What are the different types & sizes of

ovolo / rounding over router cutter?

         
         
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There is a range of different types of ovolo / rounding over router cutter available.

 
 

Standard ovolo / rounding over router cutters

 
  Examples of standard ovolo router cutters  

Standard ovolo/rounding over cutters do not have a guide and so, for most applications, you will need to guide them with a side fence, clamp guide or guide bush, but they can also be used freehand for some applications. Professional TCT ovolo and round over cutters and CraftPro bead ovolos don't have guides.

 
         
  Example of the type of groove that can be created by an ovolo router cutter  

Routing grooves

Ovolo/rounding over cutters are used to create grooves with curved sides for a range of applications. This shape is commonly used when making raised panels as the groove allows the central material to stand out and appear raised. 

 
         
  A DIYer using an ovolo router cutter to produce a decorative edge on a wooden workpiece  

Producing ovolos

Standard ovolo/rounding over cutters can be used simply to create a decorative edge on items such as tables or cabinet tops.

 
         
  Example of ovolos on the edge of a window frame  

Ovolos are commonly used on the edges of window frames...

 
         
  Example of ovolos routed onto wooden beading  

...or machined onto strips of material to be used as beading. ovolo router cutters

 
         
  Using an ovolo router cutter to round off an edge  

Rounding over

These cutters can also be used to round over the edges of materials. Rounding over can be carried out for practical reasons; for example, items such as children's toys or toy chests may have their edges rounded over in order to prevent injury.

 
         
  Wooden rings with rounded edges produced by an ovolo router cutter  

As well as this, rounded edges are less likely to chip or splinter. 

 

However, rounding over can also be carried out for more aesthetic reasons. Softening the appearance of square edged worktops, window boards, and furniture can make them more pleasing to look at and touch. 

 
         
  A wooden joint created by using an ovolo router cutter  

Joint-making

By lowering an ovolo/rounding over cutter, a top step can be routed. This type of profile is often used in conjunction with a cove cut in drop leaf table joints. Jointer and scriber sets are available from the CraftPro range and the Professional TCT range for making these kinds of joints.

 
         
 

Ovolo / rounding over router cutters with shank-mounted guides

 
  An ovolo router cutter with shank mounted guide used in conjunction with a template  

Some models of ovolo/rounding over cutter have a guide mounted on their shank

 

They can be used for the same applications as standard ovolo/rounding over cutters, but are designed to follow a template mounted above or below the workpiece, rather than using another method of guiding such as a side fence. 

 
         
 

Ovolo / rounding over cutters with bottom guide

 
  An ovolo router cutter with a bottom guide  

Some ovolo/rounding over cutters have a guide pin or bearing fitted beneath their cutting edges. These cutters cannot be used for plunge cutting applications. However, because they are self-guiding, they can round over or produce ovolos on the edge of materials without the need for a side fence or clamp guide. All Trade ovolo cutters have bearings that are bottom mounted.bearing guided

 
         
 

Handrail router cutters

 
  An example of a handrail router cutter  

These cutters are used to rout the top profiles for handrails.

 
         
  An ovolo router cutter being used in conjunction with an edge moulding cutter  

They are designed to be used in conjunction with various edge moulding cutters, which are used to rout the sides of handrails. The Professional TCT range has a selection of cutters for this and so does the CraftPro range.

 
         
  An example of a thumb moulding cutter  

Thumb mould router cutters

Handrail cutters in smaller sizes can be referred to as thumb mould cutters. They do the same job but on a smaller scale.

 
         
 

Decorative ovolo router cutters

 
  A plaque router cutter, shaped to create a curved edge and a bevelled edge  

Plaque router cutters

These specific cutters are designed to produce a curved profile with a bevelled top, to accent the base of things like award plaques, name plaques, and display stands.

 
         
  An example of a flat ovolo cutter  

Flat ovolo router cutters

Flat ovolo cutters have similar applications to standard ovolo cutters, but their cutting edges have a shallower curve. This allows them to shape handrails with a flatter surface. There is also a flat ovolo without a guide.

 
         
      Decorative ovolo cutters  
         
  An example of a classic beading cutter and the shape of cut it makes  

Bead ovolo router cutters

Bead ovolo cutters are often designed to create two rounded layers of moulding alongside each other. This is particularly handy for creating panelling on cupboard doors. Some use tip-mounted bearing guides. This makes them suitable for edge work only, whereas other bead ovolo cutters can be used to bottom cut.

 
         
  Examples of the different profiles that can be created by beading ovolo cutters of different sizes  

Using bead ovolo cutters of different sizes can create moulding with or without quirks (small 'steps' at the top or bottom of a cut.

 
         
  An example of a modern skirting mould cutter and the shape of cut it makes on a piece of wood  

Modern skirting mould router cutters

This shape of cutter creates a chamfer with the upper edge rounded off - the same shape as a modern skirting board. Skirting mould cutters can also be used for architraves. 

