How to Use a Beading Router Bit for Shadow Boxes

What You'll Need
Safety Glasses
Beading Router Bit
Sand Paper
Adhesive Glue
Square Objects 4
Clear Front Piece
Personal Items

One way to add detail and visual interest is to your wooden shadow boxes is to use a beading router bit. The beading router bit is used on the edges of wood to carve shapes and curves into the wood. The detail of your cuts can very from basic to intricate, depending on your desired results.

Step 1 – Cut Shadow Box Pieces

Put on your safety glasses. Cut your wood with a saw to get your pieces for the bottom, back and sides of your shadow box. The top should be a clear piece, but can be placed in a wood frame. If so, cut the top frame piece. Using sand paper, sand the edges of these pieces. 

Step 2 – Prepare Your Pieces For Cutting

Pencil trace out the design you would like to cut with your beading router bit for the top, bottom and side pieces for your shadow box. The cuts should be close to the outside edges of the wood. Attach your beading router bit to the router. Make sure your safety glasses are in place.

Step 3 – Make Your Beading Cuts

Hold your router with both hands. Press the beading router bit into the wood, following your pencil line. Keeping an even amount of pressure on the router, move it back and forth across the wood to make your cuts. You should be holding the router at a perpendicular angle to the wood, and parallel to the floor. Turn off the router once you are finished.

Step 4 – Join Top, Bottom and Side Pieces Together

Using adhesive glue, line up the edges of the frame pieces to create perpendicular angles. The beading router bit cuts should face outward on the edges of the frame. Using your t-square, make sure all the edges join together at perpendicular angles. Hammer nails in to secure the edges, making sure not to let the nails poke through the wood. Place a square object into each corner to maintain the proper perpendicular angle. Allow the glue to dry overnight.

Step 5 – Attach the Back Piece

Remove the square objects. Apply adhesive glue around the back edges of the shadow box frame. Attach the back piece, making sure all the edges are aligned and there is no overlap. Nail into place. Allow the glue to dry overnight.

Step 6 – Fill Your Shadow Box

Arrange the items you want to include in your shadow box, making sure to attach them to the back piece with an adhesive.

Step 7 – Finish Your Shadow Box

Position your shadow box so that the back rests against your work surface. Apply glue around the exposed edges of your shadow box. Line up the clear front piece and press into the glue. Make sure all the edges are aligned and there is no overlap. Allow the glue to dry. You can now enjoy your beaded edges on your shadow box!