Traditional Methods for Developing and Producing Rake Moldings
The required joinery for a molding that transitions from level to rake around a corner frequently puzzles many carpenters. At first glance it appears that it should work, but upon experimentation, it can be maddening to find out that it won’t.
A Note from the Publisher:
NOTE: This article is part of a three-part series on drawing and making rake, horizontal, and plumb-cut crown molding for pediments. Click here to read the first article, by Todd Murdock, and stay tuned for the final article by Jed Dixon.
The missing piece to this puzzle is that two different sizes of molding are required. If the change in pitch is only slight, then the change in molding size will be small.
|The greater the change, the larger the mating molding has to be. Similar to how the size of a ridge board has to be larger the steeper the pitch of the roof.|
The approach that I use to find the size and shape of the mating molding has not changed in centuries. It is done with paper, pencil, a square, and a compass. Once you become familiar with the technique, it is quite simple to use. There isn’t any math involved or a CAD program which one has to learn. All of the information required is taken directly from the molding and the rake angle.
These techniques are shown frequently in pre-industrial revolution period books. The more comfortable you become with the technique, the easier it will be to see the relationships in the drawings. The process stops being a fight to get things to fit, and becomes something less stressful, period correct, and better looking.
|In the accompanying videos, I’ll explain the method I use to draw and project the three unique profiles for decorating a classical pediment. And I’ll also demonstrate how to make those moldings with hand planes and, of course, a table saw, too.|
There are some traditional techniques that are no longer used in our trade, but there are many that still are, even ones that are executed with hand tools. Learning these techniques can provide valuable lessons to serious craftsmen. How one goes about producing the product isn’t as important as knowing what it should be and how it is derived. Though you may never have the need to make a classical pediment from scratch, lessons learned from the process can be applied to a multitude of other carpentry tasks and may change the way you approach a problem in the future.