Surprise swap beading plane with adjustable fence

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 07-09-2017 01:15 AM 2478 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After I had wrapped up my scraper plane for the spring 2017 surprise swap it felt like the pressure was off a little. I had drawn Mark Kornell as a recipient and Mark makes planes. Well, I’d made a plane I didn’t feel bad about sending to him, but I wanted to make something else to sweeten the deal.

I’ve got a Lie-Nielsen 66 beading tool that I like a lot (though I’m still figuring out how and when to use it) but there are times when you want two beads on something. Or a complicated bead that can’t be done with a single tool. In that case, it’s handy to have two on hand, so I figured I’d make one for myself, and if it worked out, I could make one as an add-on for the swap.

My first attempt used a handle identical to the scraper plane (I had cut three out of a piece of 8/4 red oak), but I quickly determined that would be too thick, so I ripped it in half. After finishing things, that gives a 3/4” thick handle, which feels pretty good in my hands. I cut a slot into the front of it to hold the blade (using the LN66 blade as a template – that way Stanley #66 blades should work too) and put on a block of macacauba to hold the blade. But how to make an adjustable fence out of wood? And I also wanted a longer fence than the LN66 had, because sometimes that will twist a little and get misaligned.

After a few days of thought, I realized that I could slide the entire block of macacauba left and right, and if I attached the fence to that, I would have an adjustable fence. I put together a quick prototype using plywood, and it seemed to work, so on with the build! I built the fence out of scraps of elm and walnut I had around the shop, and glued that into the macacauba block (after washing it with acetone so the glue would stick). Finished the fence and retaining block with orange shellac, and the handle with boiled linseed oil and a little paste wax. Adjusted the holes into slots, and fiddled with them until things adjusted smoothly. Engraved my mark and a commemoration of the swap and it was ready to ship. Mark was happy to receive it, and I’m glad I stretched a bit to make a tool I wasn’t sure how to make when I started.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

17 comments so far

View PoohBaah's profile


521 posts in 2274 days

#1 posted 07-09-2017 02:06 AM

Good looking plane. I am really intrigued by a beading plane.

-- Neil, Indiana - Instagram: neilsalomon

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5164 posts in 1316 days

#2 posted 07-09-2017 02:18 AM

The one project I have posted that used it was my butter dish – I used the bead to hide the imperfections in the glue joint between the sassafras and walnut.

But think about just about any piece of moulding, and you can make it with a beading plane (or two). When I go to rebuild the other pair of windows (that match my million-dollar-windows), I’ll need to make new muntins from scratch, and I’ll do that with a beading plane or two.

A scratch-stock can be used to similar effect, but I prefer a two-handed tool, especially if I need to head more than a couple inches.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1171 posts in 3264 days

#3 posted 07-09-2017 05:28 AM

As the lucky recipient, I have to add that these planes have a nice feel in the hands. I’m looking forward to using them.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4198 posts in 1473 days

#4 posted 07-09-2017 08:59 AM

Excellent Dave. Really cool you made it to fit the Stanley 66/LN 66 so the blades are interchangeable. Awesome job on both for the swap.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5164 posts in 1316 days

#5 posted 07-09-2017 10:55 AM

Mark, the main thing I’d like to improve is still having a full range for the adjustable fence, but somehow keeping it clear of the handle. If you move it to either edge of the range, you might need to move your hand on the handle a bit to clear the front. Beyond that, since you already have a LN 66, you should find lots of uses for this.

Yeah, Dave. The Stanley blades are a little thinner and might need a shim so they’ll stay in place, but I couldn’t find any antiques to guarantee fit. I suspect that when I do, I’ll just add a piece of crubber (from Benchcrafted) to fill the gap, and all will be well. Thanks!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View jeffswildwood's profile


4428 posts in 2711 days

#6 posted 07-09-2017 11:59 AM

Really nice job Dave. The woods used in this are beautiful!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5164 posts in 1316 days

#7 posted 07-09-2017 12:09 PM

Thanks, Jeff! I was especially pleased with the way the elm lit up with the orange shellac. That’s a combination I’ll be using again.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View helluvawreck's profile


32116 posts in 3600 days

#8 posted 07-09-2017 01:22 PM

This is a very nice shop-made tool. nice craftsmanship.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View builtinbkyn's profile


3008 posts in 1674 days

#9 posted 07-09-2017 02:02 PM

Nice work on both planes Dave. I really like how you personalized them for Mark and tagged them with the swap date.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5164 posts in 1316 days

#10 posted 07-09-2017 02:42 PM

Thanks Charles!

Bill, I saw that someone had done that in the last swap and thought that was darned cool. Cool enough to buy the laser as opposed to just getting a branding iron made with my own mark.

Did it all on my iPhone/iPad, too. No “real computers” were harmed!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View HokieKen's profile


13524 posts in 1872 days

#11 posted 07-09-2017 03:55 PM

Well done AGAIN Dave. You really enhanced this swap both in the forum and in the A-grade contibutions you brought to the table. Glad you joined us!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5164 posts in 1316 days

#12 posted 07-09-2017 04:11 PM

Thanks, Kenny. It was fun, and you and Dave livened things up quite a bit. Just don’t make me run the next one. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View NotaJock's profile


176 posts in 1833 days

#13 posted 07-09-2017 05:04 PM

I’ve never seen such a tool and am having difficulties imagining how it works. How are the blades mounted?

-- Mike in SoCal, now East Texas

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5164 posts in 1316 days

#14 posted 07-09-2017 05:39 PM

Mike, the blade mounts vertically in the slot in the piece of oak. It’s held in place by the macacauba with the two slots. It’s dragged along the work-piece shearing off thin bits of wood, and each time you pull it along, you remove a little more wood until you hit the profile in the blade.

Make sense? Look at the Lie-Nielsen beading tool I linked at the top of the description for pictures of a commercial version.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5164 posts in 1316 days

#15 posted 07-09-2017 05:42 PM

This video shows one of the LN guys setting up one of their beading tools.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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