Rem Moldings

Tedswoodworking Plans

Ted's Woodworking Plans

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router, scratchstock, or carving tools - make sure that you have selected the right profile lor the pattern you want. Also, make sure that the profiles of all the lengths of moldings are the same, so that when mi-tcred, the molding runs smoothly together at the corners.

The molding show n in the photos and drawings is a French Louis XVI baguette molding, most often used for small picture frames. This style of molding would usually be gilded, but the molding is so pleasant that it looks good with a clear finish, too. The molding I'm carving in the photos is made of clear, straight-grained mahogany.

Mitering the Molding

After the molding was shaped. I mitered it to size before carving. The painting that 1 wanted to frame is 18 in.x 14 in. overall (called the cam-as size or picture size), and 1 wanted the frame to overlap the picture '/: in. all around. Subtracting 1 in. from the overall size gave me a measurement of 17 in.x 13 in. for the frame opening. This measurement is known as the


Mark out a half berry at either end of the molding, and divide the space between into groups of three berries. Then, go back and mark the center of each individual berry.

1. Draw half berry at each miter.

\ .2 .Set dividers and step off here.

3. H last unit won't fit, adjust dividers in or out and step off in opposite direction until lines meet.

Half berry on adjacent molding pattern.


Last unit won't fit.

Round the berries by holding the gouge bevel up with the handle low and in line with the molded bead. Raise the handle, rounding the berry as you go. Finish with the handle in an upright position.

The first step to carving the berries is to make a V-cut between the berries with a parting tool.





The first step to carving the berries is to make a V-cut between the berries with a parting tool.

sight size, because it is the size of the picture that you will actually see. The sight size is the critical measurement when cutting miters.

First, cut the left-hand miter on each of your four pieces of wood, then mark off your sight size on the inside edge of the molding. Swing your miter saw around, and cut the other miter just up to your pencil line. Now take your two long sides and your two short sides, and hold the short against the short and the long against the long to make sure that they arc exactly the same length. II they aren't, the frame will be twisted or the miters will gape. Don't put the frame together yet —it's easier to carve moldings when they're apart.

Round the berries by holding the gouge bevel up with the handle low and in line with the molded bead. Raise the handle, rounding the berry as you go. Finish with the handle in an upright position.


Bead tilts toward sight edge BACK BEVEL /SCOTIA of frame. \ Hold gouge ^ at this angle when rounding berries.

Narrow band of uncarved — wood around each berry keeps sides of berries in straight line.

Section through frame molding.

Picture fits into frame rabbet.


t XI


1~ T__

Sharp ridge runs down center of dart.

Marking Out the Berry Pattern

Now lor marking out the berry pattern. It's necessary to do all your mitering or cabinet work first, because the pattern needs to be fitted exactly into the available space, and because, quite often, patterns will have more elaborate ornamentation in the miters. You need to plan lor this from the very beginning. The first and most important step is to lay out the pattern. So. mark out half a berry on each miter. (The other half will be formed by the adjoining molding.) Now that the pattern is set on each miter, it's time to fill in the space between.

To evenly space patterns, use dividers, rather than a ruler. First, mark out the length of three berries, and set your dividers to this measurement. Starting from the half berry that you've alrcadv marked out on the miter, very gently (so that you don't mar the wood) measure out units of three berries along the entire length of the molding. Ordinarily, you'd mark the area l>et\\ven the berries rather than the berries themselves so that you cut out your pencil marks. But, if this is the first time you've carved a molding, it will be easier to mark the center of the berry itself and erase the pencil mark when you're done.

If you're lucky, when you reach the opposite end of the molding, the dividers will fall exactly on the center of the other half berry that you've marked. If not. shorten or lengthen the dividers a tiny bit. and this time, start from the center of the half bcrrv at the

Numbered cuts progress from left to right


Numbered cuts progress from left to right opposite end ol the molding, and work your way back toward the first, as shown in Fig. 1. This process of working in from one miter with dividers, adjusting the spacing a tiny bit. and working back until your lines meet, is the procedure that is always used to lay out repeat moldings so that they begin and end where you want them to.

At last, your molding is precisely laid out with units of three berries. Now, either by eye, or with the dividers. find the center of each individual berry within the groups of three, and make a pencil mark,as shown in the photo.

