The most infectious hand tool I own is a 3/16” beading plane that has a permanent space in my traveling tool chest. Nearly every woodworker who uses it becomes possessed by the entirely sane desire to own one (or three) for their work.
However, finding a functional antique beading plane in the wild is difficult. While they are common planes, they commonly have a lot of problems. The body (also called the stock) is warped. The iron is a mess. The mouth has been opened too far. The wedge doesn’t fit.
And those are for starters.
When I was at Hulls Cove Tool Barn this summer I inspected at least 20 beading planes. None was worth buying.
If you are interested in getting a new beading plane, I’d talk to planemaker Caleb James right quick. He has been working on batches of beading planes in 1/8”, 3/16” and 1/4” sizes – the most useful sizes for furniture-making. I have two planes on order from him myself.
I got to use his planes while at a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event and am totally sold. Caleb is a very talented planemaker (and furniture maker). So place your order now before he gets swamped. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Christopher Schwarz