Applying a Bead to an Arched Face Frame

Several suggestions for machining a bead into an arched piece, plus the simple way: make it separately and then attach it. October 27, 2011

I use the Kreg honching jug to make my face frames. I also add beading to all my frames. I'm building a built in bookcase/cabinet that will have a beaded face frame and the client wants the top sales arched. No problem, but how do you advise to apply the bead to the arch?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
Make a curved base for your router and free hand the bead. Takes a bit of finesse, but you'll get the hang of it. Cutting the miters is fun as well.

From contributor K:
How are you cutting the bead on your face frames? I just cut the arch and then run the arch through my molder (with the off-fall from cutting my arch as a guide) using the same bead cutter I use for straight parts.

From the original questioner:
I'm thinking the arch idea is a little more involved than itís worth. I only use a router table for the bead. No molding machine.

From contributor Y:
Cut a nice clean arch. I'm assuming your arch isn't too radical. Then make a piece on your router table. Then apply that molding to your arch. If your radius is too severe make two pieces, split them on the saw so that when you are done you have your detail back bend those into your radius.

From contributor W:
If you're applying the bead to the frame, here's what I do. Cut the top piece (the arched piece) to length first, with a 35 degree miter on each end. Spring that piece in to place and attach with glue and nails, clamping if necessary. Then cut the side pieces to fit the miter, and the bottom piece if required.

From contributor Y:
Get yourself a beading tool. It allows you to cut beads and other profiles on radii as well as straight surfaces. Itís a nice infill for those applications where a router or shaper canít do it. Then from the straight side of your top rail use a combination square to mark out the 45's for your stiles and either freehand the cut with a back saw or use a radial arm or sliding compound miter saw set to the 45. With the slider you will need to set up a fence that holds the piece out before the saw stops so you can get a flat cut.

If you donít want to invest in the beading tool another option is to take a piece of 1" dowel and screw a drywall screw into the side. Grind off a 90 degree corner and set the screw the distance you need for the radius of your bead. Use the equivalent round over and bearing on your router for the outer part. It shouldnít take you more than a few minutes to scratch out the bead.

From contributor C:
I bought a Magic Moulder from Ballew Saw and Tool a few years ago and it has really paid for itself. We have run radiused arches with it power feeder was the key. We also run a lot of beaded face frame stock with it. Crown moulding with it is very easy and we use a lot of off-fall for this.

From the original questioner:
I thought about that after posting. I used to make all my onset faceframes with applied bead molding. I'll apply the bead to the arched rails.