A few years ago I bought a used Crafstman router and table with the best
of intentions. Never used one. Well, I am very busy with two careers, so
it has sat unused.
So now I am building something that I can use it for. It is basically a
small four-sided cabinet (top, bottom, two sides, no front or back) to
house a guitar amplifier. Roughly 17w x 6h x 11d. I would like to round
off the outer lengths and corners.
What I am wondering is, do I need to take the wood off in small
increments, getting larger every time? Or should I set the router to do
the full profile cut one time through? I am using poplar. Also, is it
best to do each board before, or run the whole cabinet after assembly?
Thanks very much,
Using roundover bits to take off sharp edges of cabinets/projects is easy to
do and quite common. Figure out the size of the bit, usually expressed in
terms of the radius of the cut. then adjust the bit to do an even roundover
by trying it out on some scrap. Then go to it. On softer woods, you can
often do it in one cut. but slow and easy makes for better work. On stuff
like this, you can make multiple cuts by just pressing the router against
the wood easily.
I often go over everything after I am done, just to make sure I got
everything and did not leave any gaps or unmachined areas. And depending on
how the cabinets are put together, you can do the rounding over after they
are assembled. One thing to consider is that you can make some cuts ahead of
time and put them together and the corners will not match.
I don't know if you will have any holes in these cabinets. Sometimes I put
in holes in drawers without hardware for a handle of sorts. Those I do
ahead of time. I have rarely used anything over a 1/4" roundover bit.
Doing multiple runs prevents burning. Light burning can be fixed
easily by sand paper though. The trick is, as soon as you see any
burning whatsoever, stop making cuts and let the blade cool off a
bit. If you get excessive burning, then switch to doing multiple
cuts. For rounded edges doing multiple cuts can be done by lowering
the blade a bit for the first cut, and then raise it again for the
It depends on how much round over you're taking off. Best suggestion is to
test it out on a scrap piece of poplar. One thing you should watch out for
is tear out right at the end of a run with the router. To minimize that
happening, you can back up the end of the cut with another piece of wood. If
that's not feasible, then slow your routing down, but know that slowing it
down too much will mean that you'll burn your wood. It's a middle of the
A four sided box isn't a stable shape. You should have something for
a cross-brace (triangles are stable) or back panel. It doesn't have
to be a complete back, perhaps a back with a cutout.
How much of a round over? 1/8"? Are only the top and bottom being
rounded? What about the corners? If only the top and bottom panels,
I'd do it before assembly. If the corners (all three sides) have to
be done, I'd to it after assembly. Are you going to finish the box
before or after assembly? In short, it depends. ;-)
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On Thu, 27 Aug 2009, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Thanks. It doesn't need to be very stable - It will completely surround
the amp, sort of like a "cover," attached by 4 rack screws in the front.
Here is a picture of something similar:
Manager, Capen Multimedia Center
221 Capen Hall
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
The problem with doing the routing after it's put together is that it
won't be very strong without the electronics inside. I wouldn't put
the electronics through the vibration and dust so I'd vote for
rounding over before assembly. That'll make the corners "interesting",
so perhaps it would be better to do a rough cut before to get most of
the wood hogged out and then a cleanup pass after? If you're only
rounding over 1/8-1/4", just do that after.
Looks like you want to do it after it's put together. As other stated,
can probably do full depth cut as long as it isn't like a 3/4" radius
If cutting by hand held then move the router to the left. If the
router is mounted in a table then move the part to the left.
You will get blow out as you exit an edge where you are cutting across
the grain. In some cases you can avoid this by adding another piece
butted against the edge (a backer). But in some cases you can't. So
then multiple finer cuts can help but the best plan is to be sure to
cut the cross grain section of a corner first and then when you cut
the other side in line with the grain you should cut away the blow
out. So some planning about which sides to do first is needed.
What kind of amp? I built something similar for my buddies Mesa Boogie
Big Block 800 watt bass amp.
I have managed people for a many years. The most frequent question not
asked is the most simple. It usually causes the biggest problem. ie Did
you use the correct size pipet? Always is immediately answered YES, but
sometime comes back NO, when they check the dirty glassware.
Sorry did not mean to insinuate you were dumb, it was a just something
that had to be stated.
Purely coincidence, but the same kind in the picture - Pearce G1.
Currently it's in its original combo cabinet identical to this:
But it weighs about 70 lbs and I want to use the head separately with a
lighter extended range cab that I just bought: Raezer's Edge Stealth 12ER
(400Watts only 33 lbs!)
As far as the radius goes, I'd like it to have pretty much the same shape
as both cabs above. By any chance can any of you tell from the above
pictures how wide the radius is?
ps - I hope to stain it to match the panel at the bottom of the cab, and
then add black metal corners. They sound awesome together, I hope I can
get them to look awesome too.
On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 10:18:25 -0400, Michael L Kankiewicz
You have some good suggestions so far.
If you have to buy a round-over bit, get one with a ball bearing
pilot. Although it might not be terribly necessary with poplar it
will make life easier. Also, if you want to route it after assembly
beware (during assembly) of where any fasteners might be. You don't
want to run over fasteners with your brand new router bit.
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