Side Bead Planes

Side beads, or beading planes, are used to put a bead along the edge of a board, and can be used in many situations, such as back boards, the bottom of table aprons, or along shelf fronts. A very versatile plane, these were, along with hollow and rounds, perhaps the most common molding plane produced. These are one of the easiest molding planes to use, with an integral fence and depth stop, and no spring. (The plane is held vertically.) Simply hold the plane against the edge of the stock being profiled, and make passes until the depth stop prevents any further cutting. For a different treatment, running the plane along two sides of a corner will produce a 3/4 bead on that corner.

Our planes are made of quarter sawn American Beech. The tapered O-1 tool steel iron is bedded at 55 Degrees for use in hardwoods, and is sharp and ready to use. The bead is boxed with persimmon, which is cut with the grain on a bias to match the bed, to ensure a long tool life. We produce these planes in 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, and a new size of 3/8″ beads, the most common and useful for furniture use. It should be mentioned that our sizing is a measurement of the bead itself, and that the actual profile, including the quirk, is about 1/32″ wider than the bead size. Thus the 1/8 is 5/32″ wide, the 3/16 is 7/32″ wide,the 1/4 is 9/32″wide, and the 3/8″ is 13/32″ wide.

Finish is Minwax Antique Oil Varnish, with a coat of paste wax added for a smooth even sheen and inviting feel.

4 Responses

  1. Hello – Do you sell separately the profile iron for a 1/4″ side bead plane? I have a beading plane wood body but not the iron.

    1. I sell tapered molding plane irons that you would need to profile and heat treat yourself. This is necessary to accurately match the existing plane the iron is being used in.

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