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Thread: Face frame with a bead

  1. #1

    Face frame with a bead

    I am building a face frame with boards routed with a quarter inch bead. I will assemble using pocket screws. However, where each piece butts against another I must cut the bead at a 45 degree angle and strip out the bead on one side before attaching.

    Any tricks or suggestions for doing this accurately and efficiently? Would you cut out everything by hand using a back saw and chisel?


  2. #2
    What you need is called a "mason's miter". Search this forum or the 'net and you will find a plethora of methods for making this joint.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    L.I., NY
    AKA "Jack Miter"...

    I've always seen this done by hand with a Japanese pull saw. Somebody had suggested to me once using a miter trimmer to start the cut followed by a sharp chisel.

  4. #4
    I've done those on my Leigh M&T jig by setting the router bit just the height to remove the bead. Then I use the router to clip off all of the bead up to the base of the 45 degree angle. I take the guide out that the router follows and simply nibble the wood with the router back and forth across the bead. Then I used my table saw to cut the 45 degree angle. The table saw step is tricky because you need to nibble at the angle so as to not take too much off or else you are starting over again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Splendora, TX
    Bill, what I did on this is build the face frame using square corner material then made a beaded trim and glued it inside the door/drawer openings. On the doors the rail/stiles are assemble using a mitered half-lap, this allowed me to route the bead on the inside after cutting the joinery.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Near saw dust
    Route out the majority on the RT and finish with chisel or pull saw. I have also used a jig to dut the 45 with a pull saw and either works.

    Currently I am beading my face frames after assembly- much quicker and no sacrifice in quality, just more glue to clean up.
    Strive for perfection...Settle for completion

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Northwestern Connecticut
    Couple of months ago FWW had an article on jack miter face/door frames using table saw/chisel to clean up. Check their archives or back issues, same method I use but they have better pictures/drawings. Real quick. Applied bead works well too.

  8. #8
    Thanks everyone for your great suggestions!

  9. #9
    Here is the method I use, using a router and templates (along with a bit of sawing and chiseling.

    Bob Lang

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Northfield, Mn
    Add the bead after the frame is together and the box is assembled. Way easier. Turns out better with less waste. The only pain is if you use the hinges that attach to the back of the face frame. They will probably have to be attached to partitions or ends.

  11. #11
    I'm currently making a kitchen using the same type of beaded face frame. I have an incra TS-LS and Wonder Fence routing system that I"m using. I altered a 45 degree chamfer bit by cutting the bearing off with a Dremel tool. Was careful not to touch the flat part of the cutting blades just under the bearing. After I cut the bearing off, I noted the width of the cut from corner to corner of the chamfer bit... (the "flat part" of the bit between the two 45 degree sides.) Using another bit with a same 1/2 inch bearing, I used the adjustment accuracy of the incra system to exactly center the bit under the router fence. (Get the bearing to barely roll with a straight edge on the face of the router fence, then move the fence back 1/4".) Height of the router bit is set to 5/16" above the router table top. This matches the depth of the beaded router cut (1/4" bead plus 1/16" groove). This depth is set using a set of Whiteside brass setup blocks, or by making it even with the top of the router table, and counting each turn of the crank arm that raises and lowers the router table. Knowing the width of the router bit's "bottom" cut and exactly centering the bit is all you need to know to do some simply math to calculate where I should have the INCRA positioned to cut the mitres on the face frames. Most cuts are the same as were on the cabinet next to it. So you really only have to calculate just a few of these "start" and "stop" points that you'll need to have the fence positioned at in order to do an entire kitchen.

  12. #12

    Bead after or before?

    As Karl mentioned, the bead can be added after the frame is assembled. Both result in good results. In my situation, I was having very lightly stained & finished hard wood face frames & didn't like the way the joinery would look if the bead was after the fact. If I were going to do some much darker stained or painted cabinets, then I would have added the bead after the face frames were assembled. It is a much easier technique.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Fort Pierce, Florida
    If you are a fan of Norm's he has done this several ways including (IFRC) using a dado blade to cut away the center part of the bead and then either a chisel to clean the miter or the saw blade angled to cut the miter. This also affects cuting the shoulder on the tenons to fit the miter.

    On the latest series about a kitchen he uses a separate bead that is added to square stock as the easiest method. The applied bead includes a shoulder to give the shadow line between the bead and the frame.

  14. #14
    The shop I work at in the summers has a machine that is specifically designed to produce this joint. I haven't taken the time to look for it on line. It has 6-7' bed with a foot pedal that you push down to activate two razor sharp blades. One blade is set at 45 degrees and it cuts the miter. The other blade is straight and cuts off the beading. It's a beautiful piece of equipment but I'm sure it costs a lot. It's a beast of a machine too. Probably impractical for non-production use.

  15. #15
    This is it.

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