Whether you are in the woodworking or metalworking industry, you need to know different types of cuts to take your work to the next level. Using angled cuts such as bevels and miters add interesting details and character to your products. More so, choosing an appropriate cut is vital if you want to get the perfect look and sturdiness in any project.
So, what exactly is a bevel cut? This refers to the angled cut that is not perpendicular to the face of the material or wood. Although people usually use them for decorative purposes for frames to have an elegant look, the cuts are also functional in joinery. Meaning that they increase the surface area to make a robust and stable weld. The bevel cuts are in categories such as A, V, X, top Y, K, X and bottom Y. these descriptions are based on the letters they resemble in the crisscross section. It is basically an art that requires a considerable amount of trial and error to master a perfect bevel cut.
What is the Difference Between Bevel and Miter Cutting?
Since many people are not familiar with bevel cutting, they mostly confuse it with mitre cutting. Both these cuts are angled cuts and you can easily make them with the compound saw or circular saw. However, when it comes to setting the angles, the miter cut is set at the bottom of the saw. The bevel angle is set behind the handle.
In cuts, the bevel angle cut is made along the side of a wood. The cut softens the edges without causing damage to wood. On the other hand, the mitre cut is made relative to the square part of the material. Besides, it also includes cutting two separate pieces of materials before joining them. All in all, you can use both angle cuts on the same product to make a clean and detailed look.
How do You Make a Bevel Woodcut?
It is difficult to attain any precision with bevel cut when using hand tools. Therefore, most woodworkers use power tools such as compound miter, table saw and router. Besides, you could also use a circular saw.
Compound miter saw
You won’t be able to use a compound mitre saw to make bevel cut along the length. Though, it is the most accurate manner for beveling the end of wood material. However, it is vital to calculate the appropriate angle for precision.
Beveling with a table saw
First, use the angle adjustment control that is on the front of the saw to change the blade angle to the bevel angle that you desire. Although the control should show you the blade angle, the scale is not always correct. Therefore, be sure to use a bevel or protractor to check your blade angle if you want to avoid any issues with the measurements. After setting the blade angle, push the wood through to achieve the proper bevel cut.
Using a router
You need to combine the router with the chamfer bit to get a bevel angle cut. Just clamp the wood securely and using the chamfer bit with the angle you need, shape the straight edge of your piece to the desired bevel cut.
Ripping an angle with a circular saw
Using a circular saw to attain a bevelled angle is just as easy. Almost all circular saws have an adjustment feature that allows you to set the blade angle at the desired angle. This feature enables you to create an angle cut along the length of wood or board. Always clamp your board so that you have two free hands to work with.
Here is a short guide on how to use a circular saw for a bevel cut.
- First, clamp your material firmly on the workbench using C-clamps. You can clamp the far end and the middle of the board to give you the flexibility of changing the positions of the clamps.
- Second, unplug the saw. To set the blade angle to your desired angle, loosen the adjustment screw and tilt the base to your degree of accuracy. Tighten the screw.
- Next, change the blade depth to be a bit deeper in comparison with the thickness of the cut you want to make. Do not extend the entire blade because such exposed blades may be hazardous.
- Plan your work so that the widest part of the saw rests on the widest part of the board. Besides, ensure that the angled piece tilts in the proper direction.
- Safety first, put on your safety gear including knee pads, helmet and googles and plug in the circular saw. While holding the blade guard using one finger, start creating the cut until the blade is halfway through the wood. Then release it.
- You must ensure the front edge does not slip off the line as you make the cut. Continue cutting to the end of the wood and change the clamps if you need to. The cut-off part should fall to the ground.
Your blade should be sharp, and you should replace it if it’s not. This is to prevent chipping and damaging the wood.
Do not tilt the saw in the middle of a cut. The saw may kick back and cause you injury or ruin the board.
Common Applications of Bevel Cut
Bevel cuts have many uses in carpentry as well as benefits in crafting and welding fields. Most materials edges are softened for the purpose of safety, joining parts, creating geometrical shapes, improving resistance to weathering and for aesthetics.
The bevel cuts on materials prevent possible damage they can cause on the walls.
When joined together, the pieces of board with bevel cuts overlap with one another to look like a single piece while creating an appealing look.
People widely use it in welding to give the joints additional support. The extra support allows the materials to hold the heavy loads.
To achieve perfect results, you need to know the appropriate type of cut. Not only is it crucial in getting a pleasant look, but it also contributes to the sturdiness of your project. Back in the days, it took a lot of trial and error to get a proper bevel cut. However, new technologies have improved the accuracy, process, repeatability and speed of bevel cutting.