Mouldings Part III

In the Romanesque style the mouldings consist almost entirely of rounds and hollows, the former known as the bowtel and in England, France, Spain and Germany employed to decorate or soften the angle of an arch mould. As the Romanesque arch frequently consisted of two or more rings of arches, projecting one in front of the other, to which rings the term ” order ” is sometimes given, the repetition of this simple moulding constituted an ample decoration by itself, but in the Norman work in England and the north of France there is found the constant recurrence of mouldings broken into zigzag lines and other decorations coming under the head of ornamental mouldings described below. The simple bowtel (fig. 12) was retained in France far into the Gothic period, but in the Early English style the mouldings (fig. 13) became lighter, being more boldly cut than in the Romanesque styles. Here again, as in the earlier style, each ring or order is enriched with a succession of alternate rounds and hollows, the latter very deeply cut, and a few small fillets. The bowtel also is brought cut to an angle which is sometimes emphasized by a small fillet; this is sometimes called the keel moulding from its resemblance in section to the bottom of a ship. Sometimes the angle of the ring is splayed, and the mouldings are worked on the splay, and this is very often found in the mouldings of the ribs of a vault (fig. 13agiving greater lightness to the rib. The mouldings of the Decorated period (fig. 14) are more diversified than those of the Early English, and the hollows towards the end of the period become shallower and broader, ogees being frequently employed. One of the chief characteristics of the Perpendicular period (fig. 15) is the prevalence of large shallow hollows and the employment of two ogees in close contact with the convex sides next each other.

The French mouldings of the Gothic period in Normandy and adjacent parts follow very much on the same lines as those in England, but in the south of France and in Germany they are very much simpler, and one rarely finds the deep hollow which forms the chief characteristic of English mouldings. In French flamboyant and late German Gothic work the mouldings run through, penetrating one another; these in Germany were sometimes cut off, having the appearance of the smaller stems of a tree from which some of the boughs have been lopped.

Jewellery Box

This is a commissioned job for a client. I three more to make but using different timbers.

  1. Red oak
  2. QLD walnut
  3. NG rosewood
  4. out of ideas

What do you think the best wood for this design would be? I was thinking about using camphor, but that might not be the best option. Fijian mahogany appears to be too plain to me. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. It’s interesting, though, because out of all the timbers I have, I rarely find the one I need. BTW the panel is white it just turned out that way when I took a shot.

Mouldings Part II

In Classic work generally the cavetto is only employed for the apophyge under the capital and over the base, but in Roman work, as in the theatre of Marcellus, it sometimes took the place of the cymatium of the cornice. Although extremely simple in its form, the finest Greek moulding, and the one to which the Greeks apparently attached the greatest value, was the echinus under the abacus of the Doric capital.

The earliest archaic example exists in the capital of the shafts flanking the tomb of Agamemnon at Mycenae (a, fig. 10), where it consisted of a large torus decorated with the chevron (see CAPITALS), and an apophyge carved with the petals of a flower; a similar decoration of the apophyge is found in two or three early Doric capitals, as at Paestum and Metapontum, but this is the only example known in which the echinus of the Doric capital was carved, though traces of painting and gilding have been found on them. Other examples showing the gradual development of the echinus are shown in fig. 10; being from the temple at Corinth, from the Parthenon at Athens, from the portico at Delos, e an early Roman example (c. 60 b.c.) of the temple at Cori, and from the theatre of Marcellus, where it nearly approaches the quarter round always employed in late Roman work and in the Renaissance.

There is one other important decorative feature which forms the most characteristic feature of the bedmould of the Ionic cornice, viz. the dentil cornice (fig. 11), derived originally from the ends of the squared timbers which carried the cornice of the primitive Ionic temple, and in the earlier stone examples copied more or less literally; it subsequently in the 4th century was introduced as a part of the bedmould of the cornice of the Ionic Order, the temple of Minerva Polias at Priene in Asia Minor being one of the best examples. It consists of a series of projecting blocks with intervals between them equal to half the width of the block. In the Greek Corinthian Order it was first introduced into the Choragic monument of Lysicrates. It was constantly employed by the Romans in their temples of the Ionic and Corinthian Orders, the finest example being in the bedmould of the temple of Castor in Rome, where it is twice the height of the other mouldings.

