Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Mouldings in Practice


Mouldings In Practice

Matt Bickford




Stop making compromises with your router. Stop getting close enough. Learn how to use some of the most common moulding planes of the past to get the exact edge you are after.
Hollows and rounds do not make specific profiles - they make specific arcs. Learn to transform these few arcs into scores of various profiles.
From layout to execution, this class will focus on creating various mouldings with these extraordinarily versatile planes. The class will start off with maintaining the cutting edge, then move to laying out and ultimately sticking (planing) several mouldings that will range from simple coves and ovolos through ogees, cymas and various combinations.
The class will focus on hollows and rounds sized 6 and 10 along with a rabbet plane. Students will have the opportunity to bring their own performing planes or they can use newly made planes by M. S. Bickford, planemaker. Students will also have the opportunity to use a larger range of planes.
Each student will leave with a picture frame and the ability to transfer mouldings they see in person or print into wood and onto their project.

Class Description

Day 1

  • Setting up and using rabbet and moulding planes
  • Cutting rabbets and chamfers with rabbet planes
  • Using rabbets and chamfers to steer planes and gauge progress
  • Make approximately a dozen different profiles with a single pair of hollows/rounds
    • coves
    • ovolos
    • bullnose
    • cove/ovolos
    • ogees
    • reverse ogees
  • Sharpening and maintaining planes
  • Layout of complex profiles

Day 2

  • Transfer profiles from wood onto paper: taking measured drawing and laying out rabbets, chamfers, fillets, etc.
  • Introduce second pair of hollows and rounds
  • Make several more profiles with 2 pairs of hollows and rounds.
  • See how increasing pairs exponentially increases options
  • Introduce snipes bills and side rounds
  • Make a picture frame

Reference: Mouldings in Practice - Class Profile Guide (opens in Google Docs) We'll provide printed copies in class.


You are welcome to use the School's tools at each bench but you will need, at a minimum, to bring the following tools:

  • Marking gauge (tite mark is highly recommended)
  • Small circle template, 
  • Hammer/mallet...one side brass and one side not metal (i.e. leather, plastic, dead blow, wood)
  • Adjustable square (4" double square is perfect)


You should be confident using, sharpening and maintaining hand planes. 
We recommend that you read Matt's book Mouldings in Practice (Lost Art Press) before the class. Matt will sign it for you.

Class Information and Registration

Class starts at 9:00am on the first day.
Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.
Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $ 350
Materials Charge: $ 75

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.