Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mouldings, Miters and More...

Hollows and Rounds

My new hollows and rounds arrived on Friday from Philly Planes in England, right on schedule as Phil Edwards told me. They looked and smelled great(new tools always smell so good), right out of the box all packaged up safely making the trip across the pond. He threw in a nice Philly Planes T-Shirt as well! A nice touch indeed...This morning I set aside a few hours and finally made some shavings and I'm very happy to report that they're great! Worth every cent which I should note wasn't out of touch by any means for some custom made hand planes. They have a nice, traditional shape, comfortable to hold and a nice light weight; Phil had mentioned some additional honing may be necessary but not before they're put to work awhile. He did a great job and I will recommend them to anyone interested in wooden bodied hand planes.
As you know if you're a frequent reader here I have a new project I'm starting this week. I'm building a solid exterior wooden door for a heritage property here in Toronto and this is what the planes were specifically purchased for. Wanting to take the planes for a test drive I decided to work on a sample section of one of the mouldings on the door; this will be the trim around the panels and I'll need about twenty running feet of this particular profile. I cut a scrap of poplar I had about 28" long and squared it up to begin. The following process represents a brief description of the steps in 'sticking' traditional mouldings.

To begin the moulding I first had to dimension the stock to size and this started with ripping it to width followed with some jointing with my 5 1/2 Bench plane. With the stock straight and square I'll lay out the moulding profile at each end and figure out my rabbet and dado configurations. Funny when sticking mouldings, we think of the hollows and rounds first and foremost but the reality is that most of the bulk of the material will be removed with a rabbet and plough plane. The hollows and rounds follow to the create the curves, slopes and fair out the sharp edges left behind by the first special purpose planes.

The rabbet and plough plane I'm using are Veritas with my Lie Nielsen medium shoulder plane to clean up the inside corners. I used my right handed Lie Nielsen as well to put the small rabbet on the opposite side of the profile, this was a luxury having the right handed plane to deal with the grain direction. The curves of the moulding is squared off with a series of rabbets determining each stepped area. This process continues on until all that is left is a small dado and then again with my shoulder plane the edges are beveled. This was a tip I got while watching Don McConnell's moulding making DVD; he states the you should always relieve any sharp edges before going to the moulding planes to help preserve the shape of the hollows and rounds. Actually, that tip as well as this entire process was demonstrated quite clearly in Dons excellent video- I recommend anyone planning on doing this kind of work watching it.

The moulding planes are a real pleasure to use, with a nice fine shaving it's very therapeutic work...this is a good thing considering the amount of moulding I'll have to make for this door project! The finish left behind from the hollows is quite incredible, a smooth burnished feel that doesn't come across in photographs but really is something to behold. The entire process up to this point was probably no more than an hour for this piece just over two feet long.

With the profile complete I'll put it aside to get ready to cut some miters, this will be another important stage of the door project. Lots of mouldings with twice the miters. I found a great old Stanley miter hook at a yard sale last year for $15.00- a sweet deal for this appliance it needed a little work but otherwise was in real good shape.

These miter cuts are purely for practice so lengths are a non-issue. This being only a sample the miter will really show me how even my profile is along its length. From here it's to the shooting board to clean up the saw cut and I can finally see how it looks.

I'm using my new shooting board with my Lie Nielsen NO. 9 for this final step. I still didn't make a 45 degree fence for this new board so I used the block portion of my combination square...this worked out well and it's time to check the final fit.

I'm happy with this and am looking forward to getting into some quarter sawn White Oak later this week.
Stay tuned.


  1. Tom
    Glad you like your planes!

  2. Wowsa! They look great and look like they take a mean shaving. Can't wait to see the door.

  3. Phil,
    I'm really happy with the planes for sure, they're performing as good as I hoped! Thanks again...
    And Mike, I too can't wait to see the door!!
    Thanks for the comments..

  4. Hi Tom,
    As usual, your work looks great, and the photo-documentation is very valuable.
    Tell us about the rip saw in the first photo, tpi, blade length, who sharpened it, etc.
    I don't envy your making lots of moulding in white oak! I love the wood, but the silica it contains makes it tough on edge tools. Stock up on aspirin and ice packs for your elbow. Some cold drinks might be in order, as well.
    Also, in an early post there was a picture of you using a low pair of saw horses. Where did you get the design for them and how did you decide on the height they should be?

  5. Tico,
    Nice to hear from you as usual...thanks for the tips on aspirin and ice...I may need it indeed! I'll pick up the Oak Saturday and you'll be able to see how it goes. (fingers are crossed)
    The rip saw I'm using is an old....
    actually before I write a long winded comment here maybe I'll just post some info on it as well as the saw bench.
    I'll get something together asap..
    Thanks again.