relation and proportions of the parts, drawings made to a scale of \ or J of an inch to the foot (usually called "scale details") are of the greatest assistance, and in the case of elaborate work, such as staircases, mantels, sideboards and other fittings, are quite indispensable. As a rule the architect will obtain the best results with the least labor by drawing all special finish to one of the scales above mentioned and then showing the profile of the mouldings by full-size sections, without attempting to draw the entire object full size. All important dimensions should be indicated in figures on the scale details the same as on a plan. All carving should also be drawn full size, but where it is symmetrical but one-half need be shown.
Nearly all work that is built in or made a part of the building has to be made to fit the constructional portions, and as these usually vary slightly from the plan, even when the work has been very carefully done, it is customary for the person that is responsible for the proper execution of the finish to make careful measurements of the building after the grounds are set, and from these measurements to lay out the work, if it is to, be put together at the shop, full size, making it as near as possible like the architect's drawings, but so that it will perfectly fit the place where it is to go. Thus it is seldom that elaborate work is put together directly from the architect's drawings, although when completed it may appear so, and hence much time is often wasted by the architect or his draughtsman in making drawings that, except for the sections, are of no practical use.
Mouldings, however, are usually made exactly in accordance with the architect's sections, the knives being made to fit the drawings, and drawings for turned work are usually carefully followed, hence the necessity for carefulness in making such drawings.
In making the full-size sections the draughtsman usually has first in mind the effect that will be produced by their shades and shadows (as it is these alone that give values to the mouldings), but it is fully of as much importance to design the work so that when put together its appearance will not be spoilt by the first shrinkage or swelling that takes place, and this it must be remembered cannot wholly be avoided in woodwork.
Methods for overcoming the effects of shrinkage will be considered in describing the finish, but the following general rule for good joiner's work should always be kept in mind, viz.: always use narrow boards in place of wide ones, and wherever practicable always fix the work so that it will be free to expand or contract. Open joints and split panels or boards spoil the appearance of the finest work and injure the reputation of the architect.
The experienced architect or draughtsman may also do much to keep down the cost of the work by drawing his mouldings so as to require the least amount of material without sacrificing their appearance. Nearly all of the finishing woods are sawn to thicknesses of ½, ¾, 1,and 2 inches, and when dressed both sides they lose 1/8 inch in thickness. When run through the moulding machine or planer this thickness is again reduced by about 1/16 of an inch, so that all moulded members should be drawn either 5/16, 9/16, 13/16, 1 1/16, 1 5/16, or 1 ¾ inches thick to utilize the wood economically. The nominal size of mouldings is that of the rough lumber; "inch stuff" when worked into mouldings being actually but 13/16 of an inch thick, although it is charged as if an inch thick. In the same way a 6-inch board is usually a quarter of an inch narrower, and stock casings are often measured ½ inch wider than their actual width.