How did they make this casing? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 04-13-2011, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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How did they make this casing?

This casing is in the two "parlors" in our 1893 victorian home. I've been in a lot of historic homes and never seen casing like this. I also am pretty familiar with machining techniques and can not imagine how this was made.

Can anyone describe the process in which this was milled? It's not applied. I've cut several pieces and see no glue joints. It's all one piece. Maybe pressed?

TX

Bill
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post #2 of 31 Old 04-13-2011, 05:34 PM
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If it is original to the house, I would say it was all done by hand.

Hand planes, profile planes, chisels, gouges, knives etc.

Sure is pretty.

Scott
OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #3 of 31 Old 04-13-2011, 05:49 PM
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I think its too uniform to be by hand. Having said that I have no idea how it was done. One thing for sure, it's VERY nice and probably irreplaceable. I guess a CNC and a lot of $ could reproduce it.

BTW - great manicure Bill! (or is that your better half?)
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post #4 of 31 Old 04-13-2011, 06:01 PM
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My best guess is that it's not original to the house. It possibly replaced original casing. For woodwork that old, die pressing might have been possible, or done by hand. It just looks too perfect to have been done that way. My other thought is, are you sure it's wood?








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post #5 of 31 Old 04-13-2011, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Don't think so...

Gentlemen (and/or ladies),

mdntrdr, bb71, and cabinetman,

First, we purchased this home from my inlaws who acquired it in the early 1940's. They seemed to think the casing is original and the orange shellac used for the varnish matches everything else in the house. So I do believe it was made in the late 1800's.

Secondly, it definately is wood. I know it's oak to be precise since I've been working with it.

Thirdly, I'm pretty sure it's machined because it's SO UNIFORM. There are no variations in the depths or dims of the details. In thirteen seven foot verticals and seven heads there is only one obvious flaw and it looks like a machine chip out. I've attached another picture which I think indicates machining.

Fourthly, thanks for the complements on my manicure. You don't know how hard it is to maintain those fine looking nails while working in my shop (my 19 yr old daughter actually).

I'm thinking they might have used a molder of some sort whose head oscillated or the work was moved laterally while being fed. But I'm still waiting on a definative answer.

Thanks,

Bill
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post #6 of 31 Old 04-13-2011, 10:04 PM
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Whats with the horrific trim screws?

There's a possibility they are not original...

Scott
OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #7 of 31 Old 04-13-2011, 10:06 PM
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Can't say for sure, but it looks molded. A mold like that nowadays would be extremely expensive to build. They may have used something like a Rose Engine to make those cuts...?

Harrison, at your service!
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post #8 of 31 Old 04-13-2011, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdntrdr View Post
Whats with the horrific trim screws?

There's a possibility they are not original...

Those look like finishing nails to me! But you are right - they're probably not original.
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post #9 of 31 Old 04-13-2011, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Mia Culpa...

Ok, point taken.

The plaster was falling off the walls of that room so I removed all the trim, put up 1/2" drywall on the ceilings and walls, added 1/2" jamb extensions on all the doors and windows then reapplied the casing. So I didn't want to use cut nails - shoot me.

FYI, I'm in the process of puttying and shellacing the nail holes.

Do you know how long a nail needs to be to get through 7/8" casing, 1/2" drywall and 3/4" plaster and lath? I found 3" a bit short and 3.5" just right. I'm sure the casing will now hold up the house.

Again, I'm pretty sure it's molded but what's a "Rose Engine" that H.A.S. mentioned? (and how does it work?)

BTW, In case anyone is interested in cool tools, I build windows for historic properties and claim some bragging rights. I have an Altendorf slideing table saw, a 10HP Onsrud overarm router, a Tannewitz table saw, a Maka four head oscillating chisle mortiser, a Powermatic 2A tennoner with coping heads, a powermatic/belsaw planer/molder with a corrugated head to handle corrugated knives, a two way 5' x 8' window and door pneumatic frame clamp and a 15hp, 4500 cfm Murphy Rogers cyclone dust collector. I had 480V 200A 3ph power run in from the pole.

I'm interested in hearing about other folks equipment too.

Bill

Last edited by [email protected]; 04-13-2011 at 11:21 PM. Reason: forgot some details
post #10 of 31 Old 04-13-2011, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
This casing is in the two "parlors" in our 1893 victorian home. I've been in a lot of historic homes and never seen casing like this. I also am pretty familiar with machining techniques and can not imagine how this was made.

Can anyone describe the process in which this was milled? It's not applied. I've cut several pieces and see no glue joints. It's all one piece. Maybe pressed?

TX

Bill
My wife and I visited my daughter and son-in-law when they lived in Appleton, WI, and they took us to The Hearthstone Historical House Museum, that had this type of interior woodwork. The signs said it was made by by hand by German craftsman that Henry J. Rogers imported for the task. The "gingerbread" that was around the outside eaves, etc, was also handmade and was almost as delicately made as the interior work was.

