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    Please indicate router bit size recommendation and any additional instructions.



    The drawer bead that we make at Gerstner is done with a custom shaper blade that is installed in a small table saw.

    A router bit that is close to our drawer bead is an edge beading router bit, with an 1/8″ radius.

    I would set up a fence to keep the bit from going so deep into the drawer front. I would also keep the bit from making the complete radius on the bottom edge of the drawer front, like shown in the picture.

    You can find these bits at Rockler, Woodcraft and other woodworking stores.



    I forgot my password and couldn’t see the bit pictures so I mimicked my Gerstner International chest and used a V groove bit.

    The groove is a nice touch but the beading likely looks more professional.


    I think you did a good job and it looks great.



    I think your bead looks great. Nice job on the Kit Chest.


    Did you cut the bead/groove on the drawer fronts first or after you assembled the drawer? I’m thinking the smaller pieces would be easier to handle attached to the drawer, but I’m curious how others would do it.


    You have to bead the drawers after they are assembled because the bottom edge of the drawer front has excess stock so that it can be sanded to the proper clearance to adjacent drawers. I bought a Freud 80-102 1/8″ edge bead router bit and found that it may not work. The groove that it cuts above the radius is really close to cutting through the thin edge of the front and into the drawer side. I’m taking test cuts in scrap wood with a .100″ radius solid carbide milling cutter to generate a bead. I’ll post photos if the experiment works. Back to the basement.


    I think my experiment worked out well. Here’s the bead I came up with for the drawer bottom edges. The cutter is solid carbide that is .250″ diameter with a .100″ radius. The bottom edge of the drawer is the .100″ radius but not to full depth, above that is a groove cut with the same cutter at the same depth.


    Where did you get the cutter or what is brand and model. Did a search and could not come up with end mills or cutters with the shape you show. Thanks, Your beads look great. Better than a router table beading bit.


    The cutter is a solid carbide corner rounding end mill for machining metal (I’m a toolmaker). It’s available through MSC and probably many other places. Here’s a link for that end mill.

    I did it with a router table with a fence. Took several attempts with scrap wood to get the look I wanted. I can give you the exact settings if you’re interested. I wrote them down so that I could duplicate the shape when I did the base kit to match.


    I should have also said that they have a lot of different sizes of radius cutters. 3/32″ (0.093″), 5/64″(0.078″), 1/8″(0.125″)……. Lots of choices!

    quote DinosaurDave:

    I should have also said that they have a lot of different sizes of radius cutters. 3/32″ (0.093″), 5/64″(0.078″), 1/8″(0.125″)……. Lots of choices!

    Thanks Dave. Don’t know why I missed them with the end mills. A bit pricy for a one shot project since my metalworking, now that I am retired, is limited to a unimat. Will keep looking for a solution.


    Hi everybody,

    I am in the process of restoring an old 41C from I think 1919 since it was dated by who I think was the original owner. It was in pretty rough shape (I guess sort still is for now since I’ve taken it all apart) with torn leatherette, a missing front lid, a missing front rail (I’m guessing someone really wanted to get into it at some point in its life), and a missing drawer (which is relevant to this thread).

    I started out by making a new drawer out of a piece of walnut countertop scrap I had around (not the matching oak, but I really like walnut and my drawers were stained and dirty and waxed to almost a blacked out brown so I figured I would stain all the drawers dark in the end and make everything match pretty well that way. Of course not thinking about it I templated the middle upper drawer (the skinny one) and made a second skinny one instead of the top left drawer which needed to be taller. So if anyone needs the walls of a skinny drawer out of Walnut let me know and I can send it to you. I then repeated my process and made the second drawer the right size that time around. Round two was a bit easier having figured out the joinery on the practice one :rolleyes:.

    Eventually I will post the whole restore/repair to the restoration section, but I’m waiting for my initial thread to be approved by a moderator before I can add pictures to it.

    I got the drawer frame all assembled and glued up and was trying to find a suitable router bit for it but didn’t really like the way the edge beading bit was still a ways off from the original. After buying three different bits and all of them being WAY too big to cut the right size and shape groove I decided I would try to make a bit. I turned a piece of 1/2″ steel bar into a shape that seemed about right, then filed a cutting edge into it and tah-dah! I had a home-made router bit. It worked pretty well…still not a perfect Gerstner bead, but pretty close and I am happy with it. I thought I would share since people were discussing ways to get the bead just right and this one was a bit different.


    Sine your drawers already have an existing bead milled into them, you might want to try this technique:

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