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Thread: Rolling a bead off of a square shoulder

  1. #1

    Rolling a bead off of a square shoulder

    Hey all,

    I'm duplicating some balusters for my daughter's house and am looking for better solution, if possible, to making one of the details. Both top and bottom of the balusters begin with a square shoulder and then a half bead with 1/16" less diameter than the width of the shoulder begins. Hopefully, the pictures help explain. The top bead is 1/4 " tall and the bottom is 1/2" tall. I'm having a tough time getting a clean curve where the bead meets the shoulder. Right now I'm using a quarter inch spindle gouge ground to about 30 degrees, but that still leaves the top of the bead inaccessible, plus the corners of the shoulder seem to attract steel. So far I've been paring off the top of the bead with a light skew cut and sanding the the transition, but it's not ideal. Is there a way to present any tool to make that a slicing cut all the way, or is sanding just what it will take?

    Thanks for your thoughts on this.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    sykesville, maryland
    I'm no expert, but I would try a 3/8 detail gouge with the heal ground off. Dress up the square should last.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Valdosta, Georgia
    If the spindle gouge doesn't work, you could try a point tool

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Carterville, Illinois
    If you have a parting tool, it can roll beads, and the 1/8" width will fit in there quite easily. Remove as much as possible with a spindle or bowl gouge, then finish with a sharp parting tool.

    The hurrier I goes, the behinder I gets.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Some people do this with a bedan (if I understand the issue correctly).

    I personally like a Thompson detail or shallow detail gouge for beads like that since a fingernail grind can make the tip quite "pointy" and get into tight places. I think Mark StLeger told me that is his "go-to" gouge, a 1/2" I think, but would have to check my notes or give him a call. I mostly use the 3/8"

  6. #6
    Thanks all, for the input, a lot of choices to practice today (hopefully).

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