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Been working on a rough beveller and when I run the strips through, if I pause or stop to regrip the strip the bit leaves a groove in the finish. I am using hold down wheels and am set up with the bit rotating counter clockwise and feeding from the left like the Adam Vigil beveller.  I have tried different size bits from 1/4' to 1/2", adjusted the spring tension from not being able to push the strip through tight, to shooting the strip into the wall loose, moved the position of the wheels closer and farther away from the bit and finally made solid bars for the hold downs instead of the wheels. Nothing that I have done has solved the problem and I know that it is probably something simple that I am doing wrong, but I can't figure what it is.  (Gary Jones)

    Sounds like you are taking to big of a bite causing it to burn.  Make at least 3 passes per side. Also what I do is feed the strip into the beveler and before  it is 1/4 way through I stand in front of the beveler and start pulling the strip with my right hand as my left hand finishes  pushing the strip. I then continue pulling the strip with hand over hand until the strip is through.  I do not let the strip pause in the cutting process. My standing position is in front of the beveler with the  strip to the right side of my waist. This way if it ever decides to get airborne it will pass by me not into me. But to be honest if your hold downs are firm and the cut is not to deep you should not have the strip trying to shoot out. Also a long bed helps keep friction on the strip making it less prone to get airborne. I have over 100 strips through my machine and not one has shot out.  (Adam Vigil)

      How big a bite are you taking on each pass?  I'm taking about .05" per pass.  Are you taking a bigger bite?  (Mark Wendt)

        To tell you the truth I do not measure how much I take off.  What I do is set cutter above the cane until it just touches. I then start the beveler and push the cane in about 1/4" or so and see how much is removed. I then lower the cutter and repeat until I get the amount of cut I am looking for. By the way I start this procedure at the widest end of the strip. I then run all strips through it. Pick the widest strip again and repeat on the other side. Usually 3 passes per side does it one removes the corner, 2 starts the angle, 3 finishes it. This way by the end all the strips are the same size with 60 degree angle.  (Adam Vigil)

          Starting with the widest strip makes sense.  That's what I've done too.  I also run all the strips through on each setting.  That way I don't have to worry about taking too big of a cut on a strip that may not have been as wide as the previous strip.  I've been hesitant to take too big of a cut, not wanting to mangle the strip.  I was curious to see how deep a cut folks are taking with their bevelers.  (Mark Wendt)

    That's the nature of routers, and wood. If you hesitate at all, you get a little burn on the material. Keep a steady feed rate and you will minimize this.  (John Channer)

    It helps a lot if you can get someone to help by pulling the strips through after you start them.  Just be sure to have the helper wear gloves and not stand in the trajectory IN CASE the strip turns into a projectile.  (Neil Savage)


I've been drooling over the JW rods Medved style beveler for a couple of months now.  Regrettably, it's out of my price range.  So I'm thinking I'm going to have a go at making one from scratch, seeing as how I have a router I never use.  I'm going to base mine on the drawings of Adam Vigil's that I got from the Tips site, which looks like it's within my capabilities.

What I'm having a little trouble with is how, with only a 60 degree tray, one gets from a (roughly) square stick to a perfectly beveled 60.  I guess I'm stuck in the thinking that you need a first angle form to get the first 60 on one side and the a second angle form to get the final 60.  Also, would a squaring tray be useful, and if so how wide/deep should the tray be?  Oh, one more thing.  It looks like these things are using what woodworkers call a climb cut.  Isn't there a tendency for the spline to be pulled into the beveler and potentially shoot across the shop?  (Bill Benham)

    I can only tell you that it does work, strips go from rectangular to triangular just fine.   I've thought of making a rectangular bed too, it should be useful, save planing the strips to 1/4" to start.  I made my beveller to fit on my router table fence, which has a micrometer adjustment.  Same idea, but the router is vertical instead of horizontal.