Grinding Shavings into Saw Dust

I prepared a little video showing how I make saw dust from my shavings. Why would I do such a thing? Sometimes we make mistakes and minor gaps appear here and there, or we need to fill small gaps when completing an inlay. Using saw dust from the material you’re working with is the best way to do it. The best approach is to use a saw, but if you need a lot, this is the second best method. Before it’s developed enough, I’d have to grind it at least 6 or 7 times.

Shock, Horror, Surpise

Welcome to the year 2022! A new year brings fresh opportunities as well as new problems. My new starting to the year is that I’ve basically switched to a different type of adhesive. I’ve been using hide glue for almost two decades now.

It’s fantastic; it’s sturdy and long-lasting. It has no effect on the finished product, and it’s a fun throwback to the past. What I don’t like about it is how long it takes to cook, how closely you have to control the heat, and how long it takes to clamp. Oh, and it doesn’t work on all woods with high silicon content or that are simply oily, such as Merbau. You can wipe it down as much as you want with DAA beforehand, the adhesive will not stick.

I tried to help speed up the cooking process by turning it into liquid hide, but I couldn’t get the salt mix to be the appropriate consistency to make it work. Instead, I just left it as is and poured the contents into an empty glue bottle and tossed it in the refrigerator at the end of the day. The next morning, I’d turn on the stove and dip the glue bottle into the hot water and used it that way. Its full strength hide in a bottle, not liquid hide. Surprisingly, the consistency remained consistent, and everything seemed to be well until I needed to glue merbau.

This was the turning point in my craft. After many years of not using white glue, I decided to buy some. I went with white glue because it dries transparent. I also went with interior/exterior so that it could be used for both. Finally, the clamps can only be removed after a single hour of clamping. I’m sorry to say, but I haven’t looked back. It will bond merbau, no cooking, no long overdrawn clamp times, and no long overdrawn clamp times just to reiterate that point.   I look at my glue pots with sadness as it sits there dry as a bone on my dusty stove on my old workbench.

This got me thinking of vintage tools. They’re amazing, and I couldn’t work without them in my business, but they’re overpriced and far inferior to modern reproduction tools in terms of quality. Aside from the old Stanley hand planes, no other antique or vintage tool compares to a modern copy in terms of quality and pricing. Let me offer you an example: on eBay, a Stanley no.71 router plane will sell for between $265 and $300. For $290, Lie Nielsen has a better router plane and Veritas equally has a better plane for $300 , but these prices are Australian thanks to the low Aussie dollar; in the United States, it’s considerably cheaper.

Lie Nielsen
Stanley No.71
Veritas

Do you see where I’m going with this? Because of the hand tool revival, the vintage tool marketplace has exploded. Some well-known educators, such as Christopher Schwarz, claim that this or that tool is the best he has ever used, and everyone jumps on it whether they need it or not. Not much is different when Paul Sellers presents his router planes. People behave without considering the ramifications of their decisions.

All these factors contribute to the price surge we see today. The only way to slow it down, if not stop it altogether, is to stop buying them.

Consider your options before making a purchase

Before you go out and buy vintage tools on eBay or any other website, take a look at what they cost new. Vintage tools are not superior to modern-day reproductions in terms of quality. In fact, the majority of the time they get worse as a result of neglect, abuse, and normal wear and tear. The old adage goes, “Think before you act.”

Investigate the possibility of producing your own tools

Why can’t we manufacture tools for ourselves today if individuals 250 years ago could? Woodworkers in the past would have gone bankrupt if they bought everything in the catalogue like we do today. If it hadn’t been for credit cards, we would have gone bankrupt long ago.

18th century Scrub Plane
I made this small router plane
Cuban tool maker – Abel Rios

Mouldings Part I

MOULDINGS, the term in architecture for the decorative treatment given to projecting or receding features in stone, wood and other materials, by means of curved forms, whereby those features are accentuated and varied owing to the play of light and shade on the surfaces. The principal characteristics of all the European styles are to be found in the mouldings employed in them and in their ornamental decoration. In some of the earlier styles, such as the Assyrian and The Persian, there are no mouldings: coloured bands in brick, enamelled tiles or beton, were deemed sufficient to mark the divisions of their storeys or to decorate their buildings. The Egyptians employed two mouldings only, the cavetto (fig. I), a deep moulding sometimes of great dimensions which crowned their pylons, temples and decorative shrines, and the torus, a semi-circular projecting moulding which was carried above the architrave and down the quoins of their buildings. The Greeks were the first to recognize, in their temples, the special value possessed by mouldings which, occupying an intermediate position between the ornamental sculptures and the simple architectural lines of the main structure, gave a richly decorative effect to the latter without interference with the beauty of the former.

