Edge profiles are a means of assigning a certain ‘character’ to a box but they can also be used to enhance the natural characteristics or features of the wood being used. Most profiles used today are created by powered routers or spindle moulders; we use them for some profiles but others are done by hand.
It is slower and much more difficult doing profiles by hand, the resulting edges are not perfect but the level of satisfaction in creating them is so much more.
As long as the joints are OK then this is the easiest edge type as it requires very little work. They give a hard or severe aspect to the box, can look really good but can be easily damaged and not ideal for some timbers (those that are prone to edge splitting and tear out).
Less prone to damage than a sharp edge and softens the overall look of the box. We use either a routing table or a small hand plane like a Stanley No 4 (or a block plane). When doing it by hand we use the plane to first create a shallow bevel and then proceed to angle the plane to create the curve – then finish with a light sand.
These also tend to give a severe look to the box but the deeper bevel can look great with some timbers as the end grain gets emphasised. This is one of the more difficult profiles to do by hand as any inaccuracies in the depth of the bevel across the edge is really noticeable. Once again, either a routing table or a hand plane but either way care needs to be taken as the potential for tear out is very great.
As the name suggests this is usually used on the top of a box and is just an extension of the rounded profile. These are only done by hand; the first bevel created by the plane is a lot deeper before being rounded. As with deep bevels care needs to be taken to avoid tear out on the ends.