Mouldings are much used in cabinet-work. Strictly speaking, many of the edges referred to under beading are moulded, but they are not generally understood as being included among mouldings. Mouldings are rather those portions and edges where there is a certain amount of slope varied by rounds, hollows, fillets, or flats. On edges of furniture they are usually formed by the cabinet-maker, but when they are worked in lengths to be cut from and added to the more solid construction they are often got ready made or run by machine. If they are as large as those for wardrobe cornices the machine mouldings are much cheaper than the others, but the cabinetmaker ought to be able to make them by hand. A small moulding, such as that shown by Fig. 125, presents little difficulty even to the novice, whether it is worked with a specially formed plane used much as when rabbeting, or with tools which have been mentioned in the list; it is known as the ovolo. Others much used on the edges of tops are the thumb-moulding, Fig. 126, and the ogee, Fig. 127. As shown, these are more moulded edges than mouldings.
Fig. 124 - Inlaid Bandings.
Fig. 125. - Ovolo Moulding.
Fig. 126. - Thumb Moulding.
Fig. 127. - Ogee Moulding.
Special planes can be had to work these and other mouldings which are commonly met with. They are known by the name of the moulding they are intended to cut - thus, that for working the ovolo is called the ovolo plane. In all of them the distinctive feature is that the sole, and consequently the cutting-iron, is shaped to the moulding. The advantage in using them is principally in point of speed, especially when a considerable quantity of mouldings have to be made exactly alike, so that to the novice they are not indispensable. By the judicious use of hollows and rounds any edge may be moulded without much difficulty, and as a special moulding-plane can only be used for cutting one size, the cabinet-maker must occasionally fall back on the simpler tools.
As an instance of the manner of using them, the formation of an ovolo may be described, as it is not only commonly met with, but will serve to show how any other edge may be worked. The rabbet-plane is first used to reduce the edge, as shown in section, Fig. 128. The outline of the moulding being marked on the end, the round is then worked with a suitable hollow, and the moulding is complete. Nothing can be simpler; and if the novice will remember to save labour by cutting away as much as he can of the waste wood with any convenient tool - in the instance named, the rabbet plane - leaving the finishing to be done with the hollows and rounds, he will have little cause to regret the absence of special planes.
When working lengths of mouldings for cornice and other purposes, much the same method is pursued; indeed, the principle is identical whether the moulding be a large one composed of many members or one of the simplest character. When a large moulding is required, considerable saving in material is to be effected by making it of comparatively thin material. The amateur is generally told to cut it out of the solid. To do this entails both an increased amount of labour and a waste of wood without any corresponding advantage. Let us suppose that a moulding like that in Fig. 129 is required. If neither time nor material is an object, the worker may proceed as follows: - A length of wood, say, 2 ins. thick and 3 ins. wide is taken, the moulding marked out on the end, and as much as possible removed with the rabbet plane, either used alone or in conjunction with the plough, the final shaping being given when necessary with the hollows and rounds. Now it will be seen from Fig. 130 that this requires a good deal of work, and that nearly half of the wood, that portion represented by dotted lines, is waste. In such a large moulding, one for cornices, it is not necessary that the wood should be solid from back to front, so that the quicker and easier way of forming it from comparatively thin stuff is preferable. Even for large cornice mouldings it will seldom be necessary to use anything thicker than 3/4 in., so that not only is there a saving of material, but the work is considerably less. Fig. 131 will sufficiently show the method, which shows the bottom of the moulding adapted for fastening on to the face of the work. When it is required to be placed on top of an edge, as in the case of a frieze - the flat part immediately under a cornice moulding - a somewhat different formation is required, and is shown on Fig. 132. Even when a solid moulding is necessary this method is generally adopted in preference to that first named, the wood behind the thin facing being pine, as suggested by the dotted line in Fig. 129. Of course there may be some who do not care for this mode of construction, who think that a job should be of one wood - oak, mahogany, or whatever it is - throughout; people have been known to complain when they have discovered pine being used in furniture as parts subsidiary to finer wood. Well, all I can say is that they may use any method they please, but if they follow that practised by good cabinet-makers they will have no reason to complain. Study of economical construction is as essential to success as good workmanship, indeed the latter ineludes the former. Economy must not, however, be understood as being anything more than a rightful use of material. To use 1/4-in. stuff instead of 1-in. does not necessarily imply economy, though it may reduce the cost in the first place. Just the same with labour. A dowelled joint takes more time than a plain glued one, but it may be more economical; and in constructing anything the efficient worker should be able to decide on the method most advantageous in any given case, having due regard both for time or labour and material.
Fig. 128. - Formation of Ovolo.
Fig. 129. - Moulding.
Fig. 130. - Moulding from Solid.
Fig. 131. - Moulding from Board.
Fig. 132. - Alternative form.
Panels, it may be observed, should never be glued into framing, whether they are sunk in grooves or in rabbets. If glued, they will very likely split. If loose, they simply contract a little.
Panels are sometimes required to be flush on one or both sides with the framing that surrounds them. In the former the panel is rabbeted either to fit within a ploughed groove or to be fastened in a rabbet with a bead in the usual manner, as in Fig. 133. When the surfaces are to be flush on both sides the ploughed and tongued joint may be used.
Facing means gluing thin wood, generally 1/4-in. stuff, on to a backing of pine or other cheap material. Thus, edges of drawer-bearers are often faced up to match the rest of the outside wood of any article. Faced stuff means, broadly, that it is covered with a superior kind, of thicker substance than ordinary veneer. Facings can, therefore, be used without disadvantage where veneers would be unsuitable.
Fig- 133 - Flush Panel Rabbeted.