Traditionally, moulding planes
In woodworking, a moulding plane (molding plane in US spelling) is a specialised plane used for making the complex shapes found in wooden mouldings. 1
Traditionally, moulding planes were blocks of wear resistant hardwood, often beech or maple, which were worked to the shape of the intended moulding. The blade, or iron was likewise formed to the intended moulding profile and secured in the body of the plane with a wooden wedge. A traditional cabinetmakers shop might have many, perhaps hundreds, of moulding planes for the full range of work to be performed. The late nineteenth century brought modern types which were all-metal affairs such as the American Stanley No. 55 Universal Plane2 and the English Record No. 405 Multi-Plane with a wide variety of interchangeable cutters, integral fences, and "nickers", small cutting edges which score the grain fibers when working across the board.3
Large crown mouldings required planes of six or more inches in width, which demanded great strength to push and often had additional peg handles on the sides, allowing the craftsman's apprentice or other worker to pull the plane ahead of the master who guided it.4:132
Stanley No. 55 Universal plane with wide array of interchangeable cutters.
While generally considered outdated, a modern furniture shop doing reproduction or restoration work might keep a collection of moulding planes to match original work, or to build in an authentic manner.
The earliest known record of a moulding plane is a moulding plane iron of Roman origin unearthed in Cologne, Germany.4:116
In modern industry, the work of the moulding plane has been taken up by the electrically powered spindle moulder or wood shaper. On a smaller scale, the hand-held or table-mounted electric router allows the use of interchangeable router bits of a wide variety of profiles and is readily available to the small business or home craftsperson.
Molding, or moulding
Molding, or moulding (Commonwealth), also known as coving (UK, Australia), is a strip of material with various profiles used to cover transitions between surfaces or for decoration. It is traditionally made from solid milled wood or plaster, but may be made from plastic or reformed wood. In classical architecture and sculpture, the molding is often carved in marble or other stones.
A "sprung" molding has bevelled edges that allow mounting between two non-parallel planes (such as a wall and a ceiling), with an open space behind the molding. Other types of molding are referred to as "plain".
3 See also
5 Further reading
At their simplest, moldings are a means of applying light- and dark-shaded stripes to a structural objects without having to change the material or apply pigments. The contrast of dark and light areas gives definition to the object.
Imagine the vertical surface of a wall lit by sunlight at an angle of about 45 degrees above the wall. Adding a small overhanging horizontal molding to the surface of the wall will introduce a dark horizontal shadow below the molding, which in consequence is called a fillet molding. Adding a vertical fillet to a horizontal surface will create a light vertical shadow. Graded shadows are possible by using moldings in different shapes: the concave cavetto molding produces a horizontal shadow that is darker at the top and lighter at the bottom; an ovolo (convex) molding makes a shadow that is lighter at the top and darker at the bottom. Other varieties of concave molding are the scotia and congé and other convex moldings the echinus, the torus and the astragal.
Placing an ovolo directly above a cavetto forms a smooth s-shaped curve with vertical ends that is called an ogee or cyma reversa molding. Its shadow appears as a band light at the top and bottom but dark in the interior. Similarly, a cavetto above an ovolo forms an s with horizontal ends, called a cyma or cyma recta. Its shadow shows two dark bands with a light interior.
Together the basic elements and their variants form a decorative vocabulary that can be assembled and rearranged in endless combinations. This vocabulary is at the core of both classical architecture and Gothic architecture.
Decorative moldings have been made of wood, stone and cement. Recently moldings made of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) as a core with a cement-based protective coating have become popular. These moldings have environmental, health and safety concerns that were investigated by Doroudiani et al.1
Strapwork - Popular in England
Chair rail ? horizontal molding placed part way up a wall to protect the surface from chair-backs, and used simply as decoration
Chamfer ? bevelled edge connecting two adjacent surfaces
Chin-beak ? Concave quarter-round molding. There are few examples of this in ancient buildings, but is common in more recent times.2
Colonial ? ?Colonial? mouldings are very widely used in various places and has been around for very long time. This profile can be called ?classic? as well since most of houses have it already build into kitchens, fireplaces, furniture, door and windows headers, columns and so on.4
Corner guard ? Used to protect the edge of the wall at an outside corner, or to cover a joint on an inside corner.