Rogers owned the Wisconsin Pulp and Paper Company, so I guess he could afford the great expense of a team of craftsmen that charged, I believe the sign said, a "whopping" 75 cents a day per man..
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post #11 of 31 Old 04-14-2011, 12:07 AM
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If you remember 'Spirograph', I think that is how they were made.
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post #12 of 31 Old 04-14-2011, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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I don't remember spirograph. Can you describe?

Bill
post #13 of 31 Old 04-14-2011, 02:52 AM
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The beads on either side of the center flat, are they level (or lower) than the flat, or protruding?
If they protrude I can't see how it was machined.

EDIT:
The more I look at it the worse it gets.. and if not for the picture of the flaw I would have gone back to thinking it was handmade.
I'm thinking a vertical bit is pretty much out of the question, what with the different profile on lentals and the wavy bead.
And I agree with you about the flaw, it looks like the workpiece jumped around a little. -But that means the cutter that did that had to both oscillate and change its axis' angle?? And if so, did it only cut the wavy bead and some flat or the lentals also? My head hurts.

Last edited by Stefflus; 04-14-2011 at 03:38 AM.
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post #14 of 31 Old 04-14-2011, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Beads

If you mean the wavy beads, they are above the flat. If you mean the straight/parallel beads, they are relieved below the flat.

Like I said, I've been working with this stuff. I removed and drywalled over an existing door so I had to do some fancy footwork to deal with the baseboard that uses a slightly modified version of the window/door casing for the base cap.

I've attached a couple of pictures of a cross section so we can be sure your question is answered.

Thanks for the effort.

Bill

Not sure the pics got uploaded (having trouble with my IP). I'll attach later if necessary.

Last edited by [email protected]; 04-14-2011 at 08:46 AM. Reason: forgot to attach pictures
post #15 of 31 Old 04-14-2011, 09:28 AM
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I think it's by hand. The defect piece may have been left there on purpose maybe as a mark of some kind. It isn't so complex that I would shy away from it if a client asked me to do it. And if I think I can do it then someone else most likely had the same idea before me.
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post #16 of 31 Old 04-14-2011, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I don't remember spirograph. Can you describe?

Bill
Spirograph was a drawing toy. The key component was a disc with a number of off-center holes a pen could be inserted into. The disc was then rotated along a surface (it was geared on the outside edge and the following edge so it wouldn't slip) which caused 'waves' to be produced.

I see four unique waves in the casing (then flip to get the matching symmetry), all with the same amplitude and period which could be produced by rolling a disc with an off-center cutting tool along a straight edge. I could take some time to calculate the disc dimensions if you are looking to reproduce.


For your reference, a picture of a Spirograph toy.
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post #17 of 31 Old 04-14-2011, 04:09 PM
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@bburn:
I meant the straight beads, and with them out of the way it allows for a wider range of tools. (grasping straws)
I would love to see an even closer closeup of the flaw, in the picture you posted it almost looks like one can make out what the cutter looked like, but really it's kinda silly of me to think I would see that better in a photo than you would with your eyes
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post #18 of 31 Old 04-14-2011, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Heres the cross section

Thanks for everyone's input. I'm still inclined to think it was a horizontal rotary head (like a molder) that moved back and forth laterally, perpendicular to the feed path, and now that someone mentioned it, maybe up and down too. Multiple passes with different tooling would be required under this scenerio.

I'm still waiting for someone to say, "oh yeah, I saw an old machine that is capable of doing that and it works like this..."

Cross section attached

Bill
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post #19 of 31 Old 04-27-2011, 02:19 PM
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Bill,
Not to hijack your thread, but you said you have a corr. head in you molder. I have a Belsaw and a Woodmaster. All I have ever ran is a single knife in the planer head. Where did you get the corr. head? Did you have a machine shop make yours? And, who do you get your knives from? I have been playing a lot with the woodmaster (love that variable feed), and I'm entertaining the idea of starting a custom trim side business.
Nothing like sticking a piece of wood in one side and seeing a piece of molding come out the other.

I've thought about going to the 8" corrugated 2 knife head for the Woodmaster. Just haven't done it.

BTW, I have no idea how they made that piece of trim, but if it's not hand made, I would think if would be from a molder that had a movable head that was driven by a feed wheel. I don't know.
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post #20 of 31 Old 04-27-2011, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Corrugated Head

I've had this done twice. Sold the first belsaw but now have a PM/Belsaw I'm keeping.

Farr's Custom Carbide in CA machined the head for me. They also make my knives (like any other tooling shop can do) using industry standard corrugations. If I remember correctly I paid about $450 for the millwork.

FARRS CUSTOM CARBIDE
1352 E BORCHARD AVENUE
SANTA ANA, CA 92705
714 972-1600
800 684-0411
714 972-1625 - FAX
[email protected]

I've used a lot of different tool makers but despite I'm 1500 miles away in Indiana, they have good pricing and great service. I can almost always talk to the owner on the first try and he knows his business.

Having three knives allows me to run at three times the CPI. I also don't have to worry about flying knives (have that happen once and you will never forget).

Let me know how it works out for you. If you have any other questions, email me at [email protected]
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