Series 2 Episode 3&4 – Mouldings in Practice by Matt Bickford

Moulding planes are expensive.

If you’re considering buying a half set through a reputable second hand dealer, or ordering from any one of the new makers that make these traditional planes you are in for a lot of money. A new set of two can easily cost $300-$400 and a vintage pair can easily top $100 if they are in good condition. 

Add to this the confusion of what you really need among the huge variety of options, and what to look for when buying, and you can understand why this book is an investment that will save you frustration and money.

I have quite a few planes on my shelf that felt like bargains when I bought them, but have become paperweights as I’ve learnt more about making mouldings. A cheap plane is seldom a bargain if it’s not what you want. Likewise, an expensive plane might be good value if you really need it. You can create 41 profiles with a single set of hollow and rounds. Reading this book is very likely to change the way you go about acquiring moulding planes.

Secondly, moulding planes seem like they are very tricky to use. There is no dark magic here, just a bit of knowledge needed and the book contains a large number of illustrations from Matt that explain what to do. They are color coded and step by step so you know in exactly what order to perform operations.

It’s like paint by numbers for mouldings.

From beginning steps and picture frames, through to duplicating parts on period furniture pieces, I believe that Matt’s book is the next best thing to a course with an expert. And in some ways better, because while the book might lack the personal instruction, a lot of making mouldings is about the process and this book will serve as an excellent reference that you can go back to for years to come. It’s the kind of book that every woodworking club really should have a copy of in their library. 

If, like me, you’re starting on a journey with these planes I can heartily recommend you get a copy of this book. And to quote the author – “ open the doors to infinity”. Join me on the podcast as I explore the book and interview the author.