This is a moulding for the edge of a piece of wood that livens it up, and is fairly quick and easy to do. Working in pine, I can create a linear foot of beading in about ten minutes, including time for stropping my gouge.

For reference, here’s what I’m referring to as barrel moulding.

Barrel moulding

The barrels in this case are three times as long as they are wide. Beaded moulding is typically the same length as width, and bead and barrel moulding alternates the two, but the technique is the same for all of them.

First you need to make a bead on the edge of a board. I generally do three beads, and then cut the interruptions in the middle one to make barrels, which I think looks pretty good. I make these using a Lie-Nielsen #66 beading tool with an appropriate blade, which in my case is a double reed profile, set up so one of the reeds is right on the edge of a ¾ inch board. I repeat the profile going both directions on the board to make a total of three reeds, with one in the center of the board. Note that multiple manufacturers make beading tools, but you can also make a scratch stock that will do the job.

Beaded boards

With the beads or reeds on the edge of the board, mark off the length of your barrels. As I said earlier, I like a 3:1 ratio if I’m going to make them uniform length, but other ratios work. Just set up your dividers and make marks a consistent distance apart down the length of the board.

With your marks made, you’ll need a #11 gouge the same width as the beads or reeds you’ve made in the board. This is also known as a veiner and has a u-shaped profile. My ¼ inch veiner that I use for making these beads has been modified with rounded wings or edges so that it doesn’t cut as far into the wood as it would with square edges.

Modified veiner

I start with the gouge almost flat on the bead, with the cutting edge about a sixteenth of an inch (or a millimeter) back from the mark for the edge of a barrel.

Veiner at the beginning of a cut

Then I rock the gouge forward and into the wood, ending with it fully vertical.

Veiner partway through a cut

Repeat this down the board, and you’ll have something that looks like the following.

Cuts completed in one direction

Now go back and do the same in the other direction. As you rotate the gouge up, you’ll get a small amount of wood pushing to the sides. If it’s too much, start a little closer together for the two cuts. After you’ve gone both directions, use a #1s or #2 gouge (also known as a skew) to clean out the waste.

Here’s a photo showing all the stages from start to finish of making the barrels.

Steps of cutting barrels

From left to right, that shows: cut one direction; cut both directions; cleaned out the corners with a #2 (skew) gouge; cut the second time from the left and right; and finally, cleaned out the second time.

I find that I have to go along the length of the board twice. If I try to do it all in one pass, the edges will be rougher because I was taking “too big a bite” at once.

Once I’ve been up and down the length of the board twice and cleaned out the waste with a skew, I use a chip brush I chopped shorter so the bristles are fairly stiff. This one has also been used for applying kakishibu, which further stiffens the bristles and gives them a reddish tint.

Shortened chip brush for cleaning beads

Once all the waste is brushed out, you’re ready to finish. Thanks for looking!

#woodworking #techniques

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A while ago I read about kakishibu, a traditional Japanese finish mostly used on softwoods.

Since the one English-language book on kakishibu is out of print, and the author doesn't have any more copies, I decided to order a bit of the fermented persimmon juice and see what I could see.

I had a small box I had built to hold some clamps. The box was made with poplar sides and a birch top, and the poplar had an unappealing shade of green that I wanted to modify. I left the bottom of the box untreated, so I could look back to compare that with the sides that I treated.

untreated poplar bottom of the box, showing the greenish cast of the poplar

Immediately after painting the box with a layer of the kakishibu, I noticed two things. One was that the reddish tint did a great job of modifying the greenish cast. I like it! The other thing is that, being water-based, it raised the grain of the box.

box immediately after treatment with kakishibu

So I sanded the box lightly with 400 grit sandpaper, then applied another coat of the kakishibu, and set the box outside in the New Mexico sun for a couple mornings while I worked on other things in the shop.

box after two mornings of sunshine

That was quite a difference! They say that kakishibu will continue to darken for a month, but after just two mornings (about 6 hours) it looks a lot more appealing than the plain poplar (scroll back to that first image...)

box after four mornings of sunshine

And after two more mornings of sunshine, the color of the box has darkened a bit more, but it seems to be slowing down. I'll keep an eye on it for a couple more weeks, and maybe add another photo, but I'm sold on kakishibu, at least for covering up the green that poplar shows. And it looks pretty good on the birch top of the box, as well.

#woodworking #finishing #techniques

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This is a manually-built list of #woodworking posts I've made. Clicking on the tag will get you to all of them, while this will take you to table of contents for the various series of posts I've done.

A list of completed Projects, although there are also some over at Peekachello Art.

Handy Tools covers tools I've either bought or built which I use frequently during my woodworking.

The Jefferson Bookcases #buildBlog walks though the steps to build the bookcases I store my books in. The last post is a typical project write-up.

