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Hi - I have an old room filled with big oak exposed beams. They have a beautifully hand planed bead profile a carpenter did 200 years ago before they framed them in. One of the beams was the top of a wall partition that is long gone and it lacks the bead detail.

I've got the right router bit but wanted to see if anyone had suggestions for how to do this "in the air". The most straightforward thing would just be to take it slow and take lots of breaks. Holding a router up like that doesn't sound like a safe or accurate deal.

I may just buy an antique hand mounding plane as an alternative...
 

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where exactly is the bead going to be???
 

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is the beam face smooth and straight...
do you have a bit to match the profile you want???
 

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Theo
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Oooo, hard decision. I'm sure it can be done, but I don't know if I could bring myself to modifying an old original beam like that or not. I'd have to think long and hard about that, because once it's done, there's no changing back. I'm glad it's your decision, not mine.
 

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Oooo, hard decision. I'm sure it can be done, but I don't know if I could bring myself to modifying an old original beam like that or not. I'd have to think long and hard about that, because once it's done, there's no changing back. I'm glad it's your decision, not mine.
he is trying make this one look like the rest of the ones that are there..
 
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I'm with Theo on that. It'll be difficult to get the same aged patina on the new cuts for starters.
age the profile to similar...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yep it's a hard decision to change the history or do I make the natural improvement but do it consistently with the rest of the room. Someone made the decision to remove the wall 150 years ago and then cover up the ceiling with plaster. I've brought the original ceiling back but it has exposed some things done over the years since that need to also be reverted.

The beam is planed straight and square and I have a matching router bit. I'm going to have to practice a few times and see how it goes.

Maybe there is a jig of some sort to ensure it goes well?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's all pine boards and oak...on iPad and can't attach the pictures from here (or can I?)

I'm leaning towards getting a wooden mounding plane and trying that out...
 

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Yep it's a hard decision to change the history or do I make the natural improvement but do it consistently with the rest of the room. Someone made the decision to remove the wall 150 years ago and then cover up the ceiling with plaster. I've brought the original ceiling back but it has exposed some things done over the years since that need to also be reverted.

The beam is planed straight and square and I have a matching router bit. I'm going to have to practice a few times and see how it goes.

Maybe there is a jig of some sort to ensure it goes well?
bearing guided bit or a edge guide...
what make and model router do you have...
 

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Theo
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he is trying make this one look like the rest of the ones that are there..
I am aware what he wants to do. I just don't know that I would do it, because when he gets finished, that one will stand out, plus it will no longer be an original beam. As I said, glad it is his decision, not mine.
 

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I believe the question was how to do it not whether he should do it!
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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You may want to build an edge guide jig that would help you keep everything aligned. Since you are cutting the bottom of the beam you'll be holding the router upside down over your head and it is going to want to drop away from the cut. If you make a double edged guide that straddles the beam you can at least be assured that if the router drops lower it won't also wander from side to side and mess up the bead. I would would make the edge guides as long (tall?) as possible so you can put the U-shaped jig along the beam and push it up to start cutting. You might also want to attach the jig to router as if it were a baseplate.
 

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Since you are cutting the bottom of the beam you'll be holding the router upside down over your head
maybe it can be done from the face and not the bottom...
 

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Dave, You could possibly make a scratch stock profile and scrape it out, it would be much lighter. When using a molding hand plane to get the best molding, you want straight grained lumber, and you must plane down hill to the grain to get the best profile without tear out. Scraping with scratch stock can be done in either direction (like using a card scraper). Some beads were created with a screw screwed into a small block of wood with the screw head filed to a sharp edge to use by scraping in order to form 1/2 of the bead. then using a hand plane to form the outer edge of the bead. A photo of the profile would help.
 

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Dave, First I read you profile and could not determine how heavy your routers are or anything about them? It seems to me you would need the lightest possible router.

Also, and the real point Of this post: I am using my iPad and took the attached photos with it. I took the photo, it automatically went to photos then I attached using the paper clip looking icon in the "go advanced" then choose the photo from my photo library. Hence I can attach photos using my iPad so I believe you can too. A photo would be very helpful.
 

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