Just made a scratchstock for beading some bed rails. I am having
trouble getting clean cuts. The cutter wants to wander just a bit and
I get a lot of tearout at the edges of my bead, and the cut is rough
at the edges. The bead itself seem to be pretty good, but I think
that's because it is getting burnished by the cutter.
What are important factors in scratchstock use? I am trying to bead
poplar. Maybe that's not a very good wood for beading. Are vertical
cuts more difficult? I have essentially vertical cuts on each side of
the bead. Is the cutter steel choice really that important? I am
using an old hose clamp for cutter stock, but maybe I need to find an
old saw blade. Do I need to burnish the cutter edges as I would a
cabinet scraper blade? This would be almost impossible, given the
small dimensions of the cutter profile. Is there usually some cleanup
work done on scraped beads with chisels/gouges/sandpaper?
Thanks for all your help.
Don't claim to be an expert, but here's my 2 cents worth...
The blade on a scratch beader should be of pretty food steel, something
better, at least than a hose clamp. I use old blades from my Stanley knife.
(the replaceable blade type). Grind off most of the edge, and put the
profile on with a dremel or similar grinder tool. Should be a slight bevel
to the grind to make an edge. After a few passes on a medium stone (on the
face) to do away with the burr created, you're all set.
When scratching, start with light cuts, I increase the depth of cut by
repositioning the blade, sorta' like using a router bit. A little at a time.
Also, important to scratch with the grain of the wood, if possible, this
will make for a much smoother surface.
I have made several things with this set up and used it on various woods,
with success, cross grain is a little harder to master.
Well, duh! I have a Dremel Moto Tool, and cast-off saw blades.
Sometimes it just takes a little whack by someone else to get my brain
Also, do you think the better steel will result in less tearout in
poplar, especially in the sap wood? I guess the only thing to do is
Thanks for the advice.
On Jun 24, 5:17 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Good for you! I like beaded edges myself (really crave them
for my next bookshelves) and router bits are all the wrong size.
Not the manufacturer's fault, really; carbide is all the
rage, and you can't make the delicate beads with carbide
cutters (not enough edge support, the carbide breaks).
Best steel for this might be an old dull file blade, or maybe a
saw blade (hacksaw is easiest to work with), because you
want high-carbon steel. Flexing of the blade will cause
a rough cut, you want the steel behind the edge to be rigid
(and the edge stays sharp longer). As far as I can tell, the right
procedure is to cut many shallow passes, and because
it's usually with the grain, you have to be careful the fence
My next project (one of 'em) is a high-angle (60 degrees) plane
for beading. I've considered using a metal body rabbet plane
with a custom-ground blade, too, but the rigidity of a wood
plane with a thick-ish blade should do fine. And it's a lot of work
to make a blade that hits the rabbet plane's adjustment mechanism.
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