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I have an Al Medved beveller and want to make some extra beds for quads, pentas, and flat.  The one thing that I'm having problems with is soldering/brazing the 1/4" brass hold down bar to the Hexrod pivot piece. Al's work looked great, and after trying my hand at it his work looks unbelievable.  Is there something I'm missing about brass.  Does it take a different flux than copper.  I've soldered a lot of copper pipe and have had no problems.  But this brass rod does not want to hold as well as I would like it to.  These hold down arms come very close to the router bit and I don't want one coming off and  hitting the bit at 25,000 RPMs.  Also, does anyone have a different idea for the hold down arm and pivot piece material, maybe something I can glue that will hold up extremely well.  Or, maybe something I can drill a hole in and make the hold down pivot on itself.  (Darrin Curtis)

    You may want to use Al's dimensions for hold downs, but use 3/8" Lexan drilled as required and shaped at the end to the bed. It works for me.  (Lee Koeser)

    I recently build one of Al's type of beveler, but instead of using the brass arms, I got some flat stock, and used rubber O-ringed aluminum wheels bolted through the flat stock.  Seems to work pretty good on the test strips I've run through it.  I got the idea from Adam Vigil's drawing on Todd's Tips site.  (Mark Wendt)

    I had the same problem.  Brazing is not in my skill set!  I can solder, but soldering won't hold up, I'm sure.  Then I thought of pinning the bar to a piece of Hexrod.  Problem there is the bar can twist on the pin.  What I ended up doing is pinning the bar to the pivot piece and then soldering it. My hope is that the pin will hold it together and the solder will cause it not to twist.  So far it's working.

    I will add that I put the pivot points a little low and it is amazing how much of the back side of one of the bars was taken off by the router bit.  I didn't hear or notice it happening, just noticed one day a nice little half moon cut on the bar.  (Tim Wilhelm)

    I made hold downs for a rough beveller attachment to go on my router table out of 1/8" brass.  I drilled it, then twisted it 90º and bent the tip up so it would not catch.  I used a bolt through the brass for a pivot and a strong spring on the outer end to give it tension.  Seems to work fine.

    The wheels in Mark Wendt's post might work even better, I don't know.  (Neil Savage)

      BTW, I used nylon insert lock nuts to keep the flat stock where I wanted it on the mounting bolts.   (Neil Savage)

    You might consider silver soldering.  It's about as easy as regular soldering with a torch and it's almost as strong as brazing.  For small things you can use propane but for larger you need MAPP gas.  I made some brass handles out of a 3/8" x 3/4" brass bar about 3" or 4" long.  It was all the mapp gas torch could handle and then I had to put some insulation around between the vise and brass.  Anything smaller and it works really well.  (Onis Cogburn)


My instruction has been great and includes the use of very nice tools, including a roughing beveler.  After this class, however, my budget is going to be blown on a good planing form.  I would like to attempt making a Medved beveller, but my machinery knowledge is as limited as my budget.

I've found a diagram on the internet for a Medved, but I would like more details on construction and specific distances between parts, etc.  Can anyone point me to a source?  (Aaron Dimig)

    I built my own steel planing form for about $50-$75, didn't keep a good total and I added a few tools that I will use for other projects.  The form seems to work fine and I haven't had trouble hitting dimensions or maintaining correct angles.  (Lee Orr)

      There are many places to look, including the archives from this list.  The contraptions section will give you many ideas.  (Pete Van Schaack)

      The gadget thing is part of the trappings of the craft. A beveler is a nifty tool to own, but not necessary to start making bamboo. I wouldn't discourage you from building or buying a beveler unless it is keeping you from starting rodmaking at home.

      Almost everyone starts rodmaking rough beveling by using your plane and you don't even really need a separate set of forms to rough out your strips. You can easily do your roughing on your finish forms.

      While a Medved style beveler can be very inexpensive to make and fun to build, why not at least learn how to do it by hand just in case you ever blow that router up!

