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Texture me surprised

October 12th, 2009

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So I was in the shop the other day fumbling around looking for a tool that I had most definitely put back in it’s proper place after it’s previous use, but has since migrated elsewhere, when my eyes became trained on a particular object. If you are thinking that the object was probably shiny, you are correct. The object of my gaze this time was a corrugated fastener which found itself separated from the herd. With my eyes fixed, the fastener gestured to me to come pick it up while saying “look at me, don’t I look like a beading profile.” I replied “why yes you do… and you’re just a little bit vein aren’t you?”

I grabbed it as-is and stuck it in my Veritas beader and went to town on a Mahogany offcut with many existing surface blemishes. Surprisingly the results weren’t completely horrible. Definitely worth playing with further…

IMG_3063 mohag

Next, I rather hastily attempted to refine the cutter by removing the bevel and finished by jointing the top surface. The third photo below shows my cutter on the left versus a virginal corrugated fastener on the right.

removingBevel jointing cuttercompare

I probably should have taken more time and been more exacting in this effort but I was anxious to get to scratching. With my jock itch relieved, I put this new cutter to work. Ideally the profile in the cutters are all 90 degrees as the Village Carpenter explains. The corrugations clearly prevent this, but it didn’t seem to create much of a problem. Here is the results in some rock maple (looks a little odd as I did it right along the heartwood/sapwood border).

maple maple2

For some reason the tactile feedback you get with scraping and scratching things is just too much fun (probably why my mosquito bites tend to never heal). The Veritas beading tool ships with predefined cutters but also with blanks for you to create custom cutters (or scrapers really). Another option is to grab an old Stanley 66 beader off ebay (can be seen in the photo above). It has a nice feel and a good fence for solid reference against square edges. I’d still recommend the Veritas though as it allows for wider profiles (such as these corrugated fasteners) and is presumably better for profiling curvilinear pieces as you can reconfigure the fence into a bullnose position (haven’t tested this but it makes sense).  Course, you really don’t even have to spend a penny for a beading tool. Visit any woodworking forum for helpful threads on making your own scratch stock as well as making the cutters from old hacksaw/bandsaw blades.

If you do want to make your own scratch-stock, you won’t do any better than following this post by The Village Carpenter where she walks you through making two incarnations of beaders. Grab some corrugated fasteners and do some beading for very little cost! Wait, what am I saying… just contact me to place an order for one of my special beading cutters for the low, low price of $9.95 per beader (only $13.95 with undercoating option added). Ask for the “Wood Zealot Special” and you’ll get 2 cutters for just $29.95. You can’t get these cutters anywhere else! Act now! Limited time offer!


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  1. October 13th, 2009 at 05:25 | #1

    I’m surprised more woodworkers don’t use scratch stock. It opens up a slew of possibilities, limited only by our imagination.

    I’d like to order two, please!

    • October 13th, 2009 at 11:00 | #2

      Completely agree. Making your own scratch stock profiles is a pretty simple, yet highly rewarding way to add creativity and uniqueness to a project.

      You’re cutters are on the way… I had to add a BFF surcharge (NJ law) of $52.50. ;-]

  2. Ed
    October 13th, 2009 at 09:08 | #3

    That’s not the way the Amish do it.

    • October 13th, 2009 at 11:06 | #4

      I guess I failed then… I don’t know how I missed this… I’m constantly asking myself “What Would the Amish Do?” before every action I take. In fact I almost made a highly sarcastic response to your comment, but after considering WWAD I realized such sarcasm would not be appropriate.

  3. Ed
    October 22nd, 2009 at 12:05 | #5

    That’s not the way Kanye West would do it.

  4. Ed
    October 26th, 2009 at 11:24 | #6

    Amma let you finish…

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