by Chuck Bender
When it comes to making mouldings, size should not be a limiting factor. Using tools you probably already own – combined with a little creative thinking – you can make just about any moulding profile you desire, regardless of size.
Owning a half-set of hollow and round planes is a goal I’ve finally achieved after decades of building furniture; they are tools I wouldn’t trade for anything. But the fact that it took me so long to acquire them should be your first clue that they aren’t a necessity. Nearly every moulding I’ve ever made has been primarily done with a router or shaper (which is essentially just a big router), a table saw and a few basic hand tools.
That doesn’t mean hand tools were not an important part of the process – or that a set or half-set of hollows and rounds won’t make it easier. It just means that basic hand and power tools can work together to achieve almost anything in woodworking. This is a philosophy I’ve held since I began in the craft.
What You Need
At least one router should be in every woodworker’s arsenal. It doesn’t have to be huge, but it certainly needs to be larger than a palm, or trim, router. I’ve successfully used 11⁄2-horsepower routers throughout my career. The router should be equipped with an edge-guide and a router table – both can be homemade.
You’ll also need an assortment of core-box and straight router bits as well as a shoulder plane and a block plane. And throw a table saw into the mix; if you don’t, it’s going to be tough ripping the angles on the blanks. Plus, while you certainly can cut large coves in a series of successive passes with a large core-box bit at the router table, it’s a lot faster and more efficient to use a table saw.
Blog: Learn how to use hand and power tools to prepare your cove moulding for finish.
In our store: Learn how Glen D. Huey makes cove moulding at the table saw.
Video: Watch this short free video from Glen on his cove-moulding process.
To buy: Tod Herrli shows you how to make your own hollow and round planes on this step-by-step DVD.