Monday, July 17, 2017

Making Moulding By Hand: eBedstead Part II

There are two distinct sets of woodworkers that I tend to disappoint. One of these groups is the Hand Tool Only crowd. I guess it is often assumed that since I make and sell moulding planes (www.msbickford.com) then I must be a hand tool-only guy. I am not.

I became aware of hollows and rounds as a means to an end: the ability to create an infinite number of options. I was attracted first to the ability to make what I may want, unbridled from my selection of router bits or Woodcraft's.

This beadstead that I am highlighting hopefully illustrates this idea.


I do not intend to make this piece. However, I am no longer limited by my tooling to make it exactly if I choose. By introducing hollows and rounds into my work I possess the option to make small or large changes. These changes will be those that I may want to make, never being forced into a close interpretation or being good enough.

Hollows, rounds and the accompanying few planes offer you, the end-user, infinity. They offer you choice and they offer speed for short lengths. They never inspired me, however, to get rid of my machinery because machines can speed up the process.

Last we left this moulding we had transferred the layout lines onto our block of wood.

From here I move to machines. First, the bandsaw:

The next step is to create a series of rabbets. As discussed previously on this blog, rabbets serve three purposes: removing the bulk of material with the edge that easiest to maintain, creating a series of chutes for the plane to ride in while serving as a substitute for a fence, and creating a series of depth gauges. (More on these in the past and in the future.)

I added most of my rabbets with a tablesaw. In this case I added the large chamfer on the bandsaw at 45 degrees, so I tipped my tablesaw blade over to 45.

I don't spend time being too perfect here. I just get it really close and then clean it up with a rabbet plane. 

Making these rabbets with a snipes bill and rabbet plane is, of course, a straight forward process for you idealistic hand tool only guys. Lord nows I've made plenty myself. I just prefer the tablesaw here. 

(Note: if you rely upon the fence and depth stop of a moving fillester or other similar plane than you will not be able to make this series of rabbets. You will eventually lose the surfaces upon which the fence and/or depth stop register.)


We have yet to use a profile plane, but we are nearly done. Getting to the above product I often estimate as being 70-80% or the work. 


Do you see? It's that quick

It's done!


Again, the final product:

The final resting place: 


And a hint at the options and final solutions for you Hand Tool Never guys:


Enjoy sacrificing, sanding and/or waiting weeks for delivery!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Poplar eBedstead Circa 1710



Have you ever looked at a potential piece, considered the build and then simply disregarded the project due to an inability to make one certain aspect?

Before I became aware of hollows and rounds I did this quite often. Moulding profiles dictated my choices. The range of options is limitless.

Consider this bedstead...

(It will really tie your bedroom together like no rug can.)

I imagine that this piece is not currently on the 'to do' list for many of us. But can you make it? We could all figure out the turnings, joints, panels, etc. But the mouldings...

(Warne, E. J. Furniture Mouldings. Other bibliographical information...)

It would be sad to let only the mouldings preclude you from making this. It would also be a shame to purchase the specific shaper knives and router bits only to never use them again. (Not to mention the sanding)

With hollows and rounds you can make all of these profiles and, with the same series of tools, create the next.

Let me quickly walk you through the process of making the crown. If you have neither followed my blog before (start from the beginning) nor read my book then the following will appear convoluted. Read the blog posts from the past or stick with me in the future. It will ultimately make sense.

The first step in making this exact crown (above, center) is to transfer the shape from paper onto wood. I do this accurately by first "finding the flats." Define each vertical and horizontal surface by measuring from known edges.
(Once I have the thickness and width, I can use my dividers. Do you see the tool marks on the edges?)

Then, using a circle template, I choose the correct radius and connect the flats.

This first cove was made with a 4/16" and 6/16" concave radius that equates to a #4 and #6 round, respectively. This elliptical shape is more complex than the following and we will touch upon it further at a later date. (There is another post about elliptical/ovular shapes buried in this blog somewhere, but I can't find it now.)

This next convex shape was made with a #6 hollow and is a 6/16" radius. It is 90 degrees of a circle. It's a straight forward operation but not the easiest, just close. On a scale from 1-10 it's a 2. We will (and have) cover(ed) this, too.

Step 3 in laying out the curves? The ogee.


Okay, we have the final shape but hollows and rounds have no fence and no depth stop. The lack of these two features is an absolute advantage of the tool and what grants them their flexibility. We just need a series of rabbets and chamfers to guide these planes that are difficult to steer..  


Why are we drawing the moulding profile in this fashion on the upper left corner of a piece of wood? Easy!



Drawing the profile in this manner allows for a simple transfer of gauge lines. 


The rabbets pretty much define the final profile. Making rabbets accurately should be a straight forward process. So be certain to save this layout piece if there is any chance you'll make the profile again.

Feel free to redraw your actual profile by connecting the flats again.

Come back later...