Reading the Joint Stool book, I got a renewed urge to play with scratch stocks. Elm is pretty boring so I needed largish decorations on the aprons and rails and since I’m not up to carving (yet), mouldings were the obvious choice. I only have three moulding planes (so far), so scratch stocks are going to do the work.
For lower rails, I wanted to shape most of the wood with a moulding. I also wanted the top to be rounded over. So I used a router table and a round over bit to start the moulding.
For the rest of the moulding, I made what turned out to be basically an inversion of another of the books examples. I wasn’t sure how it would work, look or how to make it so I carved some examples until I found something I sorta liked. Then I used a radius gauge to measure middle curve and layout the curve on a chunk of steel cut from a saw*. I set the scratch stock to overlap the round over to make this profile (profile is 1″ wide):
I then went “hmmmm, that might look good on the apron” so I adjusted the stock to align it with bead on the apron and very carefully added it to the two longer aprons (I needed to be careful because I tend to set the stock down out of alignment or at an angle, either of which makes quite a mess, photos of which I’ll spare you). Open the first photo in another window and compare it to this one to see the overlap.
*Note: these scratch stocks were made from a tapered saw plate remnant, and each piece ranged from 0.027″ to 0.033″ thick, which is a pain to get adjusted in the holder, flat stock is where it’s at. Thicker is also better, you’ll notice the stock is clamped on two sides in the holder (first pic) to keep flex under control. I drew the profile on the plate, clamped it in my PanaVise and cut the profile with flat, round, triangular and knife files. I then polished both faces on stones to get a nice square edge (kinda hard to draw a burr, other than what the stoning leaves).
It takes a while to cut these complex mouldings and you have to keep things square and aligned so settle in and take your time. I clamped the board between dogs with a spacer underneath so the stock holder wouldn’t hit the bench. Then I could sit at the end of the bench and pull or push the stock, kinda like a spoke shave.