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Thread: Router bullnose by hand?

  1. #1

    Router bullnose by hand?

    I have a PC 2 1/4 hp plunge router.
    We bought a taller fridge and I am building a new carcass to mount the original oak face frame and doors on. The doors have bullnose edges on all sides and when I cut them shorter I will need to recreate the original bullnose. I know I have to measure the edge first, but what brand router bit do you recommend, and should I foresee any problems doing this by hand?
    Thanks for your help.

  2. I have used the CMT and Whiteside bits extensively to do bullnosing (either stair fronts or loose tenons) and while they work well in a table, you will need to construct a type of fence to do it freehand. You don't have a bearing in the bull nose bits. Have you considered doing a roundover on boths sides? This is much easier and you can sand the small flat in the middle easily. No need for a fence with the roundover as the bearing will roll against the edge on the first pass and you just need to buy a slightly bigger bearing to do the second pass (to account for the small loss to the curvature of the first pass).

    If you insist on doing it one pass, I would consider building a table to fix your router and a good fence.

    You might be able to get away with something like this:

    But I have never tried it....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    As Sebastien said, do this as a round over from both sides. Simple and you get the result. I don't change the bearing for the second pass. Just set it up on your offcut so that the bearing has just enough to run on during the second pass. Sanding fixes the rest. Bull nose cutters need a guidance system as you get with a router table, overhead router, cnc router etc. Cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Southwestern CT
    Like Sebastien and Wayne said. Typically test out the approach on a scrap piece. Oak ... especially end grain ... can burn if the bit is not sharp or becomes overheated. Use a new bit and proceed slowly perhaps even taking several passes with incrementally deeper cuts depending on size of your BN. The finishing forum has lots of good support when you get to the point of trying to match the finish.
    "the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    calif /sonoma county
    post a picture of the detail .What you call a bullnose and what others call one could be different .
    Hard to keep a perfectly even straight line by using hand tools ,belt sander or planer .Not a big issue except matching to the others could be very difficult .Include in the stain match issue and your cut could really stand out .
    I have a hard time visualizing a bullnose on the edge of a cabinet door .send a picture I would love to see what your up against

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Griswold Connecticut
    Are you positive it is a bullnose on the doors and not a door lip?
    There are numerous profiles for door lips. Here is just one.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 09-16-2018 at 7:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    For only a couple of doors, just do some experimenting on scrap by clamping a straight board as a guide to keep the bit from digging in too much. Use a combination square to set the guide, and make sure it doesn't get bumped after you have it set right. Sand with sanding sponges to prepare for finish. Whiteside is my first choice in router bits.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
    Have you considered hand planing the edge of the door until the shape is close and then finishing with sandpaper?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Try to keep the new edge on top of the upper doors and down low on the lower doors. This way no one will get up close and try to sight down the bullnose and notice any wavering.
    Bill D.

  10. #10
    Definitely a bullnose- like a tread on stairs.
    European hinge base routed into inside side of cabinet door.

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