When you are working with tools and wood, you will inevitably try to make something known as a bevel. Bevels are some of the best ways to add the finishing touch to a project, giving your piece a refined look that many love. However, you may wonder if the Dremel that can do everything can make a bevel.
To make a bevel with a Dremel, you need the special routing head that attaches to the Dremel, the routing bits, and preferably the plunge router attachment. Starting from the middle or the end of the piece, you plunge the routing bit into the wood and start the leveling process.
You need to have several things ready when you start beveling with your Dremel, the tool can do a lot, but there are caveats you need to be aware of. We always recommend that you have the basic set of tools ready and understand how this type of beveling is different.
How Do You Round Wooden Edges With A Dremel?
To round edges with a Dremel tool, you will have to have the piloted rounding bit that cuts into the wood and gives it around the edge. This bit looks the opposite of what you want the wood to look like when you are done cutting it, as bits for beveling and routing are usually the negatives.
Once you have the bit, you need to start at the end of the piece you are beveling and push the Dremel tool away from you, never pulling it. As you are pushing, you need to ensure that the Dremel head is flat against the surface of the piece you are cutting, ensuring the same depth throughout.
If you are pulling the Dremel towards you when routing like this, it can slip or catch on a piece of the material and suddenly shoot towards you. Most safety protocols will specifically tell you never to pull a tool towards you, as this can cause the tool to suddenly and violently cut into you.
What Tips And Tools Do You Need To Bevel Wood With A Dremel?
You need to attach several things to your Dremel before you can start routing, as the basic Dremel does not have anything you will need. We recommend that you have the right tools before you attempt to start beveling to ensure you have the best possible finish.
Further, the pieces you are working with will need to be secured to have the best possible cuts throughout. We also recommend that you have several safety gears ready to ensure that you won’t be hurt when something inevitably goes wrong while you are cutting your piece.
- G-clamps: When you are routing and beveling any piece of work, you won’t be able to hold onto the piece while you are cutting it. When working with a Dremel, we recommend that you have several on the edges of the piece while you are working, holding it firmly in place.
- Worktable: A good worktable will make the entire process significantly easy, especially if it has a dedicated spot for clamps to be used. We recommend having a work table that you don’t care too much about, allowing you to make mistakes even as you are cutting without having to stress about keeping the table perfect.
- Routing Bits: There are several different types of bevels that you can cut in wood, including several that go through the middle of the piece you are working on. Dremel and other manufacturers have several bits that can do this and usually sell them in kits.
- Routing head: The stock head of the Dremel will not be able to be used when beveling; Dremel sells a special routing kit that has the right head. This head is open on the side and allows you to push it flat against the piece you are cutting to ensure the perfect uniform depth.
- Plunge router attachment: When you cut a bevel through the middle of a piece or create a pattern, you cannot use the normal routing head. Dremel has a plunge router attachment that perfectly guides you to plunge the bit into a piece and then start cutting.
- Safety gear: Goggles, glasses, a face mask, and thin leather safety gloves should be worn when you start cutting a bevel. This is to ensure that you won’t easily be hurt by the shavings flying everywhere and that you won’t breathe in irritants that can cause cancer.
What Are The Steps To Bevel Wood With A Dremel?
Once you have all the tools, the clamps, and the safety gear ready, we can start the process of cutting and beveling the piece you are working on. It is important to remember that you need a constant and consistent speed; slowing down and stopping will cause burns.
Follow our step-by-step process, and your bevels will look better than even those done by proper routers. Many people do not always realize that if done incorrectly, you may end up with a piece that needs to be completely scrapped as it will no longer be salvageable.
Measuring The Depth Of The Bevel
The depth of the bevel you need is important as it will influence the type of bit you will have to choose later on. Slight bevels are also significantly easier to do than full bevels, as they are just cutting away the sharp corner rather than cutting a significant piece of wood.
We always recommend that you have the bevel depth measured long before you start cutting, using a scrap piece of wood to see if it is okay. The thicker a bit is, the more rounded it becomes, while longer router bits on the Dremel will mean that it makes a shallower cut but cuts deeper.
Securing Your Wood To A Work Table
The piece you are working on needs to be secured, if that is a work table or the larger piece you are working on. If the part is unable to move, it means you have complete control over the Dremel as you are cutting. This allows you to cut to the exact depth that you need without sudden jerks.
