Hand Tools Archive

Poor form

Joe shelton
I've dabbled often enough with trim carpentry to know that leaving end grain exposed violates a part of the ethos of the craft, and I have always before mitered the returns to adhere to that injunction. Until yesterday, when I slipped in a defiant exercise.

Trimming a window in a little used room upstairs, I duly mitered returns on the stool and on a cove detail beneath it, but not on the apron.

I wanted a substantial bottom end, so I used flat stock and cut a 3/8" bead with my newest plane, a Stanley 45. Then I cut the piece to final length and carved the return into the (smoothly cut) end grain. The carving isn't the same on both ends and isn't precisely a match to the 45's profile. Still, it was fun to attempt, satisfying to get to "pretty good", and it let me rebel.

If you visit, I'm not going to take you up there to show it off unless you ask to see it, but now we all know that I'm not above making a decision every once in a while. Felt like I needed to do that before my 70th.

Power to the Peeps!

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