The Boring Tools Till #buildBlog walks through the steps of building probably my most complex cabinet to-date.

The Baby Bow Saw #buildBlog

Kolrosing Notes are a collection of notes I've made over the years on kolrosing (cutting small lines in a surface, and then filling them with a powdered pigment), chinkin-bori (scratching a lacquered surface with tools, and then filling the scratches with gold or other fine dust) and other similar surface-decoration techniques.

The Forge Table #buildBlog describes building a small table with turned legs and a metal-clad oak top which I will use to hold my small forge.

A collection of Techniques I have written up over the years. There will likely be more additions to this from the various build blogs, as I get better organized.

Wood Stabilizing #techniques


This is a collection of things I wrote about various #woodworking and #woodturning #techniques I've figured out over the years. I don't claim to be an expert, but I've made enough mistakes that I'm not a complete beginner, either.


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A while ago I picked up a bedan to add to my set of turning tools, and it's rapidly become one of my favorites, due to its versatility and ease of sharpening (I touch it up on the same stones I use for my smaller chisels, which aren't as flat as the ones for the big chisels and plane-blades – that's probably another blog at some point).

Anyway, back to the bedan. I've mostly been using it as a heavy scraper, which it does pretty well. But that sharp edge doesn't have to be presented as a scraper. It can also be used in a peeling cut to rough a spindle in a big hurry, or, as I practiced today, to do planing cuts like a skew on steroids. (If you don't know what the various cuts are, go read Simplifying the Skew now. It'll clear things up.

So, I started practicing planing cuts. The huge bevel of a bedan means that riding the bevel is pretty idiot-proof. Even I can see and feel that big bevel rubbing on the piece I'm turning. The only trick is not catching the side and inadvertently using it as a scraper, which will push the bedan into the piece, causing a bigger catch with the edge… bad juju. But the tool is so heavy, it'll just plow through the wood and remove a giant divot. No real worry about breaking a 3/8” square piece of tool steel with mere wood.

I ripped a chunk of SPF (spruce pine fir) construction tubafor into two squarish two-by-twos, and chucked it up. Put a live center in the tailstock to hold it straight. I've found when I'm trying a new technique, using a chuck on the headstock and a live center on the tailstock makes it almost impossible to have a catch that heaves the piece of wood around the room. Not totally impossible, but almost. Safety first, kids!

First ball turned with the bedan

My first ball went really well. Wow! This was using the same tool I had just used to rough the piece to round, and there was wood everywhere. And then to get a finish like this with the same tool… Wow!

The second one… well… I started having problems.

Second ball turned with the sedan, which had a bark inclusion

See that spiral on the left of the frame? That's a catch anyone learning the skew will recognize immediately. But it wasn't that bad or scary. It just bugged me. Wait! What's with my tool-rest? Or, it's full of notches from my six months of learning to turn, and sometimes having… boo boos.

Close-up of the tool rest on my lathe, showing divots in the edge

After addressing that with a flat bastard file, the rest felt a lot better and my bedan didn't catch in the divots causing problems with my practice.

Second ball turned with the bedan, looking rounder

A pine "curly" turned off using a planing cut

That second one is a bit of wood planed off near the end of the ball. That's one heavy “curly”.

More turned balls, showing a few bits of tear-out

A turned cylinder, looking fairly smooth

A turned shape, somewhat ball-like

Things weren't all sunshine and puppies, but I feel like I made some progress this morning.

Here's the one-shot explanation if you want to try it yourself. For a planing cut, similar to rolling a bead with a skew, you want the edge of the bedan somewhere around 70 degrees away from parallel to the piece. Keep the top edge of the bevel just clear of the piece, so it doesn't act like a scraper, and rotate the bedan to keep the bevel tracking down into the v-groove you cut before starting the ball.

The bedan, positioned as to begin a planing cut

That's about what I learned this morning. I've got five more chunks of tubafor to practice on over the next five days. I'll try to post again as I figure out more.

Edited to add: my afternoon practice piece went very well. I practiced planing cuts, as well as paring cuts and turned the following piece:

Another practice piece, with a few different shapes turned into it

I was proud enough of it that I finished it by sanding it, then applying my homemade friction finish (linseed oil and shellac).

The same practice piece, finished with an oil and shellac finish

Here's a closeup of where a knot made for some very tricky grain. The bedan cut through it pretty cleanly. Note that this is after less than 3 hours of practicing with the tool.

Close-up of a knot with "tricky" grain

Techniques Contents #woodworking #woodturning #techniques

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These first entries are from 2018 & 2019 when I was living in Minnesota and started experimenting with stabilizing wood.

And that's the end of the experiments from 2018 & 2019. I'll add more once I get the rig set up again and have more pictures of dyed and stabilized wood to show.

#contents #techniques

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