If a molding is small, with a fairly large rabbet lor the picture, you can hold it down for carving by clamping it in a big bench vise, gripping it by the rabbet and the flat, back edge. Only do this if both clamping surfaces are big enough. Otherwise, you can clamp the moldings dow n onto the bench, though sometimes the clamps get in your way. If they do, saw a piece of wood that fits the rabbet, nail or screw it to your bench, and push the molding up against it. This piece of w-(xjd is also useful for supporting the sight edge of the frame (the edge that forms the picture opening) when you carve it, as shown in the photo on page 33. This is especially useful if the sight edge is thin, running the risk of breaking it while carving. Pieces of wood nailed tightly behind the molding and at the two miters will hold it firmly in place.

Catring the Berry Pattern

The trick to getting a good-looking molding is to use sharp tools and use them decisively. Make each cut only once, and make sure it's in the right place. If you try to redo the cut. or use sandpaper to even it up. the molding will lose its crispness and regularity.

Now for the carving. Start w ith the berries, because they're the easier of the two moldings to carve. The sequence of cuts is shown in the drawing above. The cut numbers in the text that follows refer to the cut numbers on the drawing. Many, but not all. of the steps are also shown in the accompanying photos. It you haven't carved this molding before, it's best to practice on a bit of scrap. Professional carvers w ill almost always practice on scrap in order to pick the right tools for the pattern and to completely work out the pattern and the sequence of cuts.

You'll need four tools for carving the berries: a 6mm parting tool, a gouge which exactly fits the profile of the bead (I used a 5mm, #6), an 8mm. #5 fishtail gouge for cleaning out the waste, and a little pick, a tiny tool no more than I mm across, used for picking out waste in tight spaces. (For more on carving tools, see November/ Decern her. 1988/1H'.)

The first step is to use the parting tool to remove the waste wood from between the berries. Run the tool exactly in the middle between them, cutting to about half the depth of the bead (cut #1). Be careful to get the bottom of the cut exactly in the middle between the berries. Also, leave one or two berries at the miters uncarved — it's easier to finish off the can ing near the miters when the frame is joined. It also makes it easier to visualize exactlv w hat should happen in the corner

Define the perimeter of each berry by rotat- Run along the edge of the berries with a fishtail gouge to pop out the waste from between Ing the gouge around the base, cutting to the the berries. Use a pick, or your smallest gouge, to pop out the waste depth of the flat on either side of the bead. on the opposite side of the berries.

Define the perimeter of each berry by rotat- Run along the edge of the berries with a fishtail gouge to pop out the waste from between Ing the gouge around the base, cutting to the the berries. Use a pick, or your smallest gouge, to pop out the waste depth of the flat on either side of the bead. on the opposite side of the berries.

Long mark for leaf centers.

Lamb Tongue Ornament

Short mark for eyes.


Numbered cuts progress from #1 left to right.

(carving half a pattern, especially on a miter, is difficult), and you won't have to cope with short grain.

Now take your #6 gouge, and holding the blade exactly in line with the bead, hold the handle down low, almost parallel with the bead. On this particular molding the bead "leans" toward the sight edge of the molding (the edge that forms the picture opening), and you should align your tool at right angles with this lean, as shown in Fig. 2. Place the tip of the gouge just beyond the pencil line that marks the center of a berry. With either hand pressure or gentle taps with a mallet, make a series of cuts, gradually raising the handle of the tool until the tool finishes in an upright position, rounding the berry as you go (cut #2). This should give you half a sphere. Go along the molding, doing this to each berry in turn, and then reverse directions and round off the other half of each berry (cut #3).

Be careful when making these cuts. If you raise the gouge handle too quickly, you'll form a pyramid rather than a sphere, and if raised too slowly you'll run into the next berry. As you make the cut. aim to finish just inside the V-mark left by the bottom of the parting tool. If the bead is very deep and the berries very close together, or the wood very hard, you will need to pick out the loose waste between the berries with a fishtail gouge. Once the debris is cleared, you should then be able to finish off the bottom of the sphere using your #6 gouge (cut #4).

Now you should have a perfect sphere. You'll notice that the last finishing cuts, the ones made with the gouge upright, define the perimeter of the berry. There should be a small area, running along the sides of the berry, which the tool hasn't cut. Using the same gouge, carefully join up the cuts, rotating the tool

#3 #4 #5 #6*7 #8i#9 #10#11 #12#13#14 #15 #16#17 #18#19

Form the eye of the lamb's tongue by cutting straight down with a 2mm, #11 veiner.

Form the dart between the leaves by cutting with the gouge at about 45s to the molding, bevel-side up.

Form the eye of the lamb's tongue by cutting straight down with a 2mm, #11 veiner.

