I've purchased some hollow 'n rounds (and a few other molding planes)
and is a good resource on the use of these relics to recreate mouldings
from the 18th/19th century???
I've been scouring the Web, various books, and it's become a lost art.
There's lots of Norms, but not alot of Roys.
Can anyone offer any advise/expertise while I give my my two M12Vs and
router table a well-deserved rest?
No resources, I'm afraid, but I can give you a couple of pointers.
1. Your plane iron must be razor sharp. Sticking a moulding is quite
hard work, and a blunt iron will make it difficult with small simple
mouldings and well-nigh impossible with large complex mouldings.
2. You must learn to set your iron correctly, so that you have the
correct amount of iron showing. This takes a lot of practice to get right.
Too little and it won't bite, too much and the plane will try to dig its way
into the wood and it'll jam. I find it easiest to completely withdraw the
cutter so that it's a fraction below the sole (ie no possibility of cutting.
Tap the wedge gently home and try a cut. Lightly tap the iron to give it a
little more bite, then try again. As soon as it starts to bite, check the
lateral positioning of the iron - if necessary, tap it sideways to align the
quirks etc in the iron with the corresponding feature in the sole. When all
is lined up, tap the wedge a little more forcefully to drive it home. Check
again. You'll sometimes find that the action of driving the wedge home will
have shifted the iron so that more is exposed and you'll have to start
again, and make allowance for this the next time round.
3. Start with mild straight-grained softwood. If you can't learn to
mould in this, then a more recalcitrant wood will be impossible. Having
said that, you should always try to choose the straightest stuff for your
mouldings. If the grain does run out slightly, then arrange things so that
you're planing with the grain. You don't want to have to sand this fiddly
4. Do as little moulding as possible - IOW, shift as much of the waste as
possible using other techniques - rebate planes, block plane, chamfer planes
etc - before using the moulding plane.
5. Use the same technique as you would for a rebate plane, ie the
opposite to a normal smoother. Start work at the _far_ end of the
workpiece, using short strokes. Gradually lengthen the strokes as the
moulding begins to form, working backwards towards yourself.
6. It goes without saying that the workpiece must be utterly secure. It
can be difficult to secure small cross-sections, so for very small
mouldings, it is best to form them on the edge of, say, a 6" wide board of
the correct thickness, then rip off to the required size. In this way you
can get quite a few strips of moulding from your board before it eventually
becomes too small to hold easily.
7. Start off with the simpler profiles until you gain experience, rounds,
hollows, beads etc. The simpler profiles usually involve holding the plane
normalish to the wood surface. The more complex mouldings, like the sash
ovolo etc entail holding the plane at a tilted angle to the workpiece, which
adds a whole new set of problems.
8. Even with the simpler mouldings, like a hollow or a groove, it is
difficult to keep the plane in line with the workpiece. Many people get
round this by attaching a temporary fence to the workpiece, or even to the
plane itself. The former is preferable, since it avoids damage to the
plane, which may itself be a collectors' item. Having said that, I have
seen many old moulders which have had just this modification carried out.
9. Once you get the hang of it, you can turn out short lengths of simple
moulding, eg for cock-beading, far more quickly than you could set up a
router table to do it. Because it lacks the soulless perfection of the
router-cut moulding, it tends to look more "authentic" as well.
10. Do the very best job you can with the plane, because sanding the
moulding afterwards gets very old very quickly...
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Thanks for all the pointers...
Here's my modus operandi and please tell me if this is incorrect:
My first cut would be with a fillester - to start the first line down
the length of the plank. Then I was going to start using my rounds (I
have rounds from 1/4" diameter up to 2-1/2" in diameter); so for the
cove-like cuts, I was going to start with my smallest size round and
work up after the fillester gashed the wood. For the "humps", I'd do the
same except with my rounds. Astragals should work ok for those type of
Am I on the right track or am I all wet?
And thanks for the tips about setting the blade...I'm sure each one of
these planes are going to have their own personality, so to speak.
Frank McVey wrote:
"Advice" is freely given.
Learn all about planes:
New old tools:
Or the whole gamut at the Electronic Neanderthal:
I much prefer hand tools but my body says I need to work more
with power and save the hand tool for the finer work. <sigh>
De nada, amigo. Waitaminutethere...a Yankee spreakin' Spanish?
"If the promise of the Declaration of Independence is ever to be fulfilled,
it will be the Libertarian Party which fulfills it. If the Constitution is
I understand that! Consider that at the turn of the 20th century, the
average life expectancy in the U.S. was only 42...so alot of these
craftsmen died in their prime and probably were OK with all the old hand
tools at their disposal.
Now that today's life expectancy for males is now 82, I'll be revisiting
my routahs sooner rather than later!
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