Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SAPFM Mid-Year Conference

The SAPFM Mid-Year Conference was this past weekend at The Connecticut Valley School of Woodoworking (I will be teaching a class there regarding molding plane use at the end of July).

The three high points for me were as follows:
3. The slideshow of members' work. I thought it was truly fantastic and wished it was longer.

2. Yale furniture study/lecture. On Friday much of the group went on a field trip to Yale. It was the first time I had been on campus in 8 years and the first time I went to the furniture study. If you haven't been, and you're interested in period furniture, go. There are 1100 pieces in the basement of a building that are waiting for you to measure, photograph, and copy. It's incredible.

1. I have been to two Lie Nielsen Handtool events (30th Anniversary in a few weeks in ME, see you there) at Phil Lowe's Furniture Institute of Massachusetts. Both times I demonstrated next to the following chair...
I saw it again this weekend. I think it's my favorite piece of furniture. I can not keep my eyes off of it. You just need to see it.

To the point of this blog...
I demonstrated my wares after the conference at CVSW to those who stayed around. Much of the weekend focused on New England furniture and I wanted to stay on topic to some extent. There were many references to Chapin throughout the weekend--we saw two of his highboys. Will Neptune, one of the demonstrators, even did a demonstration of some of the carvings.

While at the Wadsworth Museum I tried to memorize the Chapin crown. Let's take a look. (Again, this was done from memory.)
Band saw followed by table saw or snipes bills and rabbets

Side round

#6 round followed by rabbet and #6 hollow

#14 round to mimic a 1 1/2" circle. The 14 cuts a a 1" radius and the 18 cuts a 1 1/2" radius. Why did I use the 14? The astragal to the left and large fillet in the middle prevent the use of a larger plane. The 14 left a slightly faceted surface, but a minute of scraping will work those out. (Teachable moment: you don't need every plane.)

#2 hollow


I milled the rabbets for this example before the program started on Sunday. I completed this profile during the demonstration time with the help of a few conference participants.

What set's this profile apart? Notice that large fillet in the middle of the profile. What do you suppose is its purpose?

That point is a transition. The bottom portion of the molding continues around the chest uninterrupted with that large fillet acting as a faux top for the case. The ogee and small fillet along the top turns up on the case's face into a gooseneck that ends in a rosette. 

 The gooseneck is carved and scraped.

There's no question the following profiles are of similar size. You'll have trouble, however, with splitting the profiles in half for them to separate in front.

The beauty of hollows and rounds is that you don't need to make that sacrifice...These three profiles, all of which are very different, share 3 planes.

See a molding, make a molding


  1. Another nice post, Matt. I signed up for the class at CVSW earlier this week -- I think there was only one spot left. You really should have announced the class on your website earlier, and more prominently.

    I will also see you at the open house at Lie Nielsen in July. I went last year for the first time, and it was great. If anyone else reading this will be going, you should plan on going earlier on Friday if you can. That will enable you to see the guys who make all those wonderful tools in action, and get to talk to them and ask questions. If you get there Saturday, you can take tours of the whole works, but most of the workers themselves will be off.

  2. Matt

    Great post. How did you get the curved molding done so quickly?

    Herb Kettler