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Beading Plane

I recently acquired two wooden beading planes, a 1/4 inch and a 1/2 inch. A beaded edge on a wooden project is decorative and more resistant to damage than a plain square edge. Planes that do beading are not particularly rare, this one came from the MWTCA tool show at Garfield Farm August 4, 2019.

beading plane

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The half inch beading plane had a seriously abused cutter. The quirk part had been improperly sharpened so the first order of business was to grind that back to a proper square edge on the bench grinder. Inserting the cutter back in the plane with the quirk edge aligned showed the concave part was now about an eighth of an inch too high.

Shaping is not sharpening. You need finer grits to create a cutting edge. Flattening the back is the same exercise as for any other plane blade or chisel and I honed the quirk by setting the blade up in a jig. These narrow blades are not happy in the cheap side clamp honing jigs. I found the best way to clamp one up was to lay the blade flat on the rods that connect the two sides of the jig. Check after every adjustment that the cutter is still tight against the rods. I honed the quirk first by using the jig just at the edge of my stones. Then did the flat on the other side, then the concave edge.

We stock a wide range of replacement plane irons produced in the UK by our sister company Ray Iles Edge Tools. Always razor sharp and a perfect match to bring working functionality back to an old or well used plane. This is the RI013 a replacement Set of Eight Cutters - To fit Stanley No. 66 beading plane, as per original pattern

A bead may be created with an electric router, a special moulding handplane[1] or a scratch stock.[2] Beads are usually cut directly into the edge of the item to which the bead is being applied. However, beads applied across the grain are usually cut into a separate piece which is then fixed in position.

> Molding plane anatomy and how to choose and buy the best> The differences between dedicated molding planes, hollows & rounds, beading planes, scratch stock, and cleanup planes> How to refurbish an antique moulding plane, from blade, to wedge and even how to replace damaged boxing> How to use a complex moulding plane> The steps to lay out and create an Ovolo and Ogee molding profile, and more.

Antique Stanley Sweetheart, USA No: 66 nickel plated hand beading plane (PAT dated Feb.9. 1886) complete with 2 No: fences and 5 cutters, fully refurbished ready for use and in good used condition.

Antique Stanley Sweetheart, USA No: 66 nickel plated hand beading plane (PAT dated Feb.9. 1886) complete with 2 No: fences and 5 cutters, fully refurbished ready for use and in good used condition.

The key is understanding the space you have to play in and breaking it up into elements that your set of tools can accommodate. In fact when laying out the profiles on my actual project piece, I use my planes to trace the profiles. There are much more accurate and exacting methods for laying out the profile using rulers, dividers, and circle templates and these are really necessary if you are trying to reproduce exactly a moulding. The thing is, I rarely reproduce anything. I would rather put my own spin on it and make it truly my own. So how much space do you have to work with?

When you decide that the plane is worth restoring, the first step is to clean off the dirt. With a little elbow grease and some steel wool, you can clean the body of the plane in no time flat. It took me about ten minutes to get rid of all the dirt and grime.

Vintage Stanley combination planes have always intrigued me. Hand plane technology progressed through the centuries with wooden planes making way for metal-bodied planes. Molding, grooving and dado planes, including plow, dado, beading, etc., have historically been dedicated wooden planes with the profile and pre-set offset from the edge of the board built-in. This translated to having a different wooden plane for each application, and could get cumbersome for the cabinetmaker of the time. The Stanley No.45 and No.55 combination planes were at the end of the evolutionary line of hand planes. Stanley developed this combination plane with an adjustable fence which is capable of accepting an assortment of straight blades, beading planes, and match groove blades. This design removed the need to have multiple wooden planes for different sized grooves, dadoes, rabbets and beads.

This particular series of plane, the Stanley No. 45 - 55, was developed at the peak of the metal hand plane design era (late 1800's). It is interesting that if one were to develop a similar-featured plane today, the design would probably look not too much different than the Stanley No. 45. This particular model, the Stanley No. 45 has been in production from the late 1800's to the middle of the 1900's with many different variants along the way. Each variant was either adopted for manufacturing efficiency or to implement a new feature into the plane.

