Sunday, July 30, 2017

Custom Crown Moulding By Hand

In my previous post I illustrated the execution of a few simple profiles: one concave, convex and flat surface. These modest profiles illustrate the necessary series of steps for guiding hollow and round planes, which have neither fence nor depth stop and are seemingly difficult to steer. Know that hollows and rounds are always guided in the same fashion I presented there, even when making something more intricate.

The process can seem daunting with more complex profiles. A sober mind will soon conclude that the same process, once learned, understood and tried will apply there, here and everywhere.
Hollows will ride the edges of a chamfer to create a convex surface and rounds will ride the edges of a rabbet(s) to make concave faces. Combining these attributes to guide various hollows and rounds will allow you, the end user, to make increasingly complex profiles.

See if you recognize any portion of the process with the following moulding from E. J. Warne’s Furniture Moulding.

When preparing to make this moulding we must first transfer the profile from paper onto wood. Step 1 is “find the flats” of the profile.

From here, having already used a circle template to find the various radii of the circle segments involved, connect the flat surfaces and then add an appropriate series of rabbets for every round to be used.

Once defined, transfer the rabbets to the ends of the final piece and knock off the bulk of the material with your favorite method. If this is a big leap, see here.

All of these rabbets must first be defined with a rabbet plane or other preferred method. See how I did this here.

Start knocking off the edges of those rabbets with the appropriately sized rounds. I used #14 round first.

The round has no fence and no depth stop which, again, is an absolute advantage of the tool. These planes will ride in the rabbets which serve three purposes: removing the bulk of material with an edge that is easiest to maintain, creating a series of chutes for the planes to ride in that substitute for a fence, and giving the user a defined goal that will be a depth gauge.

Add a chamfer for the #10 hollow.

 The chamfer for the #10 will serve the same three purposes as the series of rabbets did for the #14.

#6 round is next, guided by rabbets

Finally, chamfers to guide the #4 hollow

All that is left is a poor miter, a drink,

and a reiteration that the process of steering these planes is easy because it is always the same.


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  2. That is really nice to hear. thank you for the update and good luck. polyurethane crown molding