Welcome back for another educational issue of What I Screwed Up This Week! This time, we take a look at a molding miscalculation from the current blanket chest project.
My plan was to have the panels of the blanket chest set in 3/8″ from the front of the frame. This would allow a 1/8″ shoulder at the top to provide a visual break between the molding and the frame. However, there was one problem. The above drawing reflected my thinking. I visualized the panel as a flat surface, rather than having a raised bevel.
The reality was far different. The sloping bevel of the panel raised the molding upwards. While the drawing above is exaggerated, the oversight is clear. The shoulder at the top of the molding becomes too small, giving no real definition to the transition.
I played with several ways to rectify the problem. However, the simplest turned out to be the best, and easiest to implement. I simply trimmed down the upper edge of the molding to recreate the shoulder. Surprisingly, it had very little effect on the appearance of the cove – much less than I had anticipated.
To remove this wood, I took a page from Matthew Bickford’s blog, Musings from Big Pink, and made a small sticking board. This allowed the small piece of molding to be held in place simply by the friction of planing it. The taper of the side support reduced the area of contact for the plane, and acted as a sort of depth stop (or at least reference) once the first piece had been planed to the desired thickness.
A few strokes with the plane were all that were necessary to reduce the height of the molding enough to create a viable shoulder at the top. Here, you see a piece coming to final thickness.
Angles can change everything. Even a small slope or curve can drastically affect how pieces interact with each other. Be sure to do mock-ups of any such areas, and determine if you need to make any modifications to your design before you paint yourself into the proverbial corner.