Form the dart between the leaves by cutting with the gouge at about 45s to the molding, bevel-side up.

The two cuts that outline the shape of the leaf should meet at the tip in a point Be careful not to cut off the tip of the leaf.

Then turn the gouge over and cut away the waste up to the tip of the leaf.

Then turn the gouge over and cut away the waste up to the tip of the leaf.

The two cuts that outline the shape of the leaf should meet at the tip in a point Be careful not to cut off the tip of the leaf.

completely around each berry and setting in to the depth of the flat on each side of the bead (cut #5). As you do this, be very careful not to shave any wood from the circumference of the bcrrv. If vou do, the ber-

ries will vary slightly in width, and they'll look bad. To keep the berries lined up, leave a narrow band of the original bead profile—no more than '/»: in. wide— across the center of each berry as shown in Fig. 2.

A word of warning. If you make the setting-in cuts too deep, they'll show when you finish the frame; if they're too shallow, the waste won't break away cleanly. Trv to get your cuts level with the Hat on the sight side of the bead and the "quirk" 011 the opposite side of the bead. (See Fig. 2.)

Now for the fun part. If the cuts are made cleanly and well, when you run along the sight side of the molding with a #5 fishtail, the waste should pop out cleanly, and you'll be left with a series of perfect berries (cut #6). I used a #5 fishtail gouge on this molding. because the ground needs to point up towards the quirk. Were the bead on a flat, as they normally are on most moldings, a flat chisel or a #2 gouge would be the tool to use. To pop out the waste in the quirk on the opposite side of the bead, use your piek or the smallest gouge that you have (cut #7).

Notice that when carving the berries, each cut used to form the berries (six individual cuts per berry; seven if you need to pick out the waste) should be repeated along the length of the molding before making the next cut in the sequence. There are several reasons for this, and this methodical, repetitive way of working is one of the greatest aids in achieving uniform, crisp moldings. First, it's by far the fastest way to work, because you spend the minimum amount of time picking up tools, and because as you move along the molding, your hands are in the right position for the next cut. There is a minimum of wasted mental and physical energy. Finally, this method of work is the surest guarantee of the cuts being similar because they are executed all at once.

Marking Out the Lamb's Tongue

The lamb s-tongue pattern is more challenging to carve than the berry pattern, and it's best to practice on some scrap molding before starting on your frame. As with the berries, the first step is to mark out the pattern. Begin at the miters, as you did with the berries. The miter leaf on this pattern is a full half leaf which will be completed by the half leaf on the other-side of the miter (See Fig. 2.)

Round over the tops of the leaves with a # 5 gouge, bevel-side up.

Dry fit two mitered sections of the frame together, draw in a full corner leaf that looks good, and transfer this pattern to the other miters of the frame. Separate the two sections, and working on the molding that you intend to carve, set your dividers for the width ol one "leaf." fiom "eve" to "eye" (the round that marks the top of the dart between the leaves). Mark out all the eyes, and then shorten the dividers by one half and mark in the centers of the leaves, which fall exactly halfway between the eyes. Make two separate marks for the eyes and the centers—say a long mark for the centers of the leaves and a short mark for the eyes—so that you don't get the two mixed up and make cuts in the wrong place. (See drawings.)

At one end of the molding, draw out the complete pattern of leaf and dart a couple of times to work out the shapes. (You don't need to draw eivry leaf, just a few). When you've drawn them out nicely, and have made sure that your tools fit the curses made by the pencil lines, it's time to carve. The entire sequence of 19 cuts is shown in the drawing on page 36. Most of the steps are also illustrated in the photos.

You'll need seven tools to carve the lamb's tongue: a 2mm, #11 veiner, a 5mm, #3 gouge, a 5mm, #5 gouge, a 3mm. #5 gouge, an 8mm, #3 fishtail gouge, a '/.»-in. beveled chisel, and a 5mm, #6 gouge.

The first step is to take the #11 veiner, and cut straight down to form the eye, moving from short pencil mark-to-short pencil mark all along the molding (cut #1 on the drawing).

Now take your #3 gouge, and starting from the leaves that vou've drawn 011 one end, make the first cut that leads down from the eye that you've cut (cut #2). Don't undercut or bevel the sides of the leaf, keep the tool at right angles to the surface. Go to the next eye. and make the same cut and so on down the line of leaves. Now go back to the beginning, realign your tool with the other side of the leaf, and repeat that cut down the line (cut #3). Your pressure on the tool at this point shouldn't be too great—aim to cut to just under Vie in.

