Toolpath for beaded board

I’m looking for some advice on how to create a job to cut some bead grooves on some panels. (see picture below)

Basically the spindle with a 1/4 round bit just needs to go back and forth at a set depth and at a set width between passes.
Seems simple but I’m struggling trying to figure how to design the job.

Thanks for any help.

You would need a round-over bit to get the positive beads correctly.

Do you have one of these? It can be done, but it might take some work. I am working up something now…


Brandon Parker

Something like this would work except you would not be able to do the bounding bead that makes up the rectangle around the vertical beads. That could be done, but you would have to add the flat rectangles around the outside, because you could not cut the outside of the bounding bead without rounding surrounding material. I hope that makes sense…

You just have to make a design taking into consideration the geometry of the bit vs. what you want to accomplish. You would set it up so constrained with the bit size vs. pockets such that Easel only generates one of two passes and the resulting beads are super-close together.

It is all about the geometry of the bit here. Easel will not display the end result unfortunately since it does not know about round-over geometry.


Brandon Parker

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I agree with Brandon,

first off, you’ll need get your bead bit, depending your bit size . spacing on your lines and/or vectors will be based off your cutting tool (bit).

Thanks guys, I have been tinkering with it as well. I have that same bit that Brandon mentioned in his reply.
I am thinking that if I set up a job to clear a pocket, set the depth to 1/8 inch, and set the stepover to 100% I can achieve the results that I want.
I haven’t tried it yet though.
Does this sound right?

try this, cut on the line .0625 for Z depth of cut and .125 parallel lines. II II II

How do I set up a carve and designate parallel lines at .125?

I believe the lines would need to be .25 apart for a 1/8 radius bit.

you two lines equally spaced

Rectangle, set to 0.25" wide, set to “on the path” cut type, set to 0.125" depth.

If you want the beadboard design with flats, like in Ken’s photo,
You can then make 3(or more) copies of this and then use the “Equal Spacing” app by going to the lego button where all of the apps are…

then set it like this for a 1" flat top:

Then to handle the ends of the rectangle, place a rectangle set to 0 depth to cover up the ends of the rectangles to make them just be lines…

IF you only want the constant edge to edge like your original photo…then just make a line, copy paste (ctrl+Z makes pasting a lot faster for the 40+ lines you’ll need)
then using the equal spacing app, set spacing as above, Horizontal, center, Check " use specific spacing", and set it to 0.25".

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Thanks! I do so little designing within Easel that I didn’t even know about the equal spacing app.
Is there an advantage to doing it this way, rather than setting it to “clear out a pocket” and then setting the stepover to 100% ?
Thanks again.

Well, if you did that your bit diameter entered in easel would need to be microscopic in order to get the center of the bit to touch the edge of the rectangle pocket… and the stepover percentage is a percentage of that bit diameter, so the stepover would also be microscopic.

So for the rectangle that’s 0.25" wide that wouldn’t work.

If you made a giant rectangle, set the bit diameter to 0.25" and 100% stepover, set the cut to raster, you’ve got something to work with there, but you won’t get all the way to the edge, so you’d want to make the rectangle oversized, then cut the premier to the desired size.
So that could work… something to check though, easel will also run a permiter around the pocket, all sides too, and that might cause undesired results

Since you have the exact bit I was thinking about, here is the example that I showed above.


Brandon Parker

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Nice!, thanks a lot for taking the time to design that!

Yes, that’s exactly how I had sorted it. Oversized rectangle over an smaller, but also oversized panel of wood, to be trimmed later to final dimensions.
Thanks to all for the help!

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