scratching a molding

scratching a molding

Recently Mike Wenzloff asked about scratch stock use in seventeenth-century work…and as it happens the next step I needed to do on part of the cupboard I’m working on was a couple of moldings. Some type of molding cutter (in addition to molding planes) was in use in the period, although I have never seen a documentary reference to one.  Many chests show a molding that runs out between the junctures of the mortise-and-tenon joints. I had my apprentice from this past summer, Bryan MacIntyre make a white oak chest. I  showed him how to run a molding like this. On this photo, it shows up in the background, the inside face of the chest. You couldn’t acheive this molding with a plane.
carved front rail, molding inside chest

carved front rail, molding inside chest

I make mine from leftover stock given to me by Mark Atchison, a blacksmith I work with. I file the shape, mount it in an oak handle, and go right to it. I try to flatten and polish the face of the cutter, but don’t usually bother with honing with stones, etc. – but stoning the blade would make it cut longer between filing. Nice straight oak helps make the moldings go easier, the high moisture content is helpful as well. this stock was planed just a few weeks ago, still very wet…
newest scratch stock and moldings

newest scratch stock and moldings

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