Photos. Birbs. Wood. Food.

Barrel and Bead Moulding

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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