April 4, 2022
As you kickstart your woodworking career, you will soon get acquainted with the different woodworking cuts like the rip cut, cross-cut, miter cut, and bevel cut. Of course, you might be familiar with most of these types of cuts, but with the bevel cuts, you might get confused, as many other beginners would often do. Nevertheless, if you want to raise your woodworking skills a notch higher, you need to understand well what a bevel cut is and how you can make such a cut.
Lumbers that you use in woodworking are mostly dimensional lumber. This dimensional lumber comes with a square edge, which signifies that the edge and the board’s face are at a right angle or 90 degrees with each other. Now, there will be projects that would require you to alter this angle. In such a case, you need to make a bevel cut. A bevel cut is an angled cut perpendicular to the wood’s face.
Why Should You Make Bevel Cuts?
You will need to make bevel cuts as a woodworker because you will use angles other than 90 degrees in many of your projects. You can make bevel cuts using the circular saw, table saw, router, and jigsaw. Yet, the best power tool for creating a bevel cut is the miter saw, and it can give you accurate bevel cuts.
You will need bevel cuts when making decorative frames. These cuts are also necessary to increase the jointing surface area for stable and robust weld when making joinery.
Bevel cuts get categorized using letters such as A, X, V, and top Y, K, X, and Y for the bottom. Such categories get based on what letters they resemble in their crisscross sections.
A bevel cut is not easy to achieve. It requires mastery. You can make fantastic woodcrafts once you’ve mastered bevel cuts, including different framing works.
As a woodworker, it will help if you understand the difference between miter cuts and bevel cuts to raise your level of woodworking a notch higher.
Common Bevel Cut Applications
As mentioned above, bevel cuts come with many applications in woodworking. Besides, it is also beneficial in the field of welding and crafting. Such applications of the bevel cut include aesthetics, safety, joinery, improving weathering resistance, and making geometric shapes. It is perfect for creating beautiful joineries in crafting because softwood gets primarily used in this field.
Other applications of bevel cuts include shaping materials for trimming to lessen injury risk and joining wood pieces together to make them look like a single piece of wood. Bevel cuts can also improve the appearance of wood pieces by hiding the fastened edges of wood pieces.
Differences Between Bevel Cut and Miter Cut
The main similarity between the bevel and miter cuts is that both are angled cuts. Nevertheless, they are different from each other. You would get a miter cut if you cut a wood piece diagonally on its face at a specific angle. Meanwhile, you can cut these wood pieces in-depth at a particular angle, and you’ll get a bevel cut.
As you become more experienced in woodworking, you will master these two different angled cuts. You will often make miter cuts. You would also usually cut at a 45-degree angle at the board’s end when making window and door frames. You don’t need to alter the angle of the wood edge relative to the wood’s face when making a miter cut.
On the other hand, you can make a bevel cut by changing the angle of the saw blade relative to the wood face’s edge. You can achieve such a cut with a compound miter saw. With this miter saw, you can make both miter and bevel cut simultaneously. This miter saw type can make blade angle adjustments within the two planes of the wood.
You can set the miter angle by rotating the saw to its vertical pivot. Afterward, you can set the bevel angle by turning the saw’s horizontal pivot. Thus, the compound sliding miter saw is perfect for use when installing crown molding and baseboards.
Best Ways for Making a Beveled Edge
The compound miter saw is the best tool for making accurate beveled cuts on the wood ends. But if you would make a bevel cut along the length of the wood, the compound miter saw might not do well. So, it will be best if you use other tools like circular and table saws. You can also use a router for such a purpose. Below is a short description of how to use the abovementioned tools for making bevel cuts on wood:
Beveling using a Table Saw
As you peruse the different parts of the table saw, you will discover that it comes with an angle-adjustment control, usually on the saw front part. With this control, you can alter the saw blade’s angle to a bevel angle. In some instances, the control might show you the angle of the blade, but the scale might be wrong.
To ensure that you get the correct bevel angle, you can use a protractor or a bevel to determine the saw blade’s angle. Then, you can start cutting once the saw blade is correctly set.
Ripping an Angle Using a Circular Saw
You can rip a bevel cut using a circular saw. The circular saw also comes with an adjustment control that lets you alter the blade’s angle. You can get accurate results by clamping the wood securely to your workbench.
Similarly, you should ensure that the saw blade is correctly angled using a bevel or a protractor. Then, slowly cut the wood to make the bevel cut.
Cutting Bevel Using a Router
You can also utilize the router to make a beveled edge on a wood piece. All you need to do is use an angled cutting bit referred to as a chamfer bit. Similarly, you should clamp the wood well to your workbench and ensure that you use the right bit with the correct angle when shaping the wood’s edge.
The bevel cut is one of the possible angle cuts you can make as a woodworker. As mentioned above, it is made at the board’s edge. The bevel cut is perfect if you want to join ends of wood pieces. You might get frustrated using hand tools to make bevel cuts because it isn’t easy to achieve using standard hand tools. However, if you have a compound miter saw or a table saw, you can make quick work of bevel cuts.
As mentioned above, if you’re not an experienced woodworker, you might get confused between miter and bevel cuts. However, as you become more experienced in woodworking, you will soon understand the difference between the miter and the bevel cuts. You will also become a master of the bevel cuts.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.