      Either way you decide, you'll find lots of help here from everyone.  (Mike Shay)


I'm interested in making a roughing beveler and was hoping to get some ideas/suggestions.  I've looked over all the tips and pictures on Todd's site.

Is there a reason why a Medved style beveler couldn't be configured horizontally.  I have a good router mounted in a really nice router table in the extension wing of my table saw.  Does anyone have a beveler configured that way?  If so maybe you could give me some suggestions, or better yet e-mail me a picture.  I'm kind of tired of roughing strips by hand.  (Aaron Gaffney)

    A horizontal beveller works just fine. There are bolts with springs that come up from the bottom of the bed into the blocks that holds the wheels.  You just tighten or loosen the bolts to adjust the wheel pressure on the strips.  There are several other ways to hold the strips in place.  That's just what I came up with to keep all the levers and springs out of the way.

    But, if you have a bench top planer, there's a simpler way to rough bevel and taper your strips.  I posted pictures of the fist step of the process this weekend.  Scroll down to "Rough Planing" on the blog to see how it works.  The first step roughs the bevel with no taper like a Medved beveller.  I stopped to heat treat at that point.  I'll go back to the planer to rough in the tapers this weekend, if I'm not fishing.  I should have pictures of tapering with the planer posted this weekend or early next week.  The obvious down side of using a planer is eating up your blades.  I've roughed out 6 rods so far without changing my blades.  The blades are not fit to plane a board at this point but they've got a lot of rods left in them.  I'll just flip them over if I need to mill a board.  Harry has been experimenting with this process as well.  (David Bolin)

      I'm very interested in the power planer approach.  I have the exact same planer as you pictured.  I tried last year to use it to rough strips but had a problem with snipe.  A couple of questions;

      (1)  are your rough forms adjustable, or is the v-groove fixed?  My rough form is 6 feet long, but the v is fixed.

      (2)  How are you able to get the planer to pull the form through without planing it also?  Maybe mine needs to be adjusted somehow?  Or maybe it will do just that.  I'll look at it tomorrow night.

      (3) For final planing do you envision running the tapered forms through the planer?  Are they wood or steel?  Tip end first or big end first?

      I'll play with my planer again before I try to make something for my router table.  Maybe I can get the snipe figured out.  (Aaron Gaffney)

        Don't cut the strips to length before roughing and you won't have a snipe problem.  Just cut the snipe off.

        (1) There are actually a total of 4 forms. The first is a ../30 bevel that produces one 60 from a square strip with one pass through the planer and no taper.  Flip that form over and you have a standard ../60 bevel with no taper.  The third form is an oversized fixed ../60 that's tapered.  The last form is adjustable.  That are used in that order.

        You don't have to use the ../30 form if you don't want to.  The alternative is to take a bunch of light passes in the ../60 like most folks do in the Medved style beveler.  It's just a lot faster with the special form.  That form is like the roughing forms in Wayne's book and others but for 90 degree starting angles since I square my strips up.  I started squaring up the strips to about the same size so I wouldn't have to be constantly adjusting the planer depth.

        (2) All four forms are designed to hold the strip up high enough above the form to cut the strip without touching the surface of the forms.  There's no reason to cut flush with the form.

        (3) The goal is a rough beveled and tapered strip to finish up with a hand plane on the steel forms.  The final passes through the planer are done on the fourth wood form which is adjustable.  That's where this gets a little unstable.  As the diameter of the strip gets smaller, the risk of lifting the strip up off the form into the cutter is greater.  I don't use the shop vac for the final passes.  And I don't try to push it to close on the tip sections.  I'd stop at least 60 thousandth over the finished diameter.

        Tony Spezio helped me figure out the lifting problem.  He had a small inexpensive planer that he used to make PM quads with wood forms like what I've described for hex rods.  It worked great.  He liked the process so much that he decided to sell the cheap planer and buy a hoss.   He bought a big Dewalt that leaves absolutely no chips behind.  It has a built in vacuum the will suck the paint off the walls.  Well, along with the paint, it sucks the strips up into the cutters.  The thing shreds the strips.  I think the Dewalt is for sale.