The next cut finishes the outline of the leaf (cut #4). Again, start with the leaves that you've already drawn. Place the very edge of your gouge in the cut that you've alreadv made, and cut so that the other side of the tool follows your pencil line to the tip of the leaf. Try to get the profile smooth and sweetly flowing. Pressure at this stage should be great enough so that the cut goes down to the level of the groundwork, or flat, that runs in front of the leaves at the edge of the

Raise the handle, rounding the leaf as you go.

Leave the corners uncarved until after the frame is assembled.

Leave the corners uncarved until after the frame is assembled.

molding. Again, cut one side of the leaves all the way along the molding, and then go back and cut the opposite side (cut #5). The two cuts should meet in a point. Be careful not to cut the tip of the leaf off. or you'll end up with a line of leaf tips that goes in and out. Don't leave a Hat on the front of the leaves, either.

You may find that you don't have a tool that's big enough, or the right shape, to make this cut in one pass. Don't worry. The way to overcome this is to start with your tool edge in the cut that you've already made, press down with greater pressure on the side of the tool that's in the cut. With the other side just above the surface of the wood, slide the tool around until the other side is above the leaf lip. and then cut down. These sliding cuts are used frequently in caning and give a nice shearing cut.

The leal shape should now be nicely defined, and it's time to remove the wood from between the leaves to form the dart. Starting from the eye, take your #3, 5mm gouge, and holding it at about 45° to the molding with the bevel side up. cut between the leaves until vou reach the bottom of the cut (cut #6). The waste

should pop cleanly out. Make this cut all the way along, then change sides, and cut away the other side of the dart (cut #7). Aim to form a sharp ridge that runs exactly down the middle of the leaves.

Now take a #6, 5mm gouge, and with the edge resting on the sloping side that you've already formed, and with the bevel-side down this time, cut away the waste up to the tip of the leaf (cuts #8 and #9). You'll notice, that for your cut to join cleanly with the outline ot the leaf, you'll have to swing the handle of the tool around. You should achieve a natural rhythm as you go down the line of leaves. When you're done, you should have cleanly outlined leaves, with a sharp ridge running down between them.

Forming the dart between the leaves is quite simple. Take your #5. 3mm gouge and cut straight down between the tip ol the dart's sharp ridge and the side of the leaf, until you reach the flat. Do this on both sides ol the dart (cuts #10 and #1 1). At this point, you may find the initial cuts that defined the tips of the leaves (cuts #4 and #5) aren't deep enough and that you need to again define the outline of the leaf tips.

Next, holding your #3 gouge parallel with the flat in front of the leaves, use the very tip of the tool to slide between the leaf tip and the dart, and pop out the waste (cuts #12 and #13). You may find, because of grain direction working one way rather than the other, you get better results. Try cutting both ways, and use the direction that gives you the cleanest cut.

Now that your shapes have been outlined, it's time to model the leaves. On lamb's tongue, the modeling is quite simple, involving only rounding the sides of the leaf into the center.

Start by taking a straight chisel, something like a '/.»-in. bevel-edge, and cut straight down exactly in the center of the leaf, starting at the top (cut #14). Because the molding is humped at the top, you'll have to rock the tool to get into the quirk (the V-shaped groove behind the ogee molding) and into the hollow that leads to the leaf tip. Cut quite deeply at the top, a little over in. When you've done all the tops, move the chisel down, and join your first cut with the leaf tip (cut #15). This cut should be fairly shallow, just '/te-in.

Start your modeling on the top of the leaves—the area between the eyes. Take your #5, 5mm gouge, and holding it bevel-side up and parallel with the molding, use the same gradual cutting motion that you used to round the berries, and gently round over until your tool tip joins up with your chisel cut (cut #16). Repeat this cut on the opposite side of the leaf (cut #17). Don't take off any wood from behind the eye. When you've done all the tops, take a #6 gouge, and this time with the bevel down and the tool edge resting in the cut you've already made, cut in toward the center cut again. Do this cut on both sides of the leaves (cuts #18 and #19), and you should have a leaf with both sides sloping into a sharply defined center. You'll probably find that at the top. in the quirk, you need to use a Hat chisel to cleanly finish off the flat that runs behind the leaves.

Try not to leave any flats at the outside edges of the leaves especially toward the tips. Make your cuts start at the very edges of the leaves to give them a fine, delicate look. Be careful, though, not to actually cut the profile, because this will make the profile of the leaves uneven and unsightly.

