Editor’s note: Dean Jansa is a dyed-in-the-wool traditional hand-tool woodworker who helped ignite many of the ideas behind my book on workbenches. At our request, Jansa gracious agreed to let us post some of his hand-tool tutorials he prepared for a Google Group. This first tutorial coves some of the basic strokes when sticking a moulding by hand.
— Christopher Schwarz
I was making a simple molding for a chest I am working on and thought I’d document the process. If you want to watch someone who really knows what they are doing I recommend Don McConnell’s DVD “Traditional Molding Techniques: The Basics.”
I’ve followed the same steps he outlines in the DVD, but Don does a better job of describing the steps than I probably will.
The first step, after deciding on the profile, is to lay the profile out on the edge of the stock and cut a series of steps with a fillister that will later guide the hollows and rounds. Note: It appears that I am cutting the steps on the edge of a large piece of stock. I’m not. That rough board is just used as a makeshift fence to turn my entire benchtop into a long sticking board.
It is a good idea to build your bench as long as you can. My bench is just a bit longer than 8’, and I stick the molding on a piece as long as I can fit on my bench. When creating moldings by hand there will be natural variations in the profile along its length. If you stick the profile as one long piece you can then wrap the moulding around the entire case and have profile match at the corners. The profiles, over the short distance needed to cut the miter, will match. So build a long bench!
Here you can see the resulting steps left by the fillister. There’s no need to worry about a little tear-out, the hollows and rounds will remove more stock and they are pitched higher than my fillister, which reduces tearing).
Next I cut the concave portion with a round plane.
Then the convex portion with a hollow plane.
Finally, cut the last bit of profile on the top of the molding with a hollow. (I didn’t take a photo, sorry.) Here is the resulting molding.
Finally, wrap the moulding around the case. First cut the front molding from the middle of the long board, then cut the sides from the pieces cut from the left and right of the front molding. Here it is on the case.
— Dean Jansa
11 thoughts on “Guest Post: Sticking a Moulding”
Excellent advice about sticking a long board so the corner profiles will match. And I see from your photos that it also helps to have a shop cat supervise the entire process. ; )
Great article. I have watched Don’s video and it seemed like he got a lot done with a small number of planes. Could you advise on what planes to start with to get going on making moldings with planes?
Nice job Dean!
I wrote about my approach on Woodcentral. Its esentially the same but I used Roubo’s instructions on tracing the moulding geometrically.
Don’s DVD is the best thing after sliced bread!
Hard to answer the starting point question. It really depends on what scale of work you do.
At the very least some sort of rabbet plane is handy for cutting the steps. You can use a regular rabbet/skew rabbet and use your fingers as a fence, or a moving fillister. Roughing the shape/steps with gouges or chisels works too.
Snipes bills are handy for this too. Don deciphered the passage in Sheraton describing making a molding — sinking the rabbets with a snipes bill was the key to unlocking that passage. I’ve not tried that method in a serious manner, only short test runs. But it seems to have merit and I will explore more.
Given a way to cut the rough form you just need the hollows/rounds in the sizes that will shape the final molding for your work. For smallish case work just a handful of smaller sizes. Take a peak in Chippendale book, there are molding profiles there. Scale them to the work you do and the necessary H&Rs will be easy to pick.
Hope that is of some help?
Good to see the Fillister getting a workout!
Also pleased to see that "Shopcats" exist the world over 😉
I have a half set of hollows and rounds, a moving fillister and Don’s DVD. I have read your post on sticking a moulding. The intro says that you have written more on this for a "google group". Is that something I can join? Could you point me to anything else you have written on this subject of sticking mouldings with Hollows and rounds?
Besides Don’s first and upcoming second video, do you know of any other references on this subject?
Keep your eyes on this blog – there may be more in the pipeline of interest!
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Great advice here indeed. I just ordered four sets of hollows and rounds from Philly Planes in England…gearing up for a traditional exterior door build. Should be fun. I also ordered a couple of the videos mentioned above. Thanks!
Education is everywhere…embrace it!
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