The crown molding—or pediment—on each side of the highboy front is actually built up from four separate pieces of wood. The broken swan-neck face molding that curves upwards from the front cor­ner to the rosette is made from two pieces of molding glued together. With the help of a template cut on the band saw, the molding pieces are shaped on a pin router (page 125). The moldings on both sides of the highboy, called the returns, also consist of two pieces glued together. They are installed with