Many people mistake only using one or two clamps while beveling with a Dremel, causing the piece to shift slightly as they are cutting. Causing shifts and miss-cuts, which can cause the entire bevel to be wasted, requiring that you start over as one part may be deeper than the rest.
Fitting The Router Tip To The Dremel
Once you have the piece secured, you need to fit the right bit to your Dremel, with many people forgetting to change the head. However, the tip needs to be mounted and properly secured; unlike many other tips, you need to tighten this as much as possible.
If the tip comes loose while working with it, or it slips out of the holder, it can cut a very ugly gash into your piece, requiring a lot of work to repair. Many people have made the mistake of quickly switching bits while routing with a Dremel, only to have it spin randomly once they start cutting.
Set The Dremel To The Right Speed
The Dremel should not be at its full speed, as that is too fast, but it should also not be below 9,000 RPM as that would be moving too slow. If the Dremel is spinning too quickly, the bit won’t be able to cut into the wood. At the same time, a bit that is moving too slowly will burn into the wood causing permanent scarring.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that setting the Dremel to the maximum speed at all times is the only way to work with it. However, the speed adjustment is essential not only for what you are cutting, but the bits you are using usually have limits at which they can work.
Start The Bevel From The Right Spot
If you are routing through the middle of the piece, you need to sink your Dremel tool into the marked spot to ensure that you don’t have overcuts. However, if you are cutting a bevel, you will only need to cut the sides of the piece you are working on, but you need to start right.
To bevel the edges of your piece, you need to start from the corner of the piece, working from there to the inside. Never start beveling from the middle of the piece unless you only need a specific amount of space to be beveled, ensuring that the
Move At The Right Speed While Beveling The Wood
The most important part is not to rush while beveling but not to move so slowly that the wood starts to be burnt. This is often the thing that most artisans struggle with, with even seasoned artisans regularly leaving burn marks when they are beveling pieces, especially on deeper cuts.
When moving too fast, the Dremel may be stopped with too much material being pushed into the bit for it to work correctly, damaging the piece and the Dremel itself. Further, when moving too slowly, the bit starts to heat, and this heat transfers to the wood, with worst-case scenarios having the piece catching fire.
Sanding Down The Bevel Once Completed
The perfect routing job will never require any sanding to be done. Still, the perfect routing job also only ever seems to happen when everything else has already gone wrong. We recommend just sanding down the entire piece once you have beveled it to ensure that it is smooth all over.
You won’t need to use a rough grit; usually, 1000 plus grit sandpaper is all you need to get rid of any blemishes or burns. This will make the surface perfect for any treatment you want to apply and make it perfectly flush with the larger area of the piece you are working on.
Should You Bevel With A Dremel?
If you are working on smaller projects and still building your toolset, you should bevel with a Dremel. The tool has been made to turn fast enough so that it leaves completely smooth finishes, and allows you to easily get fittings and bits to do the most basic beveling that you may want to do.
When starting to bevel regularly, you should consider getting a dedicated routing machine or table to ensure that you can get much smoother cuts. This will ensure that you can do much more without damaging your Dremel, as Dremel tools are meant to be used by hobbyists instead of full artisans.
However, the company has designed most Dremel tools to be sturdy and robust enough to easily and comfortably work under most conditions. This is often why you will see people have Dremel’s in their workshops for moments when they know they may need a tool that can do odd things.
Which Dremel Works The Best For Beveling?
Any of the Dremel tools that rotate at high speeds will easily be used as a routing or beveled. We recommend using something similar to the Dremel 8100 as it is one of the first in the lineup from Dremel that can easily reach the required speeds of a router.
We always recommend that you have one of the Dremel tools battery-operated or can spin at higher speeds when beveling. The tool needs to be able to turn fast enough to constantly cut through the wood instead of shaving or chipping it off like a slower-moving tool.
Battery-operated Dremel tools usually slow down over time as the battery becomes flat, which is why many people prefer to use wired Dremel tools for beveling. While the wire is a problem, the constant speed provided ensures that there won’t be a problem when moving at speed.
Your Dremel can easily be used to cut a bevel when you have the right routing bits and the routing head installed on it. Most Dremel tools can do this with many special fitments allowing you to use the tool in several different ways to ensure your bevel is near perfect.
Whatever you do, please don’t use the Dremel without the routing head, as you won’t be able to control it!