The Society of American Period Furniture Makers

Tools and Techniques => Period design and construction => Topic started by: RaderD on January 29, 2013, 08:33:28 PM

Title: Cutting Cockbeading
Post by: RaderD on January 29, 2013, 08:33:28 PM
I am in the process of reproducing the Winchester Desk.  I started it at Marc Adams School of Woodworking last summer with Jeff Headley and Steve Hamilton.  Very intense and thoroughly enjoyable week I might add, but seven days of class time was only the beginning and I am now trying to finish it.  We discussed adding cockbeading to the drawers and Jeff indicated a video about cutting cockbead was available on the SAPFM site, but I have not been able to locate it.  If someone could point me to it I would appreciate it.  My desk is of solid walnut, not veneered. So technically the cockbeading is only for its appearance and not for veneer protection.

Being very new to period furniture I don't know much about cockbeading and am in the process of reviewing past posts on the subject to learn more.  Do I need to consider grain orientation?  Does it effect the durability and stability of the cockbead?  I have read that the side should be rabbetted to allow the dovetails to show.  Do you plane down the entire top and bottom of the drawer to allow for a 1/8" cockbead on the full surface or is the top and bottom rabetted to a partial width - say 1/2"?   What is the spacing for nailing?    I assume pre-drilling nail holes is needed to prevent splitting the cockbead.  Should it also be glued?  Does it make a difference if you lay out the cockbeading before or after drawer assembly and glue up? 
Title: Re: Cutting Cockbeading
Post by: Jeff Saylor on January 29, 2013, 10:09:10 PM
If you get Fine Woodworking Magazine, check out issue #183.  There's an excellent article on beading a drawer by Steve Latta.  Should answer all your questiions.
Title: Re: Cutting Cockbeading
Post by: Mark Maleski on January 30, 2013, 10:10:04 AM
Jeff posted a description and some photos of his approach for "cog beading" on pages 3 and 4 of the "Outstanding Chest" thread:

This should answer some of the questions you asked.  I'll bet Jeff will soon respond in this thread.
Title: Re: Cutting Cockbeading
Post by: Jack Plane on January 30, 2013, 02:59:49 PM
I blogged about cockbeading which may also be of help... (
Title: Re: Cutting Cockbeading
Post by: Jeff L Headley on January 30, 2013, 07:40:30 PM
I have found that cockbeading is better to fit in steps. I would build my drawer to fit the cavity with a dry fit(unglued) and drawer bottom installed. After fitting to a very small tolerance. Seasons need to be considered. Winter more gap summer less gap. Fit drawer so it slides in and out freely. Slide drawer into case without drawer stops so that it is recessed. With a piece of your beading mark, with a finely sharpened pencil, underneath the beading under the above rail. Then with your pencil mark the bottom above the lower rail. Take drawer front apart plane to inside pencil line. Then reassemble and glue up in case. Next day remove and then slide in drawer glued up then mark sides left and right just like you did with top and bottom of drawer front. With a knife scirbe to the inside of your pencil line then with a router (electric) or by hand with chisels cut into the side so that you only cover part of your hand cut dovetails (Maybe 1/2") With a straight front drawer I would already have my beading shaped before assembly.
Title: Re: Cutting Cockbeading
Post by: Jack Plane on January 30, 2013, 08:52:37 PM
Jeff, a concern I would have with your method is that it doesn't allow for runner wear.
Title: Re: Cutting Cockbeading
Post by: RaderD on January 31, 2013, 11:05:51 AM
This has been extremely helpful.  I really appreciate the advice and instruction offered by everyone.  Between Jeff's instruction and fine posts on the "Outstanding Chest" tutorial, his suggestions in this thread and the various articles and blogs I was guided to I now have a really good grip on what is required.  The suggestion to go back to an early issue of FWW reminds me that my skills are advancing.  Where once I was less skilled and I read some of those articles with little focus, I now realize how far I have come and will need to go back and re-read those early editions with an eye toward learning more about my passion for period furniture making.  Membership in SAPFM is really helping to drive that passion.  Very motivational!  My thanks to everyone at SAPFM for guiding this organization and its members to new levels of excellence.  Thank you all very much for helping me with this.

Dave Rader
Title: Re: Cutting Cockbeading
Post by: Jeff L Headley on January 31, 2013, 06:22:45 PM
Dave, Thanks for taking a class with us at Marc Adams. He certainly has a great facility and an exceptional staff!
Jack Plane, I will plane to the line on the drawer front bottom and then a couple of extra swipes on the bottom. Especially if the rail is veneered. Good point
Title: Re: Cutting Cockbeading
Post by: RaderD on January 31, 2013, 08:02:25 PM
Jeff, I could not agree more.  I cannot imagine that there is a finer facility or staff for teaching a complete cross section of woodworkign skills than Marc Adam's operates.  The quality of instructors (like you and Steve) is phenomenal.  I have to believe that no matter the level of skill any of us achieves we always want to learn and do more.  No better place than Marc Adams to do it!!  Looking forward to seeing you at another class this summer.  Thanks again to everyone for helping me out.