We are finishing up work on Matt Bickford’s “Mouldings in Practice” book this week. It should be off to the printer next week and – barring any wackiness – in stock by the end of July or early August.
First some details on the book and then a warning.
Details. We could have called this “Matt’s Big Book of Mouldings.” It is big. It’s going to be in a 7” x 10” format with more than 250 pages of text, photos and illustrations. And it’s the illustrations that are key. Matt drew more than 200 mouldings in process to show exactly what is going on at each stage.
The book is divided into two major sections. The first is on the moulding planes themselves – how to tune and sharpen them. Then Matt goes on to explain how to lay out and execute the rabbets and chamfers that will create the desired profile.
Wait, rabbets and chamfers? Indeed. We could have called this “Matt’s Big Book of Mostly Rabbets and Chamfers.” These two basic shapes are the key to creating consistent results. There are also chapters on plow planes, side rounds and snipes bills, and their role in making mouldings.
The second section of “Mouldings in Practice” takes eight high-style period pieces and deconstructs the mouldings on them and shows you how to make them, step by step. Matt studied these pieces at Nathan Liverant and Son Antiques in Colchester, Conn. This part of the book is nearly 80 pages long and is very cool. It’s one thing to talk about sample mouldings. It’s another thing to work with the real-deal stuff.
Like all Lost Art Press books, this will be produced and printed entirely in the United States. Acid-free paper. Smythe-sewn binding. Cotton-covered hardbound. All the drawings will be in full-color. The photos are black and white. We don’t have a retail price yet – probably less than $40. We will offer pre-orders with free shipping and a bonus digital download (more details on that later). We do not know which (if any) of our retailers will carry the book yet.
Now the warning.
If you’ve been looking for hollows and rounds in preparation for this book, you might have had some trouble. Ed Lebetkin, who runs the shop above The Woodwright’s School, reports that he cannot keep certain sizes in stock because of the high demand.
Likewise, there is going to be some strong demand to take classes from Matt himself. He’ll be teaching his methods at three places this summer. Here are some links. If you want to get a jump-start on this part of the craft, the book and some instruction from Matt are a fantastic way to go.
July 7-9: Using Wooden Moulding Planes at The Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, in Manchester, Conn.
Aug. 18-19: Hand Planed Mouldings at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks in Warren, Maine.
Sept. 15-16: Molding Planes with Matt Bickford at The Acanthus Workshop in Pottstown, Penn.
— Christopher Schwarz