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Soften Hard Edges with a Side Bead

Use a beading tool, a plane or a router to shape this delicate detail

by Garrett Hack

Outlined by a flat-bottomed groove called a quirk, a bead softens an edge, gives it definition and draws your eye along; it can hide the gaps around drawers and doors or the joints between tongue-and-groove boards. In this article, Garrett Hack explains how to cut beads three ways – with a beading tool or scratch stock, with a beading plane, and with a router. He explains when to use which tool and how to get the best results with each. He says homemade scratch stock offers more control and versatility than manufactured beading tools. Beading tools go easy around curves and cut any size of bead. Beading planes do a smooth job and cut quickly; for straight runs, they’re superior. Routers cut consistent and handsome beads as long as you can find a bit the right size and are willing to take the time to set up. Hack also explains several uses for a simple side bead. Side information explains how to make a scratch stock to the profile of your choice.

From Fine Woodworking #134

From Fine Woodworking #134 , pp. 40 February 1, 1999

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