Furniture Mouldings by Warne


Well-known member
I'm curious as to people's opinion of this title;

Furniture Mouldings: Full size sections of moulded details on English furniture from 1574-1820
E. J. Warne

It's a helpful reference; line drawings of dozens and dozens of moldings on multiple, mainly 18th century English pieces.

Howard Steier

As Howard said, a very helpful reference, especially if you are interested in English furniture. Full size profiles of furniture moldings with measurements organized by furniture type. 

In terms of numbers, the selections are weighted toward the Jacobean through Early Georgian periods (using Greene's timelines). Still, there are some nice examples of later stuff.

Rick Yochim

I agree with Howard and Rick's comments, and only want to add that a digital version of Warne's book is available, to read on-line or download, at the Internet Archive:

A very good way to get a thorough idea of its contents and usefulness, even if one decides to purchase a hard copy of the reprint.

Don McConnell
Eureka Springs, AR
Thanks Don, Rick and Howard. I've offered an original copy at a reasonable cost and wanted to check on what people thought of it as a reference. I see there is a Dover reprint available too. Although I spend a lot of time working in the world of digital reproduction, I yet prefer paper in hand when it comes to reading and referencing.

And now, if you order Mouldings in Practice by Matt Bickford, from Lost Art Press, you get, absolutely free, a downloadable version of Furniture Mouldings, by Warne. Bickford's new book is now available for pre-order, with free shipping, for a limited time. I'll let you know how it compares to my Dover reproduction as soon as I give the Schwarz my credit card number for Mouldings in Practice. The biggest comparison problem will be finding the paper copy, because my "brick and mortar" book filing system isn't nearly as efficient as my electronic system.

No affiliation, except as a satisfied customer.
William, Chris claims this book is a brand new method, one never before taught; but it seems to me Don teaches how to do mouldings this way on dvd, or at least as Chris describes it. Don?


I'm glad to hear that the Warne book is an add-on offer to this new work coming out about mouldings. Good sleuthing job and thanks for sharing this.

I for one would be curious to know your thoughts and impressions of the book once you've had a chance to read it. I use the Warne book from time to time and as good and authoritative as it seems to be, the actual profile drawings aren't all that crisp in detail so if Bickford's book can give us a clearer sense of the actual component proportions comprising moulding profiles that would be a big help. Once a profile is selected to be applied, sizing it and laying it out properly is really important.   

Pam - I think Don's DVD would be hard to top for anyone wanting to learn (or get better at) sticking period mouldings by hand. Always open to better ways of doing things so if there is a way to gain efficiencies without sacrificng the essentials in the result I'm open whatever new ideas are presented in this book.

Rick Yochim           
Pam and Rick,

You ask really tough questions. I haven't seen Don's DVD, but am now tempted to search it out. Of course, Matt's book is not yet in my hands either. We have to realize that neither Chris nor Don is  about to give a fair and balanced review of their relative merits, and you have to expect a modicum of hucksterism from them in the promotion of the book, the DVD or their competing wooden molding planes. Making a review even more difficult is the inherent differences in the media: Some people learn better visually; some better with words and drawings; some need one-on-one real time feedback while they are practicing the new techniques. In any case, the two products will probably complement each other very well. Imagine where you might be right now if your only instructional medium was PBS and you had only watched the NYW, or alternately, if you had only watched the Woodwright's Shop.

I've never been satisfied with either the performance of my molding planes or the moldings I've created with them, or the efficiency with which I created them, so I'm looking for any competent help I can get. I also appreciate the difficulty of even the best crafters to teach a video camera or a typewriter and drafting table the techniques they mastered decades ago, after they have forgotten all the things they did wrong, and all the mistakes they made and all the subtleties of technique they have internalized and consciously forgotten in the meantime. Also, the video camera gives them no feedback, no puzzled looks, no questions. It understands and remembers everything the first time, but at a very basic level.

As to Warne's book of patterns, I think they are exact enough, but then I'm not planning to clip one of the patterns and send it out to Williams and Hussey to grind me a profile, and I'm not going to run several thousand feet of the same molding to trim out a whole MacMansion, and give the stack of sticks to a crew of gorillas with brad guns and a chop saw who don't know enough to keep the pieces in order so that the miters fit. It's not clockwork; moldings are about the interplay of light and shadow, and the shapes are often obscured by the figure of the wood, the patina carried by the finish, and the less than perfect lighting conditions where the finished piece is displayed. The good news is that the PDF of the pattern book is immediately available, so I can use it for planning even before Matt's book arrives from Lost Art. There are definite advantages to a PDF version, even if it is only scanned images, like this one. If I want to manipulate the profiles on my computer with a CAD program or SketchUp, I don't need to scan the paper copy into my computer. If I had a scanner, but it were not flat bed, I wouldn't need to disassemble my paper copy to feed it into my scanner. Once into my CAD program, I can trace it with lines and arcs, and bezier curves and scale, distort and manipulate them until they are exactly what I want. Alternately, I can download the whole book into my iPad and carry it out to the shop and use it as reference when I want to shoot a particular molding.

Enough rant. I'll get back to y'all when the book arrives and I've read it and tried to use it to sharpen my hollows and rounds and technique.

William, on the Cohansey
Pam - I think Don's DVD would be hard to top for anyone wanting to learn (or get better at) sticking period mouldings by hand. Always open to better ways of doing things so if there is a way to gain efficiencies without sacrificng the essentials in the result I'm open whatever new ideas are presented in this book.

Same here, Rick. OTOH, I don't feel like wasting $37 and a lot of reading time right now.

William, it appears that Chris is ignoring my question on his blog, which is a first for our online relationship. Almost needless to say, that's quite irritating. Tell you what, I'd be happy to lend you Don's 2 dvd's if you email [email protected] your address. Last time I had it was several computers ago.

Jeff L Headley said:
Sound like a good time for a molding ap for your I pad or I phone.

Now that's an interesting idea. As a reformed software developer (as in 9/11 killed my company), I have some ideas of how that would work. How do you as a great woodworker see that working?

You'd surely have to be able to incorporate jpegs and sketchup drawings, or at least be able to draw. Or maybe the software could understand ogees, rebates, snipe bill planes, etc. Then the user could just say show me a molding that's rebate then ogee then ogee (reverse hollow/round implied) then .... And show me the lines and shadows from the end and front. Etc.


Another thought on the crispness of the Warne drawings. I find the detail sufficient, but his illustration style is quite unorthodox, at least to my training. All the thick black shadings are quite difficult to get used to when I'm used to hashing to show the solid wood and much thinner lines to show the surfaces.

One edge of each of the borders is sharp and detailed, while the other ambiguous amorphous edge is meaningless. I'd be tempted to go through the whole book and draw hashmarks for clarity. But that wouldn't work on the PDF version. Right now, I'm having trouble modifying the jpgs in my CAD program that I've extracted from the pdf file. When I figure out how to get it working right, I'll post an example.