Wednesday 1 February 2017

Do I Need Moulding Planes?

In the off season we have visited an indoor flea market.

Although it was indoor it was damn cold.

At the end to my favor, but find out by yourself.

Freezing and trembling was the main activity on the flea market we visited one of the last weekends.
This aside I could make some bargains. The deals were made quickly this time. No one was really in the mood to negotiate much and the sellers were happy to sell something. I guess most of them wanted to go home early.
So it came that I found some moulding planes again. I bought them and went home quickly for having a good cuppa.

Here are my new finds. Three moulding planes in pretty good condition apart from being dirty.

I have found some more moulding planes already last year.

Now then, having bought all these planes I meanwhile ask myself if I need them.
The truth is that I like clean straight lines. Why do I care about mouldings?
Thinking about it brought me to the following result.
First of all, who knows when they will become handy. Maybe tomorrow I decide on a new project where I would need them. On the other hand I wouldn't decide to make such a project if I would miss the necessary tools.
Secondly they are somehow fascinating me. No router is necessary to make fancy mouldings. Just one of these nice planes (most of them with history in them) and the even and quiet strokes of the same.
Finally it is a challenge. Something to hunt for. You know, you can buy them on different online marketplaces.
Even they are not that often advertised in this part of the world, but you can find them if you want one and you are willing to pay.
I don't fear to pay for, but it is another story to buy from a private person on a flea market than to buy from an online gambler.

Anyway. Let's have a look at these nice planes.
All of the planes are in good condition. They just have been dirty. Wherever they have been stored.
But although they are dirty and the irons are a bit rusty the cutting edge looks surprisingly well.

The three profiles

That said I have wiped off the dust and some of the dirt and then reassembled the planes.
Here are the three profiles. Unfortunately I haven't found the time to find the right profile names, so I will call them plane No 1, 2, 3.

No 1

No 2

No 3

All cutting edges are pretty well polished and without rust. I believe that means they have been to task a short while ago. Anyway, the iron of No. 3 felt pretty sharp so I gave it a try.

No 3 on task

The iron set I made the first stroke. Guess what. It's cutting not too badly.
After a few strokes I have made the first profile. Nice!

First profile made with plane No.3

I strongly believe I have to find a nice project where I can use one of these nice, old, low noise, moulding planes.

Beside of these moulding plane I have found another great wooden plane. But this guys will be another story.

Stay tuned!


  1. Nice find.
    I have some old moulding planes, but I am not very good at ever getting to use them.
    I too prefer to buy them at a local flea market if I find them instead buying them on-line.


    1. Hi Jonas,
      thx. Buying them at the flea market often brings some nice chats with it.


  2. Yes you do if you are a hand tool woodworker.

    1. Well, then it seems I'm a hand tool woodworker.

  3. Forgot something Stefan. You stand in front of the plane with your left hand on the toe, thumb outboard and the fingers inboard (straddle the plane). Place you right hand at the heel the same way. Start planing at the front left of the board and work backwards (assuming you are right handed). Molders aren't worked in the same manner as a bench plane. If you have the Hayward books he has a lot of good info in there on molding planes. Paul Sellers has a video on using wooden molders to and he planes in this manner.
    Caveat - they are addicting.

    1. Thanks for the hints. I will pay attention when I will use the planes the next time.
      But imagine the following situation. I'm in the workshop, the plane in the left hand, the camera in the right hand, trying to make a pic. I guess that will lead to deductions in the rating. :-)

  4. I will echo Ralph cautionary tale: YES they are addicting :-)
    The wedges on them are traditional European, their various length makes them pretty old.
    Good finds

    Bob and Rudy

    1. Hi Bob,
      thx. Unfortunately I couldn't find out anything about the planes. They are stamped, but I think that are stamps of the owners.


  5. "Start planing at the front left of the board and work backwards (assuming you are right handed). Molders aren't worked in the same manner as a bench plane."
    sorry to highjack this.
    The second sentence is something about which I intend to ask Paul Sellers. In various video, he is planning with his #4, progressing backwards like what is generally recommended for specialty planes. In one of these video, he actually said to start at the left end (being right handed). I will have to check in which one.
    I just have seen a video on a local DIY channel where a guy, visibly without much experience, was supposed to explain how to use a #4 plane. He was trying to start his plane at the right end on a very rough board. The toe had not been rounded and was catching the wood before the blade. I guess the toe would have had nothing to catch if he had started at the left progressing backwards.

    1. I've tried the method Paul Seller is showing (working backwards from an end) a few times and for me it always ends with being out of dimension.
      But for moulding planes I thing it is right. Has to be handled like a plough plane for example.
      Maybe you can place your question in the Q&A of Mr. Sellers.

  6. Stefan,

    Add one more....

    Be careful out there...hear! First it is chisels, then planes, wood stock and metal, followed by marking gauges and before you know what happened you end up on the "hard stuff", molding planes, and it is a never ending jones :-). Every corner of your shop has planes and there is no room to work but you want more. It ain't pretty.


    P.S. You did good, nice looking molders.

    1. Hi Ken,
      Yeah I know. Luckily I haven't got the chisel and the marking gauge virus.