gouge carved molding

another form of scratch stock
another form of scratch stock


I made this scratch stock like a marking gauge, and I use it when I need a molding that is not at the edge of the stock. Here it’s set up to form a small bead. In this case, the bead is the first step in some carved decoration. below is scraping the bead. As before, the green, straight-grained oak scrapes very easily.

scraping a bead
scraping a bead









Next I use a small gouge to chop straight into the bead shape, to begin defining a simple pattern. I hold the gouge perpendicular to the stock, and strike once with a mallet. I eyeball the spacing of these cuts.

striking the gouge
striking the gouge











The next step then is to angle the gouge behind the first cuts, and chop out the chip. I sometimes need to move the tool laterally at the end of the cut to get the chip to pop out. Avoid the urge to try to flick the chip up with the gouge.

finishing the carved detail
finishing the carved detail



Here is a view of a section of this molding. I have been making some of this for a stool I have underway in my shop.

gouge-carved molding
gouge-carved molding

5 thoughts on “gouge carved molding

  1. Hi Peter,

    Came across your site/blog because I have a Google alert setup with the term “green woodworking” in it. Love your work. Love your site. Is there some way I can subscribe to it so that I’m automatically notified when you post something new ?

    Keep up the good & inspirational work !!

    Oxford, CT.

  2. VC: thanks, glad you’re watching. How’s your pole lathe coming?

    Joe: re: subscribing to the blog – as far as I can tell, WordPress has a thing on the upper right hand corner of the screen, “blog info” with a drop-down menu. click that & there is an option to subscribe. Not sure how well it works right now, it seems to be under development.

  3. Nice Peter,thanks for posting this. Scratching in the bead first makes this type of work more uniform. I have been using a v-tool on either side to define channel then gouge out the middle. Mine look a little wavy from the depth of the v-cut not being very uniform. Your work is very inspiring!

  4. I usually see this type of carving on seventeenth-century work either done on the flat surface, or on moldings. Not sure I’ve seen it done on carved sections. I’ll keep my eyes open.

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