How to Use a Bowl Router Bit


The bowl router bit makes it possible to use a router along with a pattern to make wooden bowls and trays. The same router bit can be used to make custom wood cutting boards, raised letters for signs, unique boxes, and many other specialty or craft items. This bit is intended for free hand routing applications and not for the router table. The setup will be the same for most of these applications.

Step 1

Put on safety glasses and hearing protection.

Step 2

Place the bowl router bit into router and tighten.

Step 3

Tape the bowl pattern that came with your router bit to your project using double-sided tape. Additionally, you can make your own pattern; it will need to be made from at least 1/2-inch thick material.

Step 4

Drill a series of holes in the pattern area of your project, to approximately 3/8 inch less than the thickness of your project's material. (You are trying to remove as much material as possible before using the router.)

Step 5

Router out the remaining material inside the pattern area a little at a time. The router will follow the pattern along the outside edges, then continue to free hand router out the remaining interior material.

Step 6

Lower the router bit approximately 1/4 inch and repeat the last step until the bowl's depth is achieved. For the final pass, lower the router bit approximately 1/16 inch to remove any burn marks or bit chatter. This will make the sanding process a lot easier.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use the proper collar for the bowl and tray bit's diameter.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Drill with bit
  • Router
  • Double-sided tape
  • Bowl router bits
  • Pattern


  • "" Bowl and Tray

Who Can Help

  • "Complete Illustrated Guide to Routers"; Lonnie Bird; 2006
Keywords: bowl bit, router pattern, pattern area

About this Author

Jim Wildman served in the United States Marine Corps as a Communication Chief for 10 years. After his tour of duty in Desert Storm he attended Oklahoma State University receiving his Bachelor of Architecture. He worked as an architect for 10 years before starting his own design/build company. He began writing in 2009 for Demand Studios and published on eHow.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Use a Bowl Router Bit