I'm going to be joining 2 1x6" pieces of wood at a simple miter joint.

enter image description here

However, I want the top edges to be rounded over. I'm planning to use my router and a round over bit to soften the edges, the only problem is I'm not sure if I should...

  • Route the pieces, cut the miter, then assemble.
  • Cut the miter, route the pieces, then assemble.
  • Cut the miter, assemble, then route the piece.

If I was only rounding over the outside edge of the piece, I'd probably route it after assembling it. Since I want to round over both top edges, I'm concerned the inside corner will not come out right if I assemble the piece before routing.

  • 1
    What kind of look do you want on the routed corner? If you route first, you'll get a sharp edge on the routes. If you route last, you'll get a rounded effect. I'd advise against routing in the middle.
    – BMitch
    Mar 16, 2012 at 14:45
  • @BMitch It's not really a concern. As long as the joint looks good and is tight (no funny looking gaps), I'm happy.
    – Tester101
    Mar 16, 2012 at 15:19

2 Answers 2


Route the pieces, cut the miter, then assemble. I believe that will give the best look. You could just practice all three on some scrap to see which you like.

  • 1
    I agree with trying both on scrap. My 2 cents is that routing after assembly will give it that 70's used-bar-of-soap look, where there aren't any edges anywhere. I prefer having some edges.
    – dbracey
    Mar 16, 2012 at 16:36

I recently made a box with miter joints, and I decided against routing the round edges first with a round-over bit out of fear it would have reduced the gluing surface, and make the jointing process more complicated. But my sides were only 1/2" thick, yours are 3/4". I proceeded to cut the miters first, then assemble the sides, let the assembly fully cure, and finally route the edges. In your case I'd say with a 3/4" round-over bit. But try it on scrap first, nothing is worst than having a filet on your profile when you don't want one. You can also round all edges, and even pivot the edge around so to create a fully round vertex with a spherical profile.

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