Mouldings by hand.

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Adam W.

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Here are a couple of cornice mouldings which were planed using H&R moulding planes and a wooden rebate planes.

They are taken from Sheraton The Cabinetmakers and Upholsterers Drawing Book, 1793.


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I'll do some surbase mouldings over the next few days and add them here.
 
Boxwood templets for Sheraton's surbase sections Nº 2 & Nº 3.


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I've made them from boxwood as I want to build up a library of 17th & 18th century mouldings for use later on. They will be used to mark out the ends of the section so that I can work out the rebates.
 
I really like those run mouldings like that, never got the opportunity to have a go at it though.

managed to spit one surbase moulding out this afternoon, Sheraton's Nº 2 with a thumb moulding, compound cove, a couple of fillets and a bead.



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Cut the primary and secondary rebates.


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Then just plane it with the H&R's like zo.
 
Hi Adam, This reminded me of this pretty amazing guy on YT who made his own - I was well impressed


With the thought of insulating some of our rooms that have similar mouldings I watched with interest. I've seen his videos before on some of his sash window work, always top quality. Best moment is at 26:50s made me laugh a lot.
 
That's a good question.

I have lots of riven oak that has very straight grain, with few defects. It's perfect for mouldings like these Sheraton mouldings which are for furniture, so they wouldn't necessarily have been painted. The oak burnishes well, as I'm not intending to do any sanding and the burnishing shows up all of the defects from poor technique.

It's a learning excercise after all, as I'm researching for a dissertation on planing raking mouldings on circular structural carpentry from the 15th century.

This set of mouldings for joinery is really the baby steps and the mouldings will become more complex as the project progresses backwards in time, so the more practice I get in the early days, the better I become (hopefully) and the easier it will be to suss out how 15th century carpenters did the stuff that they did.

How they made some of the early mouldings are the great unanswered questions of the timber building conservation scene. Nothing was written down and academics are making wild guesses about this stuff, so I thought it was a good opportunity to get on with some old fashioned practical research to see if I could come up with a workable solution.

Plus I only have some walnut and Cuban mahogany in the shed and I'm not using that, as it's earmarked for something fancy.

The oak planes up nice and crisp without too much fuss, so it's a bit easier to work with.
 
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Ah......... an interesting project. A while back I found a oak lintel being used above an old barn door which had part of a ovolo moulding worked on it . It looked to be a section of the top of a window or door and contained the transition between the upright and the top of a flatten Tudor style arch.

What grabbed my attention, was that chunky moulding, was beautifully crisp - especially the curve at the elbow. I would love to find out just how they managed to work it - a scratch-stock would certainly not have been up to the task. :unsure:
 
Thanks for the reply Adam. An interesting exercise. Please could you leave a reference to the dissertation when you are done. I assume you...or someone has trawled through the pictures of medieval craftsmen at work. Religious archives?
I assume also that you used a circular saw to get to the 'blank' stage so I wonder how they achieved that?
 
@whereistheceilidh It's all done by hand from logs, riving, hewing and planing square edge. I'm trying to be true to the period as far as possible, except for the pantaloons, floppy hat and no mead.

Next one was full of errors, it's just so easy to get it wrong from the first step..........



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Looks alright, but just so wrong in so many ways....The templet was off from the start and the timber section was a little too squeezed to fit it all in.

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Found a use for my joiner made sliding square though, so not all was lost.



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@whereistheceilidh It's all done by hand from logs, riving, hewing and planing square edge. I'm trying to be true to the period as far as possible, except for the pantaloons, floppy hat and no mead.

Next one was full of errors, it's just so easy to get it wrong from the first step..........



View attachment 162172


Looks alright, but just so wrong in so many ways....The templet was off from the start and the timber section was a little too squeezed to fit it all in.

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Found a use for my joiner made sliding square though, so not all was lost.



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Very interesting and worthwhile research, from the design, choice of materials, different tools and even the time taken and the finishes (if any) applied. I often look at small items of the late 17th century (clock cases) and the oak used in the carcases usually has a straighter and closer grain than we could easily buy today. There are also other construction points of interest - currently I'm looking at a small case where the dovetails have a gradient ratio of 1 in 3 and the spacing is also different to what is commonly seen today. All dimensions imperial of course.
I'd also suggest some of the skills may have come from abroad as these islands were considered backward in some respects. This is certainly true when dealing with brass. And making that point, presumably there might be research papers already published abroad?
 
I think there was a lot of shared information between masons and carpenters too, as the mouldings are strikingly similar.

Next up is a rib moulding from a masonry vault. It's also used for ribs in timber vaulting and it's going to be the main focus of my research.

In the wild.

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Masonry.


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Timber.



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Lay out the rebates again


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And chop


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Lots of planing with quite a few planes and I'm having trouble staying on track and creating the covetto of the web between the beads.

After nearly making one side on a straight section, I'm confident that this is not how it was done in the 15th century, especially on circular work......Back to the drawing board.

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I'm having trouble staying on track and creating the covetto of the web between the beads.
Far be it from me to offer any sort of solution since I have never created anything more complex than a 'rounding over' - but, It seems to me (as an engineer) that the problem may be one of taking the cavetto (I hadn't come across the term so had to 'Google', which suggested this spelling) too deep.

As I see it your drawing shows the point of intersection between the cavetto and the circles (top and bottom) to be below the narrowest space between them. This means that any blade that could get to the bottom of the cavetto would be wider than the available space - effectively like a Dovetail cutter - though with very different geometry!

If the bottom of the cavetto were not to go below a line drawn between the two circle centres then this 'undercut' would not happen.

I doubt that you need a 'visual' but since I needed to create one to fully appreciate the problem I might as well share it :)
Cavetto.png
 
I think you're on the right track and I have now planned a different strategy with coloured lines and numbered steps (before I forget it again)

Something like this, I find it much easier to work it out with a bit of trial and error than to come up with a solution in my head. The undercuts are much smaller on this one.


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I've now looked even closer at the reality and see that my initial thoughts about the amount of 'undercut' are unfounded, and certainly your latest idea will make life much easier. You may have to take a further - narrower - plunge cut in the centre of your [2], but - although I only have your photo to scale from - I think that the amount of side undercut is less than 0.8mm. It's certainly a challenging job using Molding planes!
 
I think I've got the proportions completely wrong too.

I can scoop out the cavetto (got it right this time) if I make all of the beads a tad smaller, as that will lengthen the neck nicely, but the lower beads are undercut on the original by quite a margin and I should be able to look past the central bead and see a line.

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