 
         
 

Deep rounding over router cutters

 
  Examples of deep rounding router cutters  

Deep rounding over cutters have a curved upper section which is designed to round over the top of the materials, and a long straight or angled body which is designed to profile the material's edge. 

 

These cutters are ideal for simultaneously smoothing out the rough or uneven edge of a board and softening the top.

 
         
 

Sash and glazing bar router cutters

 
  Examples of window router cutters and the shape they can create on a wooden edge  

Sash and glazing bar cutters are designed to produce the curved cuts often found on window boards and glazing bars.

 
         
 

Octacut router cutters

 
  An octacut router cutter with examples of the types of edge it can be used to create  

These eight-in-one cutters are specially designed to cut eight different profiles.

 

They are usually supplied with three ball bearing guides to alter the cutting depth. 

 
         
 

Ovolo veining router cutters

 
  An example of ovolo veining router cutters, with an example of the shape of groove that they can create  

Veining cutters are generally a lot smaller and thinner than regular router cutters, which makes them suited to the often intricate task of veining.

 

Veining work can be carried out on a number of different items, but is most commonly seen on spindles and furniture legs. 

 
      ovolo router cutters  
         

What ovolo / rounding over router

cutter sizes are available?

         
 

Ovolo/rounding over router cutters are most often sized according to the following dimensions:

 
 

Shank diameter of ovolo / rounding over router cutters

 
  Diagram showing how to measure the shank diameter of an ovolo router cutter  

The shank diameter is measured across the centre of the shank from any point on its circumference.

 

Ovolo/rounding over cutters are available with ¼" (6.35mm), 8mm (5/16"), ⅜" (9.5mm), 12mm (½" approx.) and ½" (12.7mm) shank diameters.

 
         
 

Overall length of ovolo / rounding over router cutters

 
  Diagram showing how to measure the overall length of an ovolo router cutter  

The overall length of a cutter is measured from the top of the shank to the bottom of the cutting edges or guide (if there is one).

 

Ovolo/rounding cutters range in length from 47mm (1 55/64") to 64mm (2 33/64"). 

 
         
 

Diameter of ovolo / rounding over router cutters

 
  Diagram showing how to measure the diameter of an ovolo router cutter  

The diameter is the maximum width of the router cutter, and is measured from the outermost point of the cutting edges through the centre of the bit.  

 
         
  Diagram showing how to measure the diameter of an ovolo router cutter without a guide  

For cutters without a guide beneath their cutting edges, the diameter also tells you the maximum width of the path made by the router cutter in one pass.

 

Ovolo/rounding over router cutters have diameters ranging from 9.5mm (⅜") to 89mm (3½").

 
         
 

Cutting edges of ovolo / rounding over router cutters

 
  Diagram showing how to measure the length of an ovolo router cutter  

Length

This is the maximum length of the full cutting edge of the router cutter, and is measured from the top of the cutting edge to the bottom.

 

Ovolo/rounding over cutting edge lengths range from 7.5mm (5/16") to 50.8mm (2"). 

 
         
  Diagram showing how to measure the radius of an ovolo router cutter  

Radius

This is the radius of the ovolo/rounding over cutter's edges and will be the radius, or degree of curvature, they produce on your material. Ovolo/rounding over cutter radii range from 1.6mm (1/16") to 51mm (2"). 

 

The radius you choose will depend on the effect you want. Larger radii are often chosen when routing thicker materials and vice versa. 

 
         
 

Guide diameter of ovolo / rounding over router cutters

 
  Different types of guide on an ovolo router cutter  

Some ovolo/rounding over router cutters are supplied with a pin or ball bearing guide located beneath their cutting edges. 

 

With both bearing and pin-guided cutters, the distance between the outside edge of the guide and tip of the cutting edge will determine the maximum cutting depth. 

 
         
  Diagram showing the location of the bearing guide on an ovolo router cutter  

Bearings

Bearings range from 9.5mm (⅜") to 28.6mm (1⅛") in diameter. 

 
         
  Image to show that the bearing guide on an ovolo router cutter can be replaced with one of a different size  

With most models, the guide bearing can be removed and replaced with a larger or smaller one in order to alter the cutting depth of the cutter and the profile it produces. 

 

Some models are supplied with a selection of different sized bearings.

 
         
  Image showing how the size of the bearing guide can affect the shape of the cut  

Using a smaller bearing guide in relation to the cutter will allow for a deeper cut, and, if the guide is small enough, will mean the cutter produces a quirk. 

 

A larger guide in relation to the cutter will create a shallower cut, removing the quirk. 

 
         
  Diagram showing the location of the pin guide on an ovolo router cutter  

Pins

Ovolo/rounding over router cutters are available with pins ranging from 4.5mm (11/64") to 5.5mm (7/32"). Like guide bearings, using a cutter with a smaller or larger pin will alter the cutting depth, and therefore, the profile that is produced. 

 
         
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