HowTo Stepby Step Technique

I W-fad. roundover bit

Rout edge of wide blank i-.r

Use dividers to lay out three berries for every rod

NOTE: Length of berry equals width of bead. Length of rod equals three berries

Use dividers to lay out three berries for every rod

NOTE: Length of berry equals width of bead. Length of rod equals three berries

Use skew chisel to incise dividing lines at layout marks

Use skew chisel to incise dividing lines at layout marks


1' A



"Roll" skew

chisel over



Rout a Bead. You start the molding by routing a "shouldered" bead on the edge of a wide blank.

A Simple Layout. To lay out the carving, use dividers to mark a 3-to-1 series of berries and rods along the crown of the bead molding.

Dividing Cuts. Simply "roll" the skew chisel over the bead with firm pressure to make dividing cuts on the layout marks.

GETTING STARTED. The technique for making berry and rod molding is shown in the How-To box below. The first step is to rout a bead on the edge of a wide blariJk. (When the carving is completed, the molding is ripped free at the table saw.) I used % "-thick stock and left a Vi6" shoulder on either side of the bead. The shoulders define the depth of the carved profile.

LAYOUT. Next, you can clamp the workpiece into the bench vise and lay out the individual elements. For this, a pair of dividers (two are better) comes in handy. The length of each berry matches the width of the bead molding — here V4". Each rod is the length of three berries, or %". You lay out three berries followed by one rod. Just mark a series of small dimples along the crown of the bead molding.

INCISING CUTS. You'll begin the carving by using the skew chisel to "incise" a dividing line at each layout mark. Place the heel of the chisel at the intersection of the shoulder and the bead and "roll" it up while applying firm pressure. Stop just past the top of the bead and readjust the position of the chisel to make the cut down the opposite side. The trick is to do this without rucking the shoulder.

The cut doesn't need to go clear to the shoulder across the entire bead. Just make it deep enough to provide a good starting point.

ROUNDING CUTS. At this point, you're ready to pick up the gouge. To cut the rounded ends of the berries and rods, the gouge is used hollow side down. Holding the gouge nearly parallel to the bead, lay it over a berry centering it between two dividing cuts. Now, lift the handle as you gently push the gouge down into the dividing cut to form one end of the berry.

If your control is good and the wood is cooperative, this can be accomplished in one cut. But this is rarely the case for me. More than likely, you'll need several cuts to form a well-rounded end. Try to avoid digging the heels of the cutting edge into the shoulder of the molding. But this is easier said than done. So don't worry if you end up with small nicks.

I like to make eight or ten cuts in one direction, then flip the work-piece around to complete the other half of each berry and rod. Don't be obsessed with cutting perfectly rounded berries. You can take time to refine the shapes later on.

CLEAN THE SHOULDER. After shaping a set of berries and rods, switch back to the skew to clean the waste from the "corners" between the elements. I like to use both the point and the heel of the chisel to remove the remaining chips and smooth and level the background.

REFINING. The final step is to use the gouge to define and refine the profiles. Hold the chisel vertically and work around each berry and rod end using gentle pressure to lightly incise the wood. Called "grounding", this gives the elements a crisp, distinct look.

A final once-over, smoothing any irregularities and refining the shapes, completes the carving. Don't worry about minor inconsistencies between the elements. It's the overall effect that's important.

MINOR SANDING. I don't spend much time sanding. You want the molding to retain its hand-carved look. Just use the folded edge of the sandpaper to clean a bit between the berries and smooth the tops.

Finally, you can carefully cut the molding from the blank. And you'll have a small, but very impressive, detail to add to your project. E9

When applied below a crown molding, a berry and rod can add an interesting layer of detail.

Hold gouge vertically and x. apply fight pressure

NOTE: Grounding gives each berry and rod distinct


Make very light incising cuts around perimeter of beads and rod ends

Rounding Cuts. With the gouge centered over the berry, apply forward pressure and tip it down into the dividing cut.

Cleanup. After shaping the berries and rods, use the skew chisel to remove the remaining chips and smooth the shoulder.

Grounding. Light, vertical incising cuts will make each berry and rod end stand out from the background.

Lift handle and push to round over berry

Skew chisel used to clean remaining waste and smooth shoulder of molding

Work point of chisel between berries and rods to remove remaining chips


Start with gouge centered upside down on bead


cuts may be necessary to form rounded end in the mailbox

Questions & Answers

They can usually replace damaged teeth.

As you inspect the teeth, you can often tell if the cutting edges are no longer sharp. You'll see a shiny edge caused by a slight rounding on the carbide teeth. But if the teeth are in good condition, you can put it back in use in your saw.

PREVIOUSLY SHARPENED. If the blade has been sharpened before, you need to take a look at how much carbide is left on the teeth. When there's not much "meat" left, it's time to get a new blade. Your sharpening service can help you decide whether or not there's enough material left to sharpen.

COST. For me, the overall expense is the determining factor in deciding whether to sharpen or replace a saw blade. If the cost of sharpening and repairing broken teeth is close to the cost of a new blade, I'll opt for the new blade.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE. If you decide to have your blade sharpened, there's one other thing to consider. And that's the experience of your sharpening service. Some blades require special sharpening techniques due to the geometry of the saw teeth. Most sharpening services use automated equipment to sharpen blades, so it pays to find out about their experience up front.

Finally, it's a good idea to ask other woodworkers in your area for recommendations. K3

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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