If you need to cut a miter into a smal project part, then a router table with a small chamfer bit provides great accuracy. The angle is machined into the bit rather than having to set it by eye, so unlike using a tablesaw or a mitersaw there will be no opportunity for error.
The first step is to cut your workpiece to its final length and width. In addition, cut an MDF template or some plywood to the same dimensions as the workpiece. You will need to remove the flat edge of the workpiece, and the template will offer a surface to ride against the bearing of the bit. Use double-face tape to hold the templace against the “good” face of your workpiece, making sure that all the ends are flush.
Adjust the fence of the router-table so that the fence and the bit bearing are flush, and so that the bit height is correct to cut through the workpiece while ensuring that the template does not get damaged. Use a block of scrap wood as a backer to hold the workpiece steady while you make each cut. Next, carefully rotate the workpiece and repeate the cut on the opposite end. If you are machining multiple identical workpieces, you can use the MDF template more than once to save wood.
If the router that you are using does not have enough power to make the chamfer cut to full-depth in one go, make templates for each workpiece, and do the cut to partial depth, then adjust the bit depth and repeat the process again. Do this as many times as necessary to reach the final depth.
If you think that the miter is not strong enough, you can strnegthen it using splines. If you are careful, a fence can do the job, however it is important to note that after routing the top edge will be sharm and easy to damage on the outfeed side. Afixing a board to the top of the work piece will give the chamfer something to ride on, preventing damage to the outfeed edge. Some people find that using the fence works well for them, but if you are concerned about damage a template is a safer option.
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Ted Leger –
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