Crossgrain Mouldings

One of the delights of antique walnut furniture is the rich cross-grained mouldings usually found in the best work. Some 30 years ago the fashion was revived, using cross-grain veneers over a solid core; but these mouldings, known as waterfall, obviously could have no sharp arrises, and the total effect was invariably third rate. Genuine cross-grain mouldings can be worked by hand and even by spindle-moulder/ -shaper, provided the cutters are sharp and the feed-rate modest. Well-seasoned richly grained wood should be chosen; strips are then cut across the board, the ends matched up, cut square and hide glued to the edge of a waste board with a layer of thick paper between (307:23). The moulding can then be shaped in the usual way, adopting the normal precautions for cross-grained work, the glue-line split in the thickness of the paper, the paper soaked off and the moulded sections butt glued in their permanent positions, or, if practicable, the strips can be glued direct to the groundwork/ substrate and then shaped. In theory, such mouldings should shrink and split open, but provided thoroughly dry wood is used and the sections are not too wide, the cross grain will accommodate a certain measure of shrinkage without parting at the joints.




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