The type I have (Type 7B) is very likely early 1904-06 vintage. The Patrick Leach "Blood and Gore" web site is a great place to visit and determine what vintage your old Stanley or Record plane is. Certain small features are either part of this plane or not, enough to narrow down the production dates of Stanley planes to within a few years of each other.

For example, my Stanley No. 45 has the floral motifs along the main body and sliding, adjustable skate which date this plane to before 1910 when the motif became a pebble-effect. The knob was also moved from the main body to the fence in the very late 1800's. All wood components are original rosewood, the plane body itself is nickel-plated. Very early No. 45's were japanned and had brass fittings. Nickel-plated bodies were introduced afterwards.

The No. 45 has a small learning curve and a series of adjustments to complete even before beginning to plow grooves or dadoes. There are spurs or nickers on both the main body skate and the sliding skate, just ahead of the blade. The skates are called that either because they skate along the surface of the wood, and they look like ice skates in shape. The skates serve to both support the blade at the rear and to create a bearing surface for the plane to ride in along the board being grooved. The adjustable, sliding skate can be removed for the narrowest, 1/4 in. cutter. The fixed, single skate is sufficient for support of the smallest cutter.

Three of the straight cutters (1/4 in, 5/16 in., 3/8 in. blades) were sharpened and honed, as well a 3/8 in. beading cutter was honed to perform testing of the plane. I ultimately used cherry and birch. The No. 45 was initially tested on mahogany, but the grain is interlocking and reverses presenting opportunity for tear out with this plane. This plane does however easily plow through straight-grained woods creating straight, symmetric and accurate beads, grooves, dadoes in no time! Setup time isn't a whole lot more than a setting up a router and bit in a router table.

Shown are dual skates and a cutter (1/4 in. blade). The skate between the main body at the right and the adjustable fence at the left is the sliding, adjustable skate. Notice the edges of the dual skates are set slightly narrower than the edge of the cutter, this to not inhibit or bind the plane in the groove. Also notice the dual skates ahead of the cutter have spurs or nickers along their edges, used to score when cutting dadoes (cross-grain).

Stanley No. 45 has been set up to make 1/2 in. rabbets along the length of a birch board. Two necessary adjustments are the depth of the cutter in relation to the skates and the sliding skate location. This skate supports the outboard part of the 7/8 in. cutter. The depth gauge adjustment also needs to be set for the vertical depth of the rabbet. It is important to keep the plane vertical for a level rabbet, along with keeping the fence along the edge of the board throughout the cut.

Side view of the main body of the Stanley No. 45 with adjustable depth stop and scoring cutter. Notice also the floral motif on the body which significantly narrows the age of this plane to circa 1895- 1905.

Shown is an assortment of cutters that come with this particular model. I also have a few extra cutters and other parts for specialized applications (slitter, cam). The cutters in the middle of the box have been sharpened, backs lapped, and honed to 4000 grit. The 3/8 in. beading cutter used above has only the back lapped to not deform the profile of the cutter. Match cutter is at the right, used for creating tongue and grooves.

This is the original box this Stanley No. 45 was purchased in... with 100 years of wear showing. It was fun bringing this plane back to life as a nice user plane. I intend to use it to create joinery on some of my future projects.

Chris Marshall: While quirks and beads can be cut by hand with molding planes, a number of router bits have quirks in their profiles, too. The quirked beading bit (orange in photo, below) is one my favorites for adding a bit of shadow line and shape to the bottom edges of apron boards on small tables.

Antique Circa 1824-1860 N. Spaulding Skew Rabbet Plane This antique wooden skewed rabbet (or shoulder) plane features its original blade and is marked, "N. SPAULDING McLEAN," indicating that it was made by Nathaniel Spaulding of McLean, New York, who made planes in McClean from 1824 to 1860 before moving to Ithica and changing his maker's mark. He was the father of William Spalding (no U). Plane is 9 1/2" long, 3 1/4" tall (without peg and blade installed), and 1 3/4" wide. 041b061a72


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