by Matthew Sheldon Bickford
One of the primary means of adding interest to a piece of furniture is with mouldings. A moulding can be simple or complex and before the days of power machinery the best way of making a moulding was with a molding plane. For a commonly used profile a dedicated plane that works the entire shape of the moulding can be used, or the moulding can be made section by section using simple planes that together can form almost any profile.
Matt Bickford, a planemaker, has written a book that will become an essential resource for anyone using planes for making mouldings. The book deals in depth with several topics, all important for success. The theme throughout the book is that moulding planes work, they work well, and almost any profile can be cut if you understand the elements of the profile. A myriad of color illustrations are used to explain how various profiles are cut, in what sequence and with which planes. Each class of plane used for making mouldings is discussed. This includes plow and rabbet planes in addition to regular curved profile planes. Bickford talks about the geometry of a each design and how it is supposed to work, how to maintain the plane, and how to actually make mouldings with it.
One real innovation in the book is a use of a myriad of color drawings that show how complex mouldings can be made in stages using a sequence of simple rabbet planes and hollows and rounds. He covers a wide variety of common profiles and also a look at how the moulding on certain specific classic furniture pieces were made. I suppose in the days of yore a lot of the information in this book would be drummed into apprentices as part of their training. These days we don't have these options and it's a wonderful and useful thing that this book is available. 6" x 9 1/4" profusely illustrated with B+W photographs and color diagrams. Hard cover. Printed in the USA.
Publisher: Lost Art Press