View Full Version : how do I make this molding?

Philip Berman
01-04-2009, 1:22 PM
below is a picture of a mantel whose front is shaped in 2 different planes, i.e. the front of the mantel bows out in areas and in in others, along with the curved shape along the bottom edge of the piece. I've seen an original, as in from the late 1700's, in person, so I know that the moldings along the edge framing the opening of the firebox were applied. I've successfully created a blank that fits to the piece I'm working on, but obviously can't just use a router or a molding plane to shape the face because of the curves in the 2 different planes. I've considered a scratchstock, but this molding requires removal of quite a bit of material and have been advised against this route. Hand carving is a possibility, although I don't know how I'd get a straight-enough line using just some carving tools. So, how do I make this? Have I misinterpreted the construction of this thing? Does anybody have any idea how the French did this in the 18th century, without benefit of power tools or even electric light for that matter? I'm stumped!!!! By the way, in real-life, my mantel is being constructed of 8/r walnut which was cut into thirds, mitering the center section at 4 degrees on each side, then the whole thing put together and chopped,shaped,carved, and had a lot of bad words thrown at it.



Kenneth Hertzog
01-04-2009, 9:50 PM
I don't know but I sure wish I did.
I'll bet someone like Roy Underhill would know
Seems he does a lot of items from the period. :)


Dewey Torres
01-05-2009, 1:50 AM
Send a PM to Mike Henderson (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/member.php?u=4650)

Khalid Khattak
01-05-2009, 2:22 AM
Its Just Simple.. You have just to take a bigger size of block in which both curves dimensions comes out.. Scroll saw it and apply router bits on one side and make a slot on other side...

Zahid Naqvi
01-05-2009, 2:23 PM
Phil, looking at the bottom right corner it seems the leg and skirting are two separate pieces. I bet with enough experience you can get very streight lines even with hand tools. You can use a knife etc. to make a guide line to define the edges of the moldings, using these lines as reference you can deepen the cuts. The background can be flattened using a router plane.
Mike Henderson is our local carving experts, I am sure he will chime in soon.

Mike Henderson
01-05-2009, 3:19 PM
I'm afraid I don't have any real comments. It doesn't look like a hard carving job. You'd rough out the shape of the front with a band saw (our ancestors would have used a bow saw).

Draw your design full size and transfer it using carbon paper. To do the other side, just flip your design over.

The carving itself is straight forward. As far so making the lines "straight" (really, "not wavy"), you carve them as best you can, then go back and trim them until they look straight.

I may not appreciate the complexity of what you want to do, however. It's hard to tell from a picture.

They may have used something similar to "scratch stock" to do the bottom molding. You'd carve it close, then use the "scratch" stock to scrape it so that it's all the same size and smooth.


Philip Berman
01-05-2009, 3:34 PM
for all the suggestions.