    Yes, it's a climb cut, and yes, it WILL throw a strip!  Use a good strong spring on the hold downs, and don't take too deep a cut.  Practice on a scrap strip or two before you work on good cane.  (Neil Savage)

    To make the beveler it is rather simple. Will it throw a strip? I have never had any problems, I make sure my hold downs are good and tight and be sure to  take around 3 passes on each side. Use Lexan for the guard and strong springs. The tensions should allow you to push and pull the strip but it should not be loose fit whatsoever. Remember router spin 27,000 rpm and take a nice clean cut. One more thing if you make your tray on the long side the surface tension provide more resistance which helps with keeping it from becoming an arrow. My tray is about 14".  (Adam Vigil)


Well, I finished my beveler last night.  It turned out pretty good, if I may say so.  I tried running a couple of short pieces of cane I had lying around through it as a test.  It may not have been a fair test as the pieces were cut offs from the nodeless rods I'm currently working on (read 10" - 11" long).  Anyway, I ran 3 strips through and kept ending up with lopsided triangles.  If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that the problem stemmed from not keeping the enamel side of the cane flush with the side of the tray groove on the initial cuts.  I sort of thought that the hold downs would take care of that.  I think I need to twist the strips a little while running them through to make sure the enamel is square with the tray (hard to do with a 10" piece of cane).  Does this make sense?  For the record, I checked the tray groove and the alignment of the tray to the router  and everything is square & true.  I have to believe this is operator error of some type.

Above and beyond this, I only have a basic understanding of how to work this machine.  If some kind soul could give me a run down on the proper procedure, and what to watch out for, I'd be grateful.  This machine is more like the JW beveler or the Adam Vigil variant than the Medved (climb cut & wheeled hold downs).

Is there a spot where I might post a picture or two of the beveler?  The arrangement of the hold downs is different and might be of interest to the list.  I used wheeled hold downs with fairly large wheels, but reversed the back hold down and lowered the angle of the hold down arms dramatically.  I got the idea from pictures of the Bellinger bevelers.  (Bill Benham)

    I've noticed that I have to ensure the enamel side is sitting flush with the groove wall on mine, at least for the first few passes when the strips are thicker and may not have a really straight edge.  Once the 60 starts getting cut, it seems to settle on it's own pretty well.  Don't try to take too big of a cut on the pass, and you should be okay.  Before you run each strip through the beveler, look at the strip and see which side needs to have more taken off.  Then run that side facing the cutter.  I usually use about one turn of the wheel per pass, until I'm starting to get to the point near the finish, then I only do a half turn on the wheel.  The threaded rod I used is 1/4" - 20, so each turn only gives a .05" cut.  Since you are using a climb cut be careful you don't take too big of a cut, have the bit grab the cane, and turn the strip into an arrow shaft.  You can probably get Todd Talsma to post the pictures on the Tips web site.  (Mark Wendt)


Well, I made a more complete test of my new beveller and got decidedly better results.  I ran 3 spliced up sections, 26" long, through the machine last night.  I took special care to make sure the enamel was as flush as I could get it to the groove wall.  I ended up with 3 nearly perfect beveled strips.  There were a couple of spots, usually near the center of the strip, where the angles drifted a degree or so.  I can live with that.  For now what I'll do is mill the strips slightly oversize and the finish/true them up with a 60 degree roughing form and a plane.  Still a vast improvement over doing all the work by hand.

I'd like to say thanks once more to all the folks that provided input on this project.  A special Thank You goes out to Mark Wendt, for providing details on how he machines his strips.  It worked very well Mark, and makes a lot of sense.  (Bill Benham)


If you want to set your beveler for strips, by using the height setting of your equilateral triangle, simply use this formula.

Say the butt is .300 take 1/2, .150 X the sine of 60 = .1732

If you are using a simple calculator without signs, use .150 X .866 (actually .866025, but .866 is close enough), gives you .173, then I'd add about .005 or so for chips, etc, on your rough in beveling.  (Jerry Andrews)

    Maybe I'm missing something but according to your math: 

    .150 x .866 = .1732

    According to my calculator .150 x .866 = .1299

    I'm confused.  (Don Schneider)

    Actually, to get .1732 you need to use .150 X 1/sin 60.  (Ron Larsen)

    For everybody but Claude:

    The strip is an equilateral triangle.  The altitude (our form setting) is related to the flat by the formula:

         alt / flat = Sin 60

    Therefore, if we have the alt and want the flat (for splitting purposes, say), the flat = alt / Sin 60. Thus the .150 / .866 or .173 that Jake referred to.