Carve the four sides of the frame, and then join them together. For a frame of this size. I used PVA glue and a couple of 1'Ai-in. nails driven at right angles across the miter. Join the four carved sides of your frame, hang the frame up to dry. and then inspect it. You may need to gently clean up the corners, making sure that the moldings run cleanly into each other at the miters. If the moldings were well-run to begin with, this should involve little or no work.

Carve in the berries and lamb's tongue on the miters, and you're ready for finishing. If, after having a go at this pattern, you've developed an appetite for carved moldings, there are many more patterns to carve and an infinite number of applications. A

Ben Bacon is a professional caner in London. He specializes in can ed and gilt f urniture, mirrors and picture frames. He w rote about can ing paterae in the November!December. 1988 AW and sharpening can ing tools in the May/June. 1989 AW.

find that visits to antique furniture shows and furniture galleries often provide the stimulus for new designs. A few years back, I came across a handsome settee in an antique show, and I sketched it for future reference. When the Northwest Gallery of Fine Woodworking invited me to submit a proposal for its 1988 Furniture Exhibition, 1 used the sketch as the inspiration for the settee pictured here. The piece was on display for the month of November, and sold to a visitor from Alaska.

I worked for unity in my design; the "horns" on the crest rail are repeated on the front legs, the arms and the frame that supports the seat. To emphasize the design, I embellished several ot the curved members and also the back slats with coves. I used simple ratios in the dimensions, and the tapers are either 1 in 24 or 1'/: in 24. The seat is tilted 33 off horizontal, and the back makes an angle of 96° with the seat. I prefer 100° lor comfort when designing side chairs, but the lower angle seemed appropriate lor a settee. It also put the top of the back in line vertically with the bottom of the rear leg. (See Fig. 1, Side View.) Mortise-and-tenon joints are used throughout, with wedged, through tenons where possible. I like the decoration ol end grain and contrasting walnut wedges.

Building the Settee

I chose to make the settee out of oak. To make the seat, 1 edge glued two 9-in. w ide boards. I made full-

Wedged Tenons Acid a Decorative Touch size cardboard outlines ol all the other pieces, including their tenons. (See Fig. 1.) The top rail and the back and front rail of the frame are plain sawn lor figure. The four back slats are straight, vertical grain. I chose matching grain patterns for the pairs of front legs, back legs and side rails.

With the outlines traced on the lumber. I cut out all the pieces on my handsaw. I did the straight cuts against a fence, but I cut the curves and tapers freehand. Leave cutting the notch where the arm meets the back for later. Clean up your cuts on the jointer or with a plane. A drum sander chucked in your drill press works well on the curved cuts. Cut a bevel on the top edge of the front rail so that it angles 3s down toward the back. Bevel the top edge of the rear seat support, so that at its top. it makes an angle of 96° with the back rail when glued. (These bevels allow lor the tilt of the seat. See Fig. 1, Side View.) Round over the horns at the top of the back.

Dimension all four back slats at the same time. I begin bv thicknessing the slats on my planer and finish with a hand plane and a scraper to produce a particularly smooth surface. The resulting thickness is a bit more than XU in., which I plane down carefully to fit the slats in their respective mortises.

Cutting the Mortises

I cut all the mortises with a plunge router equipped with a 7if-in. OD template guide and a Vj-in. bit. The through mortises are I in. x-'/jj in., so taking the guide into account, the opening in the template should be xs •j s

1 Vi6 in. x 2*/n in., at least in theory. Theory never seems to work quite right for me, so be sure to test your template on a scrap of wood. The blind mortises are 1 in.x3/» in. Mark out the mortises slightly oversize, equal to the size of the openings in the templates. The front rail is inset '/t*.in. from the front leg.

I cut the through mortises with a back-up board mounted on the underside of the cut. This not only protects the workbench, but also helps prevent chip-out. I use a '/.»-in. dia., four-flute carbide end mill (available from MSG Industrial Supplv Co.. 151 Sunnv-side Blvd., Plainview. NY 11803, 800-645-7270; order No. 0180816). This extra-long mill has 1-in. length of twisting cutters that shear cleanly, which is another reason I don't have trouble with chip-out. After cutting through the board, vacuum out the mortise, and cut at full depth again to ensure that chips have not kept the guide from engaging the template.

