How to Round Wood Corners by Hand | Advantages of Learning

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

How to Round Wood Corners by Hand

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.

What angle do I cut trim for rounded corners?

The rounding process will depend on the initial shape and the flat surface. If you are starting with a square piece of trim, you can use a coping saw to cut the corners off at a 45-degree angle. If you are starting with a circular piece of trim, you can use a jigsaw to cut out the rounded corners. Always make sure to sand down any rough edges before painting or staining.

What is the best way to round corners of wood without using a router?

There are a few ways to round the corners of wood without using a router. One option is to use an angle sanding pad set. This will give you a consistent edge and can be used on both curved and flat surfaces. Another option is to use a wooden edging tool. This will help you create a smooth, rounded edge on your wood project. Lastly, you can use a sharp edge to gently round the corners of your wood project. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when rounding the corners or you may end up splitting the wood.

Can you sand wood with 80 grits?

Yes, you can sand wood with 80 grits. For most woods, I would recommend starting with 80- or 100-grit sanding stage, and then finishing up with 220-grit. Make sure to use a power sander for the final stage, as it will save you a lot of time and energy.

Complementary tools

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.

Removing too much wod

Achieving a perfectly rounded corner on a piece of wood can be a challenging task, especially when done by hand. While it may seem like a simple process, there is an art to carefully removing just the right amount of wood without going too far. The key lies in striking a balance between precision and patience. In this article, we will explore the various techniques and tools required to round wood corners by hand effectively.

When rounding wood corners manually, it is crucial to approach the task with caution and avoid overzealous removal of material. One common mistake is removing too much wood at once, which can result in uneven or misshapen corners that compromise both the aesthetics and functionality of the piece. Instead, take your time and work gradually, making small adjustments until you achieve the desired shape.

Surform on the Sharp Corner

To begin, ensure you have a sturdy workbench or table with ample space for maneuvering your wood piece. As you embark on this task, remember that safety should always be your top priority. Before commencing any woodworking project, it is essential to wear protective gear such as safety glasses and gloves.

Once you are properly prepared, take hold of your surform tool – a versatile handheld rasp characterized by rows of sharp teeth arranged in diagonal patterns across its surfam

How to Round Wood Corners by Hand



How do you smooth plywood edges?

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.

How much does a hand plane cost?

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.

Can I use just one hand plane to round a wood corner?

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.

How can I round the edges of wood without using a router?

To round the edges of wood without a router, you can use sandpaper and a sanding block. Simply fold the sandpaper, hold it firmly, and sand along the edge of the wood until you achieve the desired roundness.

Is using a router the only way to round wood edges?

No, using a router is not the only way to round wood edges. You can achieve rounded wood edges by hand using sandpaper, a wood file, or a hand plane.

What are the advantages of learning how to round wood corners by hand?

Learning how to round wood corners by hand offers several advantages. Firstly, it allows you to work on smaller wood pieces or projects where using a power tool may be difficult. It also gives you greater control over the shaping process and allows for more creativity since you can achieve various shapes and curves. Additionally, it helps you develop your woodworking skills and understanding of different techniques.

Can I use a wood file to round the edges of wood?

Yes, a wood file can be used to round the edges of wood. Gradually work the wood file along the edge, applying consistent pressure until you achieve the desired roundness. Remember to work in the same direction to avoid


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.


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