    I'm sorry, as an old math teacher I got carried away. Must have been the roar of the eraser, the smell of the chalk.

    Anyway, what I do for splitting is use the formula on the thickest end of the strip-to-be, find 125%, compare to 64ths, round up to the next one and add 1/64th.




    Initial Plane

    Split Size






    The .145 is the X1.25 (125%) no.; .145 is just under 10/64ths, so I use 11/64ths. This way I figure, no lost cane, no wasted planing!

    This sounds like a PITA, but if you have the list

    8/64    0.1250 14/64 0.2188 20/64 0.3130
    9/64    0.1406 15/64 0.2344 21/64 0.3280
    10/64  0.1563 16/64 0.2500 22/64 0.3480
    11/64  0.1719 17/64 0.2656 23/64 0.3590
    12/64  0.1875 18/64 0.2813 25/64 0.3910
    13/64  0.2031 19/64 0.2969 26/64 0.4060

    and a calculator next to you while you're running the taper for splitting, it goes pretty fast. Obviously, there's no reason to do this for all stations, just the widest on each strip. This will look like a lot LESS work to anyone who's done damage to his shoulder, as I did, planing.

    Teacher mode OFF!  (Art Port)

    Please excuse me, I meant .150 divided by .866 on the math, to give you .1732

    Hey, I'm attempting to raise 3 teenage daughters, you gotta cut me a little slack somewhere!!!!!!!  (Jerry Andrews)


I was running some strips through my Bellinger tapering beveler this weekend.  I was having some troubles with the way they are held on the form.  The method as it was told to me by Russ at Golden Witch when I bought the beveler is to take a brad and drive it in the form leaving a little sticking up so the strip fits on it by drilling a hole in the strip.  This works but there has got to be a better way.  Is there any other methods out there that you production guys would be willing to share.  I am all ears if you want to share. (Pete Lawrence)

    Funny you should mention the fastening system on the form. I have the same beveler, and I have been racking my brain trying to come up with a better solution also. So far I haven't. If you come up with anything I'd love to here it.

    One thing I have done though, is chuck the wood forms I've made. Here in western Colorado getting decent wood, anything harder than pine, is difficult and expensive. I've tried poplar and it still warps and changes dimension with humidity/temperature. I went to a local plastics supplier with the intent of getting a 4' x 8' x .480 thick piece of a plastic material, the white, very smooth stuff used for making cutting boards in commercial kitchens. I was told however, that this stuff will also change with humidity/temp. because it is a soft material and a little porous. What I ended up with is a phenolic resin material. Looks like a cross between plastic and fiberglass, orange/red in color. Cuts easily on a table saw and on the beveler, stays absolutely straight, slides through the beveler fence like butter, and best of all you get very accurate tapers that will not change dimension. Better living through chemistry!

    This may not be a problem where you live, just thought I'd pass it on.  (Tom Vagell)

      My supplier, SSD Plastics calls it phenolic resin board. It is expensive, a sheet 5' long by 30" wide is about $180.00, and will give you approximately eight sets of forms. However, it is cheaper per square foot in larger quantities like full sheets. For me, it was a less expensive way to go than hard woods 5/8" or 3/4" that I would have to plane down to .480 thickness (I don't have a surface planer, and I looked at the 12" DeWalt @ $475.00 and decided staying married might be more important). Also, I bet you can find the stuff for less money if you shop around, since the isolated area where I live tends to be more expensive.  (Tom Vagell)

    What about scraps of Corian?  (Chris Lucker)

      Yeah, and you can splice them together to make the form!  (Mike Canazon)

        How about Corian forms with a plane bearing surface of Teflon?  Smooooooth?  Or something like an air hockey table with those little holes.

