Here is an easy way to cut a beaded edge in softwood. For the handle of the tool, use a hardwood scrap about 3/4-in. by 1-1/4in. by 5 in. Drill a pilot hole in the end of the block, and run in a #10 or #12 flathead wood screw, 2 in. long. Now clamp the handle in a vise, and use a hacksaw to deepen the screw slot, as shown. This forms a sharp edge on each side of the slot. By running the screw in or out, you can adjust the location of the bead, but make sure to align the slot perpendicular to the surface of the board you’re beading.
With the end of the handle acting as a guide, drag the tool down the work several times until you get a nice groove of the proper depth. The screw head cuts a square shoulder on one side, and a bevel on the other. Finish the bead by easing the beveled edge with a block plane, and touch up with sandpaper.
James Laws, Salisbury, MD
Edited and Illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #21