Wednesday, March 10, 2010
When I last posted on my expanding moulding plane shelves the better part of a year ago, I mentioned that I had created a smaller shelf for storing short samples of the mouldings cut by the various planes. I've been slowly adding to these samples and since I find them very useful, I thought I might post about them.
Here's a shot of the almost full shelves:
That lower, center shelf holds the moulding samples:
I make these out of scrap 1x2 pine, and find these useful for several reasons:
1. They allow me to see the positive moulding profile, rather than the "negative" profile on the plane itself. It's funny how different these two versions of the same profile can be - especially for a profile that I haven't used before. I always think I know what the moulding will look like, but somehow my brain never sees it quite right. It works out much better to just work with the positive version.
2. It gives me a three dimensional moulding with which to play. I can see how the light and shadows change in various orientations. The shadow lines on a piece of moulding are a major aspect of the moulding, and they can look very different depending on where the moulding is used. With the sample, I can very easily try the moulding "right-side-up" or "up-side-down" (of course these terms are pretty meaningless - but I think you get the idea). When I'm deciding on a moulding for a piece, I pull out the samples and try them out in their final position. Visualizing is good, but actually seeing it is better.
3. I can stack the samples to see how they would work in building up a compound profile. This isn't perfect, as each moulding would not have to be stuck on a 1x2, but it works well enough to get a good idea of how they would look combined.
4. I use the back of the sample to record information about the plane. I write/draw the maker's mark, the owner's marks, any indicated sizes, and anything else stamped, carved or written on the plane. Then I record the name of the profile, which is sometimes a challenge. I also make note of any quirks in the use of the plane, or reminders to sharpen the iron. Besides being interesting, these notes help me locate the plane in my growing collection.
In the future, I'd like to include the approximate age of the plane on the back of the sample. And of course, I will probably need to make another shelf for the samples, as I underestimated how much room I would need... But what else is new?