Using a Radius Plane to Ease Sharp Edges In woodworking and Carpentry
In the 25-years that I’ve been a carpenter I’ve always likes using hand planes. My most-used hand plane has always been my 60-degree low angle plane, which I use for easing edges and fitting parts.
How Do You Ease Your Edges?
So I ask this question, how do you guys treat your sharp wood edges?
I think we all agree that a rounded over edge, holds paint better and wears better, than a super sharp edge. To prove this point, just think about what the vacuum and hose do to the bottom edges of door trim.
For years my method was to use the block plane to create a chamfer and sandpaper to round-over and soften, sharp edges. I’d use this method on all sorts of things from:
- Door and window trim edges
- softening sharp, less-visible parts like drawer
- Rounding over drawer sides guides and runners
- Easing edges on other parts that are prone to edge damage
The issue with my hand plane was the added size, and weight in my already loaded tool belt.
It wasn’t until I complained about the weight of my block plane to anther carpenter that I discovered he used a radius plane. Once I tried it, I was hooked.
Using The Rockler Radius Plane
These days I carry a Rockler 1/8” Radius plane to round over my edges. This radius plane weighs less than a ½ pound, is flat and stores nicely in my tool belt.It’s become the most used plane on the jobsite, and in my work shop!
This plane is perfect for removing sharp edges and giving you a consistent, clean 1/8” radius. I’ve also used it on wood, plastics and PVC.
PVC is the worst… anyone whose worked with PVC trim knows that sharp edges will cut you. This plane eliminates that edge. Best part is it’s faster than using a plane and sandpaper or setting up a router with a radius bit.
Adjusting The Blades
Adjustment is simple once you figure it out. It features two carbide-tipped blades and comes with a 4mm hex wrench for easy adjustment.
Spend the time to get the blades correctly set- the edges should be barely visible when you look down the length of the inside of the brass base plate, Have plenty of sharp-edged scraps for testing.
The Rockler 1/8” Radius plane sells for $29.99 at Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
The radius plane has become one of my favorite hand tools, it’s the perfect way to gently soften an edge, without the set up time of a router or the steps of a hand plane and sand paper. I have found countless uses for it. It’s well made, is lightweight, and the carbide blades will last for some time. A useful tool for a great price.
Great tool and time saver.
Rockler Carbide-Tipped Radius Plane Video Review