Cutting the Tenons

Mark out the tenons and their shoulders. The top of each hack slat is reallv a tenon, so be sure to mark the correct length of these pieces. The cardboard outline for the front leg will provide the angle for the tenon shoulder profile on each end of the front rail. The tenons on the side rail should be parallel to the bottom edge of the side rail, as the lop edge of the rail has the 3° slant for the seat. I scribe the shoulder lines on the faces and the edges deeply with a knife, and I chip out along the line (on the waste side) in preparation for cutting the shoulders. Blind tenons can be measured.

Wedged tenons and routed coves embellish this handsome two seater.

but through tenons should be marked directly from their mortises. The through tenons themselves are cut a tad oversize on the bandsaw. I remove as much waste as possible with the bandsaw, but in the end, all the shoulders are cut to the line with a chisel in the same wav that vou would make shoulders for dovetail joints. You can undercut the shoulders slightly to help with the fit.

My trusty Record No. 073 rebate plane will trim the slightly oversize tenons, shaving by shaving, for a perfect fit to their respective mortises. The through mortises are V32 under the thickness of V^-in. boards. This is because, to get a good fit 011 a through mortise, it's best if you plane the tenon down slowly until it just fits.

Next, with a dovetail saw. saw a thin kerf for the wedges in the through tenons. Be sure that the wedges on all your tenons angle consistently. After sawing nearly to the bottom of the tenon, round the bottom of the kerf by drilling a 7i*-in. hole. The hole will help prevent splitting when the wedge is pounded into the kerf. (See Fig. 1.) Round the corners of the through tenons with a file.

n/ V. R to fit routed mortise.

t^ Saw kerf for wedge.

rV Drill Vu-in. dia. hole to prevent splitting.


Vhn. thick


h3 VH








FIG. 2: THE SEAT Notch to fit settee

Leave space between this edge and front leg for wood movement.

coves emphasize the graceful curves on legs and rails. Smaller coves ornament the back slats.

v Hollow out the seat to Vein, deep to make it more comfortable.

Assembling and Finishing the Settee

Except for the seat and the arms, you are ready to dry assemble your settee and check the fit of the joints. Arrange the slats to take advantage of the grain patterns. Take off another shaving if a tenon is too tight. The shoulders should fit tightly; if they don't. I trim them with the rebate plane.

Now is the time to make the wedges. Crosscut a number of 2-in. ends from a walnut board. Tilt your bandsaw table 2° and rip wedges, turning the board over for each cut to make wedges with a 4° inclusive angle. Cut the wedges slightly oversize, and then in a dry run, tap each wedge about 2/\ of the way into its through tenon. Then file it to size, keeping the curve of the rounded tenon. Remove them, and label the matched wedges and tenons so you won't mix them up.

To fasten the seat it's easiest to drill the pockets for the seat screws before assembly. Drill these pockets with a Forstner bit on the insides of the rails, and then drill all the holes lor screwing down the seat. Holes in the rear seat support can be the normal size, but holes in the rails must be oversize to allow for wood movement. There are three screws in the front, three in the back, and one in each side.

Before you start routing the coves, you'll need to glue the side rails to the rear legs. A little glue around the top of the tenon and around the top inside of the mortise will go a long way.

I rout coves on my router table, using carbide-tipped cove bits with a ball-bearing pilot. Remember that the bit will cut about 7a in. on either side of the bearing center when you mark out the stopping places on vour pieces. Rout the cove in several passes taking off Vm in. in the final pass to produce a smooth surface. Stop far short of the horns, then extend and taper off the cove with a sharp gouge.

I prefer to sand my pieces before gluing. Since the surfaces are already planed and scraped, this is not much of a task. A little sanding with 150-grit followed by 220-grit smooths the project.

Final assembly begins with gluing the rear seat support to the rear rail. (See Fig. 1, Side View.) Be careful to glue it so the angle with the rail is 96°. Next, assemble and glue the slats, rails, and rear legs of the back. It's a lot to put together, so be prepared. The wedges will expand the through tenons to make up for minor errors, but don't hammer them in too hard. Put a clamp at the sides of each mortise to avoid splitting. Glue the front rail between the front legs, and finally, glue this section to the assembled back.

I glued up and surfaced the seat at the end, because a wide, unfinished board tends to warp. Fitting the board around the legs is probably the hardest part of the project. Take your time and get all the angles correct. It is important to leave some space between the front leg and the seal for wood movement. (See Fig. 2.) 1 roughed out the hollow in the seat with my router, as shown in Fig. 2. You could also use an inshave or a gouge. A flexible disk sander with 80-grit paper makes short work of connecting the contours formed by the router. Finally, work down through the grits using a palm sander equipped with a large sponge-rubber pad. Use your router to round-over the arms and seat as shown in Fig. 1 and photos.

