Federal Period Mantel- reproducing original beading - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Default Federal Period Mantel- reproducing original beading

Hi,
I am new to woodworking and am trying to reproduce a federal period mantel that I have in my house. The mantel has what appears to be 1/4" beading on one of the mantel legs that is not continuous (see blurry picture). I purchased a 1/4" v-groove round-over bit and a jig to help me reproduce the detail. It looks similar but the original has a complete bead on the left and right of the column rather than a 1/2 round on either end. how can I end the detail with a complete rounded bead? Does a hand tool exist that I can use to finish it?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 03:36 PM
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Welcome to the forum Jon. The original, if it's old enough, would have been done with a profile plane,very possibly made by Stanley. https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?...&hsimp=yhs-001

They are still available on places like ebay but finding the right blades for it could be a challenge. There were quite a few profiles available for this tool. Trying to exactly match what I see with a router will be impossible because a router is going to leave a rounded end at the beginning and end of each strip. I personally wouldn't get too hung up on trying to exactly duplicate it but would alter it just enough to make it easy to do while still retaining the overall period look of it. For example, you could machine that profile on a board and then attach the board onto the leg as a raised panel. Then you could decide whether you would want the edges of the panel trimmed with small molding or left with square edges. There are lots of possibilities that will retain the overall design.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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I took the mantel off the wall and analyzed its construction. The two legs are 7" wide x 1 1/4" thick. The beading board is 3/4" thick and is just nailed to the leg and sits on plinth blocks that are 1 1/4" thick. The beading stops and the rails and continues for the height of the panel. The rails are mortised into the legs. If I use the current bit and live with the 1/2 rounds I can move on to the base of the mantel. the rails are mortised into the legs of the mantel. I am looking for a cheap router table so I can cut these out safely. What type of bits would I need? There are so many out there is can get confusing.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 06:53 PM
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As best I can tell from the picture the profiles on the columns are stopped grooves that don't go to the end of the boards and that is where the problem arises. If I'm wrong it means that there are short pieces joined to the ends and I wouldn't do that because it is pretty much impossible to hide a joint like that. I would make the profile from end to end and then butt the ends against another profile or molding to hide the ends.

For making the convex ridges you would use a small ovolo bit. You could also accomplish a similar but opposite look by using a small round nose or veining bit which would leave a flat surface with concave grooves between the flats. It's the same general idea.

You can mortice the parts together but it's a lot of work. Most mantels today are parts attached to a plywood frame. The plywood is dimensionally stable and makes a good base. That way most parts can be attached with screws from behind. My mantel just sits on the columns. I made a socket about 1/2" deep where the top of the leg fits into. Only the weight holds it down and some French type cleats keep it from falling away from the wall.

There are a number of router bit manufacturers who have downloadable catalogs and I suggest you download one of two and spend some time checking out the profiles. CMT and Amana both have good ones because they show pictures of the profile that each bit makes. If you break each curve on the mantle down you'll be able to match it to a bit in their catalogs. In general the profiles you'll be looking at will be ovolo or round nose/veining, cove, bull nose or round over, and maybe a roman ogee. If you are going to try mortising with a router then you can use a straight or spiral up cut bit.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 07:51 PM
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Welcome to the forum Jon.

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Enjoy the knowledge of others that can be found within.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 09:45 PM
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I was going to mention to you that the "rope" molding on yours is available from many lumber yards and especially stores that deal in specialty plywoods and lumber. It will be easier to buy that than try to make it.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-08-2015, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSpecialist View Post
Hi,
I am new to woodworking and am trying to reproduce a federal period mantel that I have in my house. The mantel has what appears to be 1/4" beading on one of the mantel legs that is not continuous (see blurry picture). I purchased a 1/4" v-groove round-over bit and a jig to help me reproduce the detail. It looks similar but the original has a complete bead on the left and right of the column rather than a 1/2 round on either end. how can I end the detail with a complete rounded bead? Does a hand tool exist that I can use to finish it?
are you asking about the fluting or the rope molding???




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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 06:56 AM
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I think you could get a look very simular to the originals by using a moulding head with interchangeable cutters on your table saw. I think the old Craftsman moulding head comes with a beading cutter that should give you pretty close to that look (depending on bead size).

The Craftsman moulding heads were sold for radial arm saws on which they were kind of scary. I think they are a little less scary on a table saw. I have seen them go on ebay for $30 or so. Make sure to use start and stop blocks and a finger board on your table saw to control the work piece when laying the work piece on the cutter and taking it off (Or just turn the saw off at the end of the cut before lifting the work piece).
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 09:25 AM
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I would use a beading cutter on a table saw instead of a router. With the table saw you could move the piece over and continue making the beads. With a router you will be limited to how many beads you can make because of the height of the bit. Three would probably the max. As far as putting the mantle together use a pocket hole jig instead of your planned method. Here is a link for a beading bit.

http://www.amazon.com/Corob-Molding-...ng+head+cutter
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 10:48 AM
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If the mantle is to be painted like the photo, I would think that the beaded part could easily be made in three pieces - a beaded center and two end blocks, this would give the squared closed ends that I think are shown in the photo. I have one of the Sears molding head cutters and may even have a set of the beading cutters shown. Be aware that there are different beading cutters available, you need to have the set with the narrow outer lip so that the cutter can be indexed across the part to give multiple beads as there is a set out there where the outer lip is much wider than the internal ones. I originally purchased the cutter head and bits to use on a RAS but got really nervous looking at the setup. On a table saw however, with a feather board on the fence holding the material tight to the table and a second holding the material tight to the fence, it should be OK.

Another option would be to use the router bit stated to cut the internal beads, leaving the half round outer bead and then use a scratch stock to cut the two outer half beads. This is a relatively small profile so should be pretty easy to do. Again, I would make three sections so that the beading could have the square ends shown.

Tom
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