        The floating planes of Corian.  (Joe West)

      Corian would probably work good, but too thick being used mainly for kitchen counter tops? Most of the Corian I've seen is about 1 1/2". It would be worth paying a shop to plane it though if you could get scraps for free.  (Tom Vagell)

        Look on eBay.  It isn't really that thick in all cases.  I've seen it around 1/4", the glue up process allows them to make it any thickness.  (Brian Creek)

        Standard Corian, or any other solid surface material, is 1/2" thick, the edges are laminated with several layers to give the illusion of 1 1/2" thickness. It won't hold a thread worth a hoot, is very expensive unless you know someone in the business and can get full length scrap, it is also a bit on the brittle side, being an acrylic. I've made many Corian countertops, as well as Avonite and have considered it for patterns for my milling machine, but have stayed with maple, may try MDF or Micarta.  (John Channer)

    I use rubber work gloves by Atlas. I have firm down pressure even if the nail gives or the hole breaks wide open. It will not move once you master the holding down technique. I hold down with both hands on the infeed side and push the strip and taper bar through. When it gets half way through I move around to the outfeed side one hand at a time and then pull firmly through. The grip of the rubber makes a good contact and keeps the strip right on top.

    WARNING,  always be careful using work gloves around a beveller.  (Bob Maulucci)

    One thing that may help is to make sure that your brad is just a few thousandths larger than the diameter of the hole you drill. That will keep the strip on the brad better. I simply do not do tapering by myself. My wife is excellent at pulling them through, and she reaches in and holds it down as soon as it exits. I am pushing, she is holding, and at the end she pulls the rest through. We have his and hers matching safety glasses, gloves, and hearing protection. Total bonding, and I haven't lost a strip yet while tapering.

    Now, for rough tapering, my favorite trick is to feed at least one of them through with the enamel side up.  (Jeff Schaeffer)


I use a power beveler to put an initial 60 degree angle on my untapered strips.  But it seems the machine removes so much material to achieve this, I am left with small/thin strips.  For tip sections it’s no problem, but for mid and butt sections it often is.  In fact on butt sections I’ll often plane those strips on a roughing form, thereby assuring me enough material for enlarged or swelled butts.  I usually work from 5/16” strips and put the angles on those.  Is it as obvious as using bigger strips to start with, say 3/8”?  Or are there some other techniques I can use?  I do final tapering on a MHM, but don’t want to use it for roughing.  (Rich Young)

    I am not sure what type of beveler you have. If you have a Bellinger type beveler you should have an ability to raise and lower the beveler bed that holds the strip into or away from the cutter blades to control the cutting depth. Also you should have some sort of lateral adjustment to center the strip on the cutter blades. This suggestion refers to a beveler that uses two 60 degree cutters side by side. If your cutter is not like this, then someone else may have some suggestions.  (Frank Paul)

      I should clarify a bit more.  I’m using a JW Beveler which has only up and down adjustment.  That is, into the router bit or away from it.  I’m using an Amana spiral bit in the router also.  (Rich Young)

        I also use a JW beveler, but am not having the same problems you are.  What size strip are you starting with?  Also, how much are you taking off on the first pass?  (Louis DeVos)

      A spiral bit cuts at a slight angle and produces a smoother cut than a straight bit.  It actually lifts less than a straight.    If you go to the JW web site and click on the rough beveler you can see a photo of the unit. This beveler has a v-groove 12” long and no hold-downs.  I don’t believe that is a problem here either.  I’m wondering if the depth of v-groove has any thing to do with it.  I’m working on my 25th rod and have dealt with this for years, but am finally getting tired of doing so and hope to find out an answer.  (Rich Young)

        I've had the same problem with my JW beveler, but only if I started with strips that were too small to begin with. If you start using a wide enough strip you should be able to get the angles right and still have plenty of bamboo left. I've been able to get Dickersonian butt sections with the JW. I hope I understood your quandary correctly and that I'm answering the question I think I'm answering.  (Henry Mitchell)

        You should be on the phone with JW, it's always best to go right to the source.  (John Channer)


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