finishes as good as those reached with routers. More importantly, without having to spend money or time in a router.
What is a hand plane?
A hand plane is a tool you can use to shape, cut, and model wood. It only requires natural force and shaves off thin layers when you push it along several directions through the work piece. By doing so, it reduces wood until getting the desired size, cut, and finish.
Types of hand planes
There are many types of planes. Below is a list with the most common:
- Jack/scrub planes: these are the planes you use at the initial stage to reduce the size of the wood piece.
- Block plane: it is a small, compact, and versatile version that peels very thin layers of the wood.
- Fore/jointer planes: these planes are recommended to level faces and edges areas of the wood.
- Smoothing planes: you use these planes to smooth and polish the surface
- Molding planes: these are the best planes for decorative shapes on edges and strips
- Circular plane: you can use this for working in and out of curved pieces
What hand plane should you use to round wood corners by hand?
To make your decision about which hand plane is better for your project, you must consider the type of piece you want to change. For instance, Block planes work really well on thin wood pieces. On the other hand, Jack planes are ideal for long and short boards.
So, when you buy your plane, you can think of the multiple uses you will give to this tool. Also, depending on the finish you want to obtain, you might want to add a smoothing plane.
How to make rounded corners on wood with a hand plane?
Making rounded corners is a home project that is easy when you use a hand tool. Here are the steps you should follow to guarantee the best results:
- Select the proper hand plane for your project. If you are a beginner DIYer, jack planes might be the best choice. Also, if you want to add a nice finish, get a smooth plane to complete the task. Those who already know about hand planes will have the chance to select more accurately the type of hand plane.
- Add the following materials: sandpaper, safety glasses, a mask for your mouth (optional), pencil, metric.
- Plan and measure the cut over the wood
- Cut the chamber at 45° as a minimum. By holding the plane at this measure, you can obtain great results.
- Plane down the corners.
- To obtain the desired finish, start by using sandpaper to clean the surface and eliminate any rest of wood that is not leveled.
Complimentary tools are as important as the hand plane. They may help you obtain your dreamed finish, ease the process, and improve the overall design of the wood piece. Among them, the sandpaper is probably the most useful. Others like chisel or gouge, spoke shave, card scraper, and rasp can help you work with different sizes, different types of wood, and more.
How to smooth wood edges by hand
After rounding wood edges, it is common that you want to smooth them to give them a sophisticated finish. In such cases, it is recommended to use a smoothing plane. Also, you can use sandpaper to even the zone before using the smoothing plane.
How to sand rounded edges by hand
To sand rounded edges by hand, you only need to use sandpaper. It is the same process that you use for the rest of the work piece. But for corners and edges, it is highly recommendable to use the hardest part to make sure you even the zone well.
Q- How do you smooth plywood edges?
A – To smooth plywood edges, the best tool is the sandpaper. Firstly, stroke 180 grit sandpaper in the same direction of the grain. Then, do the same with 200-grit sandpaper and repeat it one more time by stroking it 2 times. Every level of grit Finally wipe the area and then apply the stain or finish.
Q – How much does a hand plane cost?
A -Prices vary according to the store you buy the hand plane. In general, they might cost 1/3 of a router and sometimes less than that.
Q –Can I use just one hand plane to round a wood corner?
A – Yes, you can opt for using only one type of hand plane. It will all depend on the finish you want to obtain, the type of piece, and the experience you have using the hand plane.
Having the option to round wood corners by hand is good news for all the DIYers. Despite that using a router seems to be the most practical choice, doing it by hand can offer you interesting finishes and results. When you learn how to round wood corners by hand, the process gets even easier.
So, by using the proper hand plane, taking care of your safety, and taking some little time to practice excellent guarantee results. Any effort you do to reach around corners this way will pay off with more esthetic furniture and a secure home environment. So, do not hesitate to try to find the best hand planes and other complementary tools.