Screw on the seat before adding the arms to the settee, since the seat is too large to be fit later. Hold the arms up and mark the position where you will need to cut the notch for the back legs. (See Fig. 1. Armrest Top View.) Cut the notch, and glue the arms in place. Then drill holes for two '/¿-in. dowels of walnut at each side. The dowels will add shear strength to this joint. I don't like round dowels because they look like plugs for screw holes. In contrast, square dowels have a visual appeal. I can mimic them by squaring the top of the hole and making my own dowels with a square top. (Dowel formers are available from Woodcraft, P.O. Box 1086, Parkcrsburg. WV 26102; order No. 14D42.)

Cut the ends of dowels and through tenons off flush. Now only the final sanding and finishing remains. The ends of the dowels and through tenons were touched up with a hand plane and some 150-grit sandpaper. I hand sanded the entire piece briefly with 220-grit. and then used two undercoats of Sam Maloof's poly/oil finish, sanding with 400 wet and dry paper while the first coat was still wet. Two coats of Maloof soil/wax finish, the final wet coat sanded with 600-grit, completed the project. (Sam Malool's finishes are available lrom The Woodworker's Store, 21801 Industrial Blvd.. Rogers, MN 55374; order No. P7235 for poly/oil gloss, P7236 for poly/oil satin, and P7237 for oil/wax.) A

Ui Curtis Johnson is a hio-physicist in the Department of Bio-Chemistry/ Bio-Physics at Oregon Stale Uniwr-sity. He is also a part-time profes-sional woodworker and contributing a editor for AW.

Simple Cabinet From Bygone Days Will Fit Right in With Your Country Antiques


Pine Cupboard


uring the last century, cupboards like this one were common in kitchens across the land. These "jelly cupboards." as they are called, provided space for canned goods and other foods that would be kept for long periods of time. They didn't need the punched tin panels that provided air circulation on "pie safes," so the doors were often of frame-and-panel const met ion.

Jelly cupboards came in all shapes and sizes and were made of whatever wood was available. The cupboard shown here is a reproduction of a New England-style cupboard. It's made of pine, with two shelves inside. Placed in your kitchen, dining room, or anywhere around the home, it will fit right in with your country antiques. It would be easy to scale the dimensions of the cupboard larger or smaller, to fit a particular space in your home.

The construction is simple and straightforward. All the lumber is V*-in. thick stock, and the only challenging joinery is simple mortise and tenon. The face frame is mortised and tenoned together and nailed to the sides of the cupboard. The back is a piece of '/«-in. plywood set into a rabbet in the sides, but you could make the back from shiplapped or tonguc-and-groovc boards for a more authentic approach. The top of the cupboard is nailed to the sides.

The door stiles and rails are embellished with a bead and groove around their inside perimeter. This provides a contrast with the simple, flat panels inside the door frames. I also machined a bead on the corner edges of the face-frame stiles, and the front edge of the shelves to give the cupboard more visual appeal.

Jelly cupboards like this were often built with hand-forged nails. I like the rustic feel of the old fasteners, so I took a few moments to "customize" the head of each six-penny finishing nail to simulate the hand-forged look. (See Nail Detail.) Simply lay the side of the nail head on a vise and flatten two opposite sides with a ball peen hammer. The mild, steel nails are surprisingly malleable. Then, grip the shank in the vise with the top of the head protruding just over the jaws. Flatten two top faces with the hammer and then

Add country charm to your home with this reproduction cupboard.

the two opposite top faces. That's it—ccntury-old nails in an instant.

Building the Cupboard

Start construction with the sides. Cut out the feet, and make dado slots for the shelves, and rabbets for the back. Cut the shelves and back to size, with a router and a '/»-in. edge-beading bit (available from MLCS, P.O. Box 4053 C2. Rydal, PA 19046). Cut a bead on the top and bottom front edges of the shelves. (See Shelf-Bead Detail in Exploded View.) Glue and nail the shelves, sides and back together.

The face frame of the cupboard is made of two vertical stiles and a center stile, spanned by a rail at the top. With the same Vie-in. edge-beading bit, cut a bead on the corner of the face-frame stiles. Run the beading bit once on the front edge and once on the side edge of the stiles at the corner. (See Corner-Bead Detail.) The result is a single Va round bead down the length of the stiles. Lay out and cut the mortise-and-tenon joints to fasten the face-frame stiles, center stile, and rail together. Glue and nail the face frame to the sides and shelves.

