Download an excerpt from this book here.
By Matthew Sheldon Bickford
After years of publishing woodworking information, you often hear that there is nothing new in the craft. Everything has been done before, written before and fully figured out.
I used to believe that was true, until I read the manuscript that was to become “Mouldings in Practice” by Matthew Sheldon Bickford. This book explains how to make mouldings in a simple way that I have never ever encountered – either in print or from an instructor.
The book turns a set of complicated mouldings into a series of predictable rabbets and chamfers that guide your hollow and round planes to make anything – anything – that has been made in the past or that you can envision for your future projects.
During the last several months, we had many proofreaders edit this book and the universal reaction was much like this:
“Well crap. Now I want to buy some of these stupid planes.”
“Mouldings in Practice” is accessible for even the beginning hand-tool woodworker. It uses more than 200 color illustrations and dozens of photos to explain how to lay out, prepare for and cut any moulding you can draw.
The first half of the book is focused on how to make the tools function, including the tools that help the hollow and round planes – such as the plow and the rabbet. Matt also covers snipes bills and side rounds so you know their role in making mouldings. Once you understand how rabbets and chamfers guide the rounds and chamfers, Matt shows you how to execute the mouldings for eight very sweet Connecticut River Valley period projects using photos and step-by-step illustrations and instruction.
The book has a full index by Suzanne Ellison (the saucy indexer for “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest”), plus appendices on fixing up old moulding planes, building a sticking board and how to capture moulding profiles in the wild.
Like all our books, “Mouldings in Practice” has been produced entirely in the United States. It has color illustrations with black-and-white photos, and it is printed on #60 white uncoated and acid-free paper. The pages are sewn to last a long time. And the book is hardbound and covered with cotton.
About the Author
I imagine a lot of people had Matt Bickford figured out.
Born in the Binghamton, N.Y., area (specifically Endwell) Matt lived there through the 8th grade, along with his parents, and his older brother and older sister. When the IBM plant shut down there was a mass exodus from the area, which included Matt’s family (his father worked for IBM). They ended up in Hyde Park, N.Y., in the Poughkeepsie area.
Matt played sports. Mainly football and lacrosse. A little basketball. “Being tall was always a handicap because you ended up being the first picked and it led to a lot of disappointment,” he says, laughing.
Matt attended Yale University, played football (he was a lineman) and intended to study math or economics. But through friendships with older football players he learned that he could get the job he wanted without spending four years immersed in math. He liked history, reading and writing, so he declared history as a major. “Going off to Wall Street was the goal,” he says. “Medical school, law school or Wall Street was the general goal of everybody that I was acquainted with at school.”
And so, that’s what he did.
Read more about Matt Bickford in this full profile.