The Classic mouldings may be divided into two classes, simple and compound; to the former belong the cavetto (of small dimensions when compared with the Egyptian cavetto) and the Scotia (fig. 2), employed for the bases of columns, which are seen below the eye, both concave mouldings, whilst the ovolo or echinus. ore or quart de rand(figs3 and 4) and the torus are convex mouldings. The compound mouldings are those composed of curves of contrary flexure, such as the cymarecta or cymatium (fig. 5), of which the upper part is concave and the lower convex, a moulding constantly employed for the upper member of the cornice, and the cyma-reversa or ogee (fig. 6)Fr. talonin which the upper portion is convex.

The Greeks sometimes varied the ogee moulding, the upper portion of which is turned back and the lower portion brought forward, and to this the term quirked ogee (fig. 7)is given. Another Greek moulding of compound form is the bird’s beak (fig. 8), employed as a drip moulding above the corona. Of smaller dimensions is the astragal (fig. 9), a moulding invariably carved with the bead and reel, -which in Greek work is constantly used in conjunction with the enriched echinus and cyma-reversa mouldings (figs. 18, 20) and below the necking of Ionic capitals; and the listel or fillet, employed chiefly in the separation of curved mouldings one from the other; in the cymatium constituting its upper termination (fig. 5), and in the Scotia (fig. 2) its upper and lower border.

Kinds of accessory furnishings

Accessory furnishings constitute important elements in the interior. Included here are clocks and other mechanical works, mirrors, textiles, screens, stoves, and fireplaces; and a number of smaller articles made by cabinetmakers, such as boxes, caskets, sewing tables, wastepaper baskets, lighting fixtures, frames, panelling, and floor surfaces.

Clocks

Clocks are considered furnishings if the movement is enclosed within a case, which need not necessarily be of wood. Clocks can be divided into table clocks and tall-case clocks. There were two creative centres for table clocks, namely England and France. In 17th- and 18th-century France, the table clock became an object of monumental design, the best examples of which are minor works of sculpture. The actual movement is framed by a marble socle, and the clock face by a sculptural frame of solid bronze incorporating freely moulded figures and ornamentation. Some of France’s best sculptors and bronze casters were engaged in the creation of decorative frames for clock movements. A French speciality, imitated elsewhere on the Continent, was the wall clock, or so-called cartel clock, the earliest examples of which were designed by a goldsmith and ornamentalist, Juste-Aurèle Meissonier. The clock face is the centre of an ornament, or rocaille-cartouche, cast in bronze, sometimes garnished with figures of symbolic significance; for example, Time, a man with a scythe, or a crowing cock. In England, where tastes were more bourgeois, the fine movements made by skilful London clockmakers were built into wooden cases, architectonic in composition and featuring pilasters (partly recessed columns) and cornices. Simple walnut cases could be adorned with metal ornaments and brass balls. The more expensive table clocks were concealed in cases embellished with inlaid wood or tortoiseshell.

Tall-case clocks were also made in France and England. French tall-case clocks are monumental and richly designed. In the reign of Louis XIV there were tall-case clocks of the boulle type with metal and tortoiseshell inlay work. Later, in the 18th century and especially during the Rococo period, the case that concealed the weights acquired more dramatic form: richly inlaid wooden surfaces were framed and adorned by magnificently gilded Rococo ornaments in bronze. The English tall-case clock was to a greater extent a piece of furniture, and the main features of its construction remained unaltered throughout the 18th century. The tall-case clock stands on a base, or socle, from which the somewhat narrower case for the weights rises up, crowned by the framework of the actual movement and clock face. The last-named section is in reality a table clock mounted on a weight case. Each individual section of the tall-case clock is thus clearly separate; each has its distinct function; and no attempt was made, as in France, to veil the independence of the individual parts. The weight case is provided with a door in which there may be a window through which the position of the weights can be observed. In the United States, urban centres spawned regionally specific styles of casework that made the tall-case clock one of the most expensive items in the 18th-century home.

