If you have perhaps not yet spent quite enough attention planning out
your mouldings, I ran across this book: "Furniture Moulding... to 1820"
by Warne (published 1923).
Here is a link:
If you enjoy English furniture, you may enjoy a quick look!
Judging by the relative number of replies to this post, versus the Bosch
Reaxx one--am I to infer that some of thou would construct an unadorned
box, leaving its features of artistic ornamentation to a (mere)
afterthought? Admittedly, for reasons of economics, probably 90% of all
of ones work must be something like that. But I am merely and sincerely
a humble student who has, more than one time, found joy in studying
design. I'll pretend that the original post to this thread was not my
If a plain box is good enough for cigars, it is good enough for me!
I found it interesting tht there is a formal book on it. Just one of
those thing I never thought about. You just go to the lumberyard and
pick out some window trim in the style of the day.
We have some interesting buildings in this country, but I marvel at
buildings in Europe that are 500 or a 1000 years old that are so
elaborate and ornate. To my wife's chagrin, I can sit and admire the
details for a long time.
We take it for granted today to buy or make a molding quickly shaped by
a machine. Just push this board through. Take away our power tools and
then make and install crown molding.
On Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 9:41:38 AM UTC-6, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
Yes to some extent, but there are times when I look for ideas, better than
my own. With that, I had thought to comment (see below)....
I wasn't aware of a formal book, either. I like viewing the ideas and con
cepts. Thanks, Bill, for posting it.
Yep. Some years ago, I made some astragals and T astragals by hand. Tha
t was quite a challenge, for me. I particularly noticed, plates 35 (I thi
nk) and several others (plates 76, 77, 78 or there abouts), the similar mol
dings between cabinet doors, were similar to astragal moldings. I thought
those moldings must be pretty delicate and prone to breaking, easily. Bu
t then again, nice cabinets as that may not have been subject to too much a
buse.... but 'cepts maybe for liquor cabinets.
Thank you, John. I'll look for the book on Google Book! I have the
following book which contains three closely-related books.
It's a heavy volume containing hundreds of wondrous drawings.... I got
my copy for $20 from Half-Price Books a few years ago, which I
considered a bargain, but I see it can be had now for less than $30. As
you may know, one can't buy even a single molding plane blank for $20! ; )
I am not directly addressing you, Ed. The development of moldings
represents quite a lot thinking (think of architecture--as you did).
Think of churches, Greek architecture and many other buildings and
things that we wish to "distinguish" to the "very best" of our
capabilities. Then one begins to see that they are intrinsically
related to the human spirit and that they are a reflection of the people
who made them.
The person who wrote the book realized that such a book didn't exist,
and considered that is was worth preserving this developed
art/knowledge. You can surely find an old piece of furniture or
photographs to borrow ideas from--but see it they will let you take
measurements! ; )
By sharing a copy of the book, I was not suggesting that it's a book
that should be read, I was merely propagating the values you already
have that make you able to marvel at at buildings in Europe 500-1000
years old. In the year, 3000, will anyone marvel at those built circa
The benefits of industrialization come with a cost (do you remember life
Do you think they might let me work in the cabinetmakers shop at
Colonial Williamsburg? : )
No kidding! Centuries old buildings still in use today and in the US
with so called better new building technology we tend to tear buildings
down long before they reach the end of their lives.
The National Cathedral in DC is pretty unique. It took around 100 years
to build and was relatively recently completed, IIRC in the 1980's.
Craftsmen worked their entire carriers on that building.
I have to wonder how long it took to make moldings with out power tools.
Since most of the wood is removed with a rebate plane or other means,
not too long--assuming a "sensible" type of wood.
I'm curious about maximum lengths that they found to be efficient? 4',
Henry Ford's mansion (completed in 1916) is packed-full of beautiful
Hmm.. It didn't occur to me that they might have done some of the
carving off-site--duh! There's a lot of wood in that place--especially
around the staircase. I'll see if I can locate some photos online to jog
The A.S.& J. Gear Co. and the Combination
Molding and Planing Machine Co. were having a
series of courtroom battles over the patents for
the shaper in the 1860s. By the time Henry
Ford's mansion was built machine-made moldings
would have been commonplace.
A few other points of reference:
Pretty much all, if not all, of the Victorian homes used off the shelf
moldings, doors, railings, windows, etc.
The Shakers were using a lot of machines in their factories by the later
half of the 19th century... bandsaws, jointers, thickness planers, table
saws, mortising machines, lathes, etc.
I can't say any of the houses I've lived in have been all that
spectacular in terms of molding or details. They've been nice houses,
sure, well except that one that was held up by 2 2x4s screwed together,
but no big loss to see them torn down and rebuilt with modern electrical
What I don't understand is why surface-run electrical either looks ugly
but is cheap (PVC pipe) or looks ok but is expensive (wiremold). Can't
we come up with a nice looking retrofit system that looks decent and is
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