        By the way, you can make all those wood forms with your table saw and a router.  Probably in less time than it would take you to build a Medved style beveler.

        One me rambling thought, be careful not to set the planer to deep into the strip.  Start out with a shallow cut and increase the cut if it's pulling it through okay.  If the strip hangs in the planer, those rubber rollers will keep turning.  That will cut a groove in the rollers really quick. That's another good reason to square up your strips first. (David Bolin)

    Somewhere on Todd's Tips site is a beveler made by M-D, which sounds almost exactly what you are trying to make.  Should be on the same page (here) as the other bevelers if I remember right.   (Mark Wendt)

    I added an extra set of rollers to help hold the strips down, but other than that, it's the way I built it .  (Terry Kirkpatrick)


I have been thinking of making a roughing mill. I have a spare router and  to save a little time and abuse of my plane blade would be nice.  Is there any posted info on building one or photos I can look at to get an idea of safe setup  (Ethan Feinsod)

    I used an old 3/4 hp 3400 rpm Grinder motor for my miller and two back to back 60 degree double angle milling cutters. These are a lot larger in diameter (2-3/4") than the router cutters so they work well at a lower rpm. Think surface speed. This is actually a really low noise setup.

    I was a cabinet/furniture maker for 20 years before I started computer work and can't stand the high rpm scream of routers anymore.   Too many hours in tin buildings with screaming routers, shapers, saws of all kinds, and other extremely noisy machines. In fact I'm looking to get a quieter dust collector system for the miller because the old shop vac makes too much of that high pitched noise.  Need to use something though because a bamboo miller puts out a LOT of shavings.

    Just look on the TIPS page of the Rodmakers web site for Contraptions or something like that for ideas about motor setup and hold downs and adjustment.  (Larry Swearingen)

      Larry's comment about the amount of shavings the mill puts out brought to mind something else.  In my first rodmaking class, we all threw our shavings in the fireplace.  Let me tell you, they burn very nicely.  They make good fire starters in fairly small paper bags, but they do require a certain amount of respect.  (Neil Savage)

        I have a Scoutmaster neighbor, and he begged mine from me to put them together with paraffin to MAKE fire starters with the kids. If you want to get rid of shavings in another way than the garbage, check with your local Scout group! I think they poured the wax over the shavings in egg cartons, then cut the cells apart.  (Art Port)

          I read in Oregon Bamboo that Chris McDowell has a florist that takes all of his shavings to put in the bottom of floral arrangements.  (Will Price)

          Bamboo burns very poorly. . .

          If you want to make great fire starters, put dryer lint in paper egg cartons, and pour paraffin over that. . . works great even in a downpour.

          That's how we did it when I was a boy scout.  (Chris Obuchowski)

        Maybe, if you wet plane...  The stuff we had was well seasoned, then flamed and heat treated.  It burned hot enough we were concerned about how much there was in the fireplace.  (Neil Savage)

    Here's a thread showing pics of the completed project.  (Ron Elder)

      What dimension(s) did you use for the square groove?  It doesn't seem to be on the drawings.  TIA.  (Neil Savage)

        I cut it with a 1/4 inch router bit in two passes to make it 3/8 of an inch deep and 3/8 of an inch wide.  (Ron Elder)

    Why check Todd's Tips Site for such information: of course. Here is a link directly to the beveler page. Of course, with the variety of different types there, it may make your decision making process harder. For further confusion look at the mills page too.  (Rich Jezioro)


I am in the process of replacing my router that I have been using in my Medved beveler.

The question I have is what other members have been using as a router in their bevelers.

The other question that I have is what is better in a router - a variable speed or a solid speed router.  (Tom Peters)

    Freud routers, hands down the best quality for your buck. Quiet compared to most other routers, too. It is what Forrest Maxwell uses on his mills. I picked up a spare recently at a Woodcraft clearance sale for $99.

    I would rather have a variable speed, but that is just me. That way you can tune it to run at a speed that works best for the cutters, the bamboo, and how fast you run your strips through.  (Scott Bearden)


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