During the 18th century, barometers became increasingly popular. The mechanism was provided with a decorative wooden framework intended to harmonize with the other furniture in a room.

Mirrors

The use of mirror glass in furnishings arose during the 17th century. The discoloration of the melted glass because of silvering and the prohibitive cost and difficulty of manufacturing mirror glass of considerable size restricted the possibilities of large-scale application. The mirror gallery at Versailles was thus an outstanding technical achievement for its time. When Louis XIV strode through the gallery at the head of his court, the glass walls reflected the diamonds in his crown. This effect was imitated to a greater or lesser degree in all the courts of Europe. In the 18th century the wall mirror found its way into most interiors. The popularity and wide distribution of mirror glass was stimulated by the need for an increased amount of artificial light. During the 16th and 17th centuries, this need had been satisfied by placing candles in front of highly polished concave metal plates. By using silvered mirror glass, the light effect was multiplied. From then on, large mirrors hung over console tables were a necessary and functional part of rooms illumined by artificial light.

Fabrics

The use of fabrics in furnishing rooms is closely bound up with the need for heating. In the primitively heated rooms of the Middle Ages, textiles were used to keep out cold and drafts. In 12th- and 13th-century churches, painted textile drapery can still be discerned beneath the picture friezes. In rather cold churches, just as in poorly heated homes, loosely hung textile wall coverings were of the greatest importance. They were hung loosely because of the practice of taking them down and moving them, together with the relatively few items of furniture, according to need. It was not until the end of the 17th century and during the 18th century that tapestries and other forms of textile wall hanging became fixtures; that is, fastened to the wall within frames. Wall pictures made of paper and, subsequently, patterned wallpaper became a cheaper substitute for textile wall hangings during the 19th century. Screens or room dividers were often covered with textiles, partly to afford protection against direct radiant heat and partly to create cozy corners in large rooms. Framed screens were often covered with pieces of tapestry, with other woven materials, or with gilt leather.

Fireplaces

Rooms and large halls were not heated until the advent of modern central heating systems. The open hearth was replaced during the late Middle Ages by the fireplace, which is merely an architectonic way of framing the burning logs. During the period when it was important as a source of heat, the fireplace became the object of design work by significant artists. A Scottish architect, Robert Adam, and his brothers and an Italian architect and engraver, Giambattista Piranesi, made considerable artistic contributions to the design and construction of fireplaces.

Other accessory furnishings

Small utility objects constitute an important part of the furnishing of interiors. Several of them are the work of cabinetmakers; for example, boxes for writing paper and playing cards, caskets for letters and documents, trays for serving or presentation. Accessory furnishings include the various articles, large and small, that are employed in the course of domestic work—from small looms to lace pillows, spinning wheels, embroidery frames, and sewing tables. Women’s chattels, partly in the form of equipment for domestic needs and partly in the form of items of storage furniture for such small items as pins, scissors, wool, and materials, all had their place in the home.

Finally, the structure and decoration of the walls, ceilings, and floors—for example, panelling, stucco work, parquet flooring, carpets—can also come under the heading of accessory furnishings. Usually, however, they are considered under the subject of interior decoration.

Stanley No.5 Thickness Plane

The fifth plane is a One-Off No.5 Surface Planer. This plane was a No. 5 with four depth stops added so it could plane two-inch wood to a specified thickness.
L. R. Schatz of Medford, Oregon, created this functionality.
On July 7, 1927, it was shipped to Stanley Tools, and in August 1927, E.A. Schade redesigned it. When this plane was discovered, the two design sketches were hidden beneath the lever cap. It’s still unclear why this plane was created or what its purpose was.

Stanley No.5 Thickness Plane

Unfortunately, this is the only image of this plane that exists. I’m delighted I’m able to share it with you today because I’m sure most of you had no idea such a plane existed. In 2014, Paul Sellers released a video of a concept that was most likely inspired by this model of a contraption he dubbed “The Paul Sellers Thickness Planer.” I’ve looked through historical archives of its pre-existence but haven’t been able to find one. Regardless of where it comes from, it’s a tool I’m thankful to have.

In case you missed my video of the aforementioned contraption in use