A fillet is a tool for producing a continuous straight line or combination of lines in tooling. It is similar in structure, but larger than, a farthing wheel. A fillet can be used for both blind and gold tooling. It consists of a brass wheel, mounted on a brass shank set into a wooden handle. The rim of the wheel is filed down to produce a line of a given width.

   /     \                  \
 /         \                |
|     _     |               | brass wheel
|    <o\    |               | approximately
|     \  \  |               | 5 cm / 2 inches in diameter
 \      \  \                |
   \_____/\  \              /
           |  |             \
           |  |             |
           |  |             |
           |  |             | brass shaft
           |  |             | approximately
           |  |             | 10 cm / 4 inches long
           |  |             | 10 mm / 1/2 inch in diameter
           |  |             |
           |  |             |
           |  |             |
           |  |             |
           |  |             |
           |  |             |
           |  |             |
          /____\            /
         |      |           \
         |      |           |
         |      |           | wooden handle
         |      |           | approximately
         |      |           | 30 cm / 12 inches long
         |      |           | 25 mm / 1 inch in diameter
         |      |           |
         |      |           V

As with any tooling, tooling using a fillet is done by heating it up and impressing the design in (usually) leather. A fillet is generally used on the cover of a fine binding, but not the spine.

To end the line created by a fillet, there are three common techniques.

  1. A mitred fillet
    This is a fillet with a slight gap in the rim.
       /     |       \  mitre
     /        \_     /
    |     _     |
    |    <o\    |
    |     \  \  |
     \      \  \
       \_____/\  \
               |  |
    To use a mitred fillet, run a line with the normal fillet almost to the terminal point. Then heat the mitred fillet and run it in the line. As you approach the end of the line, keep the fillet in place and turn the wheel with your hand so that mitre hits at the planned endpoint.
  2. A matching pallet
    If you have a pallet of the same line thickness as your fillet, you can stop the wheel short of the terminal point of the line. Simply use the pallet to make the remaining line.
  3. Overstamping
    For this procedure, you simply stop the wheel when the line tapers off where you want the it to end. Then take a ornament and stamp it over the end of the line. This technique is also used to cover the joins between two lines at the corner of a frame.

Fil"let (?), n. [OE. filet, felet, fr. OF. filet thread, fillet of meat, dim. of fil a thread, fr. L. filum. See Fille a row.]


A little band, especially one intended to encircle the hair of the head.

A belt her waist, a fillet binds her hair. Pope.

2. Cooking

A piece of lean meat without bone; sometimes, a long strip rolled together and tied.

⇒ A fillet of beef is the under side of the sirlom; also called tenderloin. A fillet of veal or mutton is the fleshy part of the thigh. A fillet of fish is a slice of flat fish without bone. "Fillet of a fenny snake."



A thin strip or ribbon; esp.: (a) A strip of metal from which coins are punched. (b) A strip of card clothing. (c) A thin projecting band or strip.

4. Mach.

A concave filling in of a reentrant angle where two surfaces meet, forming a rounded corner.

5. Arch.

A narrow flat member; especially, a flat molding separating other moldings; a reglet; also, the space between two flutings in a shaft. See Illust. of Base, and Column.

6. Her.

An ordinary equaling in breadth one fourth of the chief, to the lowest portion of which it corresponds in position.

7. Mech.

The thread of a screw.


A border of broad or narrow lines of color or gilt.


The raised molding about the muzzle of a gun.


Any scantling smaller than a batten.

11. Anat.

A fascia; a band of fibers; applied esp. to certain bands of white matter in the brain.

12. Man.

The loins of a horse, beginning at the place where the hinder part of the saddle rests.

Arris fillet. See under Arris.


© Webster 1913.

Fil"let, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Filleted; p. pr. & vb. n. Filleting.]

To bind, furnish, or adorn with a fillet.


© Webster 1913.

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