Of Beading Tools and Scratch Stocks


If you followed my blog on the making of the Treble Clef custom box for an Etsy special order you’ll recall the carving that I did for the lid; here’s a LINK to that blog.  To be on the safe side I chose to do an example one at the same time so essentially, I ended up with two of the carved, treble clefs!  I decided that since I now have an unneeded, gold,  gilded piece that looked pretty decent why not build a frame for it and put it on the Etsy store to sell!

My first thought was to just chuck a bit in the router and hog out some Walnut for the frame but you know me, I do prefer hand work over the dust and noise of the machinery.  I used to always make my own scratch stocks and holders as the picture above shows.  Being a minimalist and frugal that always seemed best to me.  I had a good friend who I helped move from New Jersey.  During the drive he asked me what tool I really wanted and I told him that the Lie-Nielsen #66 beading tool was something I’ve always had my eye on but really went against my philosophy and frugal nature.  Well, he surprised me with it and I love using it on my work.  Something special about a hand beaded finish.

Adjusting Fence & Depth

Adjusting Fence

Since this was to be a shadow box type of frame the first step was cutting a deep rabbet in some 1 1/2″ wide Walnut that I had.  This was done on the tablesaw.  After deciding which cutter to use the fence and depth were adjusted.  Even if this in’t quite centered, as long as the fence is guided along the same edge it’ll be no problem.



Some other woodworkers I’ve talked to mention that they have problems cutting with the #66 but if you begin by taking a series of fairly short (2″-3″ or so) cuts to introduce the cutter into the wood things should cut nicely and you can complete the piece with full strokes.  You do need to allow some extra at both ends since scraping that cleanly is difficult.

Nice cuts on Walnut

Nice cuts on Walnut

When everything is set up you will be able to achieve some very nice shavings.  There may be some chatter due to the grain of the wood but by tilting the tool slightly one way or the other you can usually overcome that.  Personally, I find that a slight amount chatter adds to the charm of the work.  Once the beading work was complete, the pieces were mitered and joined with glue.  The finish on the frame is oil with a 3 part top coat wet sanded for a traditional looking piece.  I think this will be ideal for a musician to hang on his or her wall or receive as a present.  Now I’ll have to wait and see if the Etsy shoppers feel the same way!


Musicians Wall Art 7″ wide x 13″ tall

About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodworksbyJohn?ref=si_shop Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
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1 Response to Of Beading Tools and Scratch Stocks

  1. Matt Rae says:

    thanks for this write up! looks great


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