Cove molding or Coving ? a concave-profile molding that is used at the junction of an interior wall and ceiling
Crown molding ? a wide, sprung molding that is used at the junction of an interior wall and ceiling. General term for any molding at the top or "crowning" an architectural element.
Cyma ? molding of double curvature, combining the convex ovolo and concave cavetto. When the concave part is uppermost, it is called a cyma recta but if the convex portion is at the top, it is called a Cyma reversa ? The crowning molding at the entablature is of the cyma form, it is called a cymatium.
Dentils ? Small blocks spaced evenly along the bottom edge of the cornice
Drip cap ? this is placed over a door or window opening to prevent water from flowing under the siding or across the glass
Echinus ? Similar to the ovolo molding and found beneath the abacus of the Doric capital or decorated with the egg-and-dart pattern below the Ionic capital3
Egg-and-dart ? One of the most widely used classical moldings3 with egg shapes alternating with V-shapes and known from Ancient Greek temples (Erechtheion).
Also: Egg and tongue, egg and anchor, egg and star
Fillet ? small, flat band separating two surfaces, or between the flutes of a column
Fluting ? Vertical, half-round grooves cut into the surface of a column in regular intervals, each separated by a flat astragal. This ornament was used for all but the Tuscan order
Godroon or Gadroon ? Ornamental band with the appearance of beading or reeding, especially frequent in silverwork and molding. It comes from the Latin word Guttus, meaning flask. It is said to be derived from raised work on linen, applied in France to varieties of the, bead and reel, in which the bead is often carved with ornament. In England the term is constantly used by auctioneers to describe the raised convex decorations under the bowl of stone or terracotta vases. The godroons radiate from the vertical support of the vase and rise half-way up the bowl.
Also: Gadrooning, lobed decoration, (k)nukked decoration, thumb molding
Guilloché ? Interlocking curved bands in a repeating pattern often forming circles enriched with rosettes and found in Assyrian ornament, classical and Renaissance architecture.3
Keel molding ? with a sharp edge, resembling in cross-section the keel of a ship. It is common in the Early English and Decorated styles.
Ovolo ? Simple, convex quarter-round molding that can also be enriched with the egg-and-dart or other pattern
Picture rail ? Functional molding installed 7?9 feet above the floor from which framed pictures and paintings are hung using picture wire and picture rail hooks. Primarily seen in older homes with plaster walls, as hammering in nails to hang pictures would damage the plaster. Furthermore, the plaster may not be strong enough to support a picture.
Rosette ? Circular, floral decorative element found in Mesopotamian design and early Greek stele. Part of revival styles in architecture since the Renaissance.3
Scotia ? Concave molding with a lower edge projecting beyond the top and so used at the base of columns as a transition between two torus moldings with different diameters3
Screen molding ? this is a small molding that is used to hide the area where a screen is attached to the frame.
Shoe molding, toe molding or quarter-round ? often used at the bottom of the baseboard to cover a small gap or uneven edge between the flooring and the baseboard.
Strapwork - Popular in England in 16th & 17th. centuries, used in plaster on ceilings,5 also sculpted in stone on exterior of buildings, e.g. around entrance doors. Also carved in wood, and used for topiary designs for parterres. Imitates thick lengths of leather straps applied to a surface to produce pattern of ribs in connected circles, squares, scrolls, lozenges etc.
Torus ? Convex, semi-circular molding, larger than an astragal, often at the base of a column, which may be enriched with leaves or plaiting.6
Trim molding ? A general term used for moldings that are used to create added detail or cover up gaps. They can include corner moldings, cove moldings, rope moldings, quarter rounds, and accent moldings.7