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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Veritas beading tool

Before I sound like an advertisement, this isn't a review. Just a look at filing a cutter for the Veritas Beading Tool. I just got this tool a couple of weeks ago in my box-o-goodies. I want to use it on the back panel of the oak box that I am making to add a little something. While I'm waiting on the glue to dry for the panel, I thought I would document filing a cutter.
The beading tool comes with a single point cutter and 5 blanks. If you file each end of all 6 cutters, that gives you 12 different bead profiles. I pulled out a blank, and opted for a two point cutter. Here goes...

The beading tool, with a blank acting as a place holder.
Filing two points, means marking out three centerlines for the files. In this case, I marked the center of the blank. The second and third lines are half of a file diameter to either side. This way, a half circle from each file will meet at a sharp point.

I used a triangular file to notch each line to give the round files a good starting point.

Using a 4" bastard cut round file, I started the rough filing.
After the rounds are roughly formed, grab a flat file to take the shoulder off of each side.

The line across the face of the cutter is a good visual depth reference. Also, I switched to a second cut file.

All filed up. I used a finish cut file (that's three total files) to reach the final shape. Cut the shoulders at a slight angle so that they terminate a bit deeper than the center cut out. That will give the clearance you need to keep the shoulders from scratching.

Once the filing is done, flatten it on a waterstone. This will also remove any burr left over from filing.
Tested it out on a piece of scrap, looks good to me!
The cutter blanks are about the same hardness as saw steel, which allows you to shape them any way you want with just files. There are no special tools required. Having 6 cutters will let you try all sorts of shapes out. When a cutter starts to dull, and round over at the points, all you need to do is lightly file it, and remove the burr on a fine stone.
As a side note, if you don't have a selection of files, I recommend you check out Victor Machine. I haven't been able to find better prices for files anywhere else yet. You can get almost every file you would ever need for under $100 if you were so inclined. I'm not affiliated, just passing on a tip.


  1. Nice outline of how you worked the cutter. When you say to " Cut the shoulders at a slight angle" do you mean the lines should slope away left to right from the center outward?



  2. Very nicely done!

    Jim B

  3. Thank you, Jim.
    Tico-yes, the shoulders should slope exactly as you describe. As I wrote that, I knew there would be a better way to word it. I've been in a state of brain-drain lately.

  4. It is a really simple process and well documented. Well put. Nice trick with the blue marking background. It certainly helps to see what is what and not go off on the wrong side of the line.