by Randolf Scott
(California West Side!)
Woodworking tips; While routers and shapers are the most common tools for cutting molded shapes in wood, they are not the only tools for the job. In some cases, they may not be the best tools.
There are several good alternatives and, under certain circumstances, one of these may work better for you than a router or a shaper. For example, many craftsmen still prefer a molding plane, the ancestor of the router and the shaper. Once you acquire the knack, you can cut simple moldings and joints with this hand tool as quickly as you can with any power tool.
Furthermore, a molding plane will not burn the wood and, in certain operations, offers better control than a power tool. Updated versions of these old time planes are still available through most mail-order woodworking catalogs, as are interchangeable plane. irons for cutting moldings and joints. If you like hand tools, you might also try a scratch stock or beading tool. This looks like a spokes have and works like a scraper it scrapes a shape in the wood as you draw it across the surface. Like the molding plane, it has interchangeable blades to cut a variety of shapes. A beading tool leaves an extremely smooth surface, will not tear the grain, and is excellent for shaping small parts or figured wood. More woodworking tips.
Finally, there are molding heads available for most table saws and some planers. This power tool acces-sory mounts on a saw or planer arbor, holding two or three shaped knives horizontally. Because of this — and because of the tool on which the accessory is mounted — the molding head is useful for cutting molded shapes in the faces of wide boards. Like the plane irons and the beading blades, the molding knives are interchangeable.