I've done lots of straight pocket screwed face frames before. I've been asked to do a beaded face frame. I know you can apply the beading on after they are assembled. I'd like to use a one piece face frame and haunch them out. What is the best way to do this?
From contributor P:
Check the Knowledge Base. I looked into it myself a while back. I wouldn't describe any of the recommended methods as "easy." I still pin the beading on. A local supplier carries it as a molding, so it's pretty easy for me. Regardless of which way you do it, if you are pocket screwing anything (decks, partitions, etc.) flush with the inside of the FF, watch out for screws poking through the groove part of the bead!
If you are going to do much of this, a dedicated sled with a couple of air piston hold downs would give you a real clean cut and do it very safely. The air pistons themselves will cost you about $20 a piece. Some flow control valves ($5-$6) will allow you to influence how fast the pistons engage. An air regulator will control how much force the air pistons exert. If you are clever, you should also be able come up with a set of repeatable stops for indexing the haunch positions. The whole system will cost you under $500.
Cut your stiles to length, but add 5/8" (bead + groove x 2) to your rail/mullion lengths. If you want to get started with a couple of face frames, use a 45 degree block of wood and cut the haunches with a fine handsaw (Japanese is preferred). Cut the waste away with a sharp chisel or the table saw if it's a stile end. The miters on the rails can be cut on a chop saw or table saw. If you need to do more, invest the time in making a table saw jig or router jig.
Like anything, after a little practice (2 complete kitchens?), these go very quickly. The first ones you do will be a little fussy.
Also, what are you guys charging for beaded inset cabinets? I was talking to a rep for a large custom factory line and they are getting close to $1000 per ft if you figure in the whole job minus install. I need to up my rates.
Contributor T, how clean of a cut does the Magic moulder give you? About 6-7 years ago I tried a 3 cutter Delta moulding head. I ground the knives myself, so perhaps the cutting angles were all wrong. It whacked the parts pretty hard and gave inconsistent results. Is it worth the money to buy a Magic head only to use it for beaded face frames?
I don't think my system is as good as the Morso, but it is quite adequate for the scale of operation I have. The Morso only handles the chopping part of the equation. You're still responsible for the indexing, S4S, beading and pocket holes. If I was doing enough of these to warrant $6000 for the chopping part, I could probably go all the way and get a hydraulic chopper like Pistorius makes.
I would guess that the majority of shops that have a Morso still build their cabinets on a stationary work bench. For $6000, the average small shop would probably get better value from a Castle pocket drill or a scissor lift work bench or a TigerStop indexing system. Those are the things you use every day.
For what it is worth, we also use an additional Magic molder for producing the bead. This produces a pretty clean cut that does not require much sanding. You can get the job done with a router bit, but the diameter of cutting arch is so small there is usually a lot of chatter on the profile that needs to be defeated later. The Magic molder has about a 5 inch diameter and cuts it with more of a scraping action than a chopping action.
As others have noted, we also set the bead profile below the face of the board. This makes it a lot easier to get through the widebelt sander later.