Help with cutting/milling sequence?

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Forum topic by jaidee posted 12-13-2012 03:47 PM 1170 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51 posts in 2806 days

12-13-2012 03:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip

Hi Y’all,

I’m finally making that kitchen island that was my first Sketch-Up design and I’m having some difficulty with the cutting phase. The sides, top and bottom are cut from 3/4” MDO and the face frame for the cabinets is being constructed from 3/4”x2” (actual) Poplar as it is going to be painted. My question is on the stiles for the face frames. I’m using mortise and tenon joinery and they will have a 1/4” bead on the inside edge (around the door/drawer openings – inset flush doors). I know this isn’t the easiest way to do it but I want to try something different and like the idea of the bead not being an add-on after the fact. So here’s the question: Since the bead is on the same side of the stile as I have to cut the mortise, do I cut the mortises in the stiles first or do I rout the bead first? I’ll be using my router table to mill the bead and a mortising attachment on my Grizzley drill press for the mortises. I know I could waste some stock and experiment myself but I have just enough Poplar on my racks to do the job and don’t want to have to make another trip to the lumber yard for one piece. I appreciate your thoughts on this…....



-- I used to be all thumbs......'til I got a tablesaw!

8 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2877 days

#1 posted 12-13-2012 04:25 PM

jd, what’s going to happen when you turn the corner when you’re routing the bead?

I think if you dummy up a couple of pieces and try the cut, you’ll see that the corner isn’t what your eye is expecting to see. For the “right look” you may need to go to the plant-on bead.

Second point, go get some more wood! Having “just enough” on the rack is needless tension to add to the mix when you are (admirably) stepping outside your comfort zone for this project. Be prepared to do something over. Don’t plan on it, don’t dwell on it, don’t create the reality in your head—just buy a little cushion wood so your heart and hands can sing in unison.

Just for your reference, I always calculate 35% overage in my wood purchases.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3185 days

#2 posted 12-13-2012 04:32 PM

@jd – Some clarification first. You said a bead on the stiles of the face frame…did you mean the rails AND stiles?

If so, what’s to keep you from adding the bead after the face frame construction? Doing the bead before assembly would probably require stops to keep from routing the joints.

And why not just butt joint the rails and stiles with pocket screw assembly? There’s just no real reason to do M&T joinery on face frames, especially if its going to be painted anyway.

-- jay,

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117120 posts in 3604 days

#3 posted 12-13-2012 04:35 PM

I agree with Lee wholeheartedly in addition normally I would miter the bead(cock bead) when doing the face frame.
It’s just part of the process to do some practice pieces it’s called set up time.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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2202 posts in 3185 days

#4 posted 12-13-2012 04:37 PM

BTW, with reference to Lee’s point about routing the corners, such an issue can be rectified by not rounding them and then using another method (chisel or plane) to do those corner areas. It certainly depends on the type of bead profile. But yeah, rounding those corners is a problem if you do choose to route the bead after face frame assembly.

-- jay,

View jaidee's profile


51 posts in 2806 days

#5 posted 12-13-2012 04:48 PM

I was planning on routing the bead on to the rails and stiles before assembly, cutting off and mitering the bead at the joinery so when assembled the beads would meet at the miters. The finished look would have the bead running continuously around each door/drawer with sharp corners. My concern is only with the stiles as this is where the mortise will be cut. The tenons on the stiles will be cut before routing the bead since I’ll be cutting them on the table saw and the bead could give a bad reference when cutting the last cheek on each tenon.

I know it’s overly complicated and overkill, but I like to try new things and keep it interesting. Guess I’ve been watching too much Roy Underhill…........... Still would like your thoughts…......


-- I used to be all thumbs......'til I got a tablesaw!

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2514 days

#6 posted 12-13-2012 04:57 PM

JD, I think you need to buy more wood.

Practice can be done with pine, cedar, barn wood or anything else that is handy, but you need to plan on losses as any contractor wood.

I don’t go as high as 35% but I have gone as high as 25% if it’s a complicated set up. I’ve also been burnt in the butt by doing it this way, LOL. Other times I’ve ended up with enough left overs to build something else.

the M&T in my experience always comes out better if I do them first after final sizing. decoration can come later.

Good luck, send pictures!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#7 posted 12-13-2012 05:04 PM

I recommend using applied bead moulding.

View jaidee's profile


51 posts in 2806 days

#8 posted 12-14-2012 04:22 AM

I think you’re right Dallas. I’m going to buy a few more lengths and do some experimenting…, I mean set-up. Something tells me it’s going to take a couple tries to get the bead miters right anyway. Roy makes it look soooo easy on the tv….....

Thanks for all the input and advice, it’s much appreciated!!


-- I used to be all thumbs......'til I got a tablesaw!

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