I picked up a center bead plane from Josh over at Hyperkitten Tools, and tuned it up this afternoon. The blade unfortunately had one of the two groove points messed up. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to fix it, but I gave it a go. I ground it on my coarse and medium oilstones and got the two groove blades in decent shape, but I had to take so much metal the center beading part of the blade was fairly shallow. I had a medium curved oilstone and was able to take some metal away in the center, while keeping the rounded area sharp.
Putting it into the plane body though, the blade profile did not match the sole any more. I took a risk and planed the boxing down slightly with my smoothing plane. It brought the profile back into a decent enough match, and putting it too wood it cut a decent bead.
Which brings me to the decorative molding carving, which was why I bought this plane in the first place. I was surprised at how easily this carved, even in crap Pine. The molding is something I picked up from Peter Follansbee, and it’s really quite easy. A straight vertical stab down with a gouge that matches the bead, on the center of bead. Then a downward sloping push cut into the back of the stab cut and out pops a little chip. Repeat this down the length of the bead evenly spaced in a single direction, or in opposing direction and you have a great decorative molding. It does some near stuff with light and shadow.