I softened the edge of the top with a gentle bullnosc. To do this, I used a Va-in. round-over bit in a router, but set it for only a Va-in. depth-of-cut. Next, I nailed the cleat to the underside of the top. then nailed the



Offset groove toward inside.



Offset groove toward inside.


Cutting the mortises is quick and accurate with a hollow-chisel mortising attachment in a drill press.

Extra Mortising The Drill Press

Cutting the mortises is quick and accurate with a hollow-chisel mortising attachment in a drill press.

top to the sides and nailed through the back into the cleat. I cut the molding on a shaper and nailed it around the front and sides of the cupboard. I chose a common crown-molding profile. You can purchase this type of molding ready-made in most lumber yards, or mill your own.

Making the Doors

First cut the stiles and rails to size, then lay out and cut the mortises in the stiles. Note that the bottom door rail is wider than the top door rail. Next, with the same beading cutter as before, rout a bead on the inside edges of the stiles and rails.

Cut a '/4-in. wide groove along the inside of the stiles and rails to accept the door panel. If this groove were centered, it would come too close to the beading groove, weakening the attachment of the bead. So I offset the panel groove toward the inside of the door, as shown in the Door Detail. I cut the groove with two passes on a tablesaw, but you could also use a router or shaper.

The beads along the inside edge of the stiles and rails arc mitcrcd together where they meet. Mark the locations of the miters at the inside corners of the door

Rout a decorative bead on the face-frame stiles and door frames with a beading bit

Picture Frame Molding Birdhouse

First, miter the door-frame beads at the inside corners where the stiles and rails meet Then, remove a section of the beading by cutting down the bead groove to the miter on the door stiles and rails.

Fred Mai lack heads the Rod ale Press Design Group where he practices woodworking, metal working and almost eivrv other craft you can name. Fred's ongoing passion is restoring and using antique pedal-powered woodworksig i1tachines.

1. Flatten two sides 2. Flatten two top 3. Flatten two opposite of finishing nail. faces. top faces.







Vx 11-X4W



V/ X ioV x 27 V/



V > 27V/ > 35V«*

Faco-framo stiles


V«" x 3* » 41V«"

Faco-framo rail


V ' 27,'' x 24 V

Center lace-frame stile


V/x IV* 34 W

Top doo* rails


V«' « 2'V.é- « av

Bottom door rails



Door stiles


V.- x 27/ x 33 V

Door panels


V/ x 6 V x 26 V



V/x 13 V x 32*



1V x 1V x 65*



Vx V* 27*

Turn button


Va* x V.' x 2V

Brass hingos


1 Vx 17/

Porcelain knobs


Round head wass sere*


#6x1 V

6<J finishing nails

6<J finishing nails frames. Make the 45° miter cut across the beads. On each stile, remove part of the bead by cutting straight down the bead groove, from the ends of each stile to the miter. (It's not necessary to remove part of the bead on the rails, because cutting the tenons will remove that whole area on the rails.) I made both the miter cuts, and the bead-removal cuts freehand with a bandsaw. Cut the tenons on the rails with a tablesaw.

Finally, cut the door panels to size, and make a '/.»-in. wide tongue around their perimeter on the tablesaw. Be sure to offset the tongue so it matches the offset groove in the door frame. Assemble the door frames and panels, but don't get any glue in the panel groove. Mount the doors with the brass hinges, and mount the porcelain door knobs (available from Paxton Hardware. 7818 Bradshaw Rd.. Upper Falls, MD 21156). Make a turn button, and install it with a round head brass wood screw.

Rout a decorative bead on the face-frame stiles and door frames with a beading bit

First, miter the door-frame beads at the inside corners where the stiles and rails meet Then, remove a section of the beading by cutting down the bead groove to the miter on the door stiles and rails.


1. Flatten two sides 2. Flatten two top 3. Flatten two opposite of finishing nail. faces. top faces.

Many of the old jelly cupboards were painted. I decided to finish this cupboard with an oil stain, followed by a coat of sanding sealer, which gives a natural, non-glossv appearance. A

Fred Mai lack heads the Rod ale Press Design Group where he practices woodworking, metal working and almost eivrv other craft you can name. Fred's ongoing passion is restoring and using antique pedal-powered woodworksig i1tachines.

Door Stile





face frame to sides.



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