Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 1, Issue 1
October 2006
The Venerable Bead

trying it outTake it for a spin – either pulling or pushing, whichever you (or the wood) prefer.

So, what can a scratch stock do? For a start, it can produce a bead of any size you want. Depending on the style of scratch you make, you're also not restricted to side beads on the edge of a board. You can cut center beads (on the face of a board at a distance from the edge) and multiple parallel beads or reeding. It doesn't have to be on flat work either; curves of all directions can be beaded with a scratch (albeit with a certain amount of skill required in some cases). It will also work across the grain in most instances, although on better-quality work, beads going cross-grain tend to be applied separately, rather than worked in the solid.

What a scratch stock doesn’t do well is work on soft woods. Just as with a scraper, the denser the wood the cleaner the cut. It's also rather slow. Scraping away the unwanted wood is always going to take longer than planing it, so try removing the corner of the intended bead with a plane before you start with the scratch. One tip to remember: make sure you work right to the end of your molding. Once you let a step form, it's hard to remove.

the finished tool There you have it. With this easy-to-make tool, there’s no excuse not to give a bead a break – and all without needing to know your ogees from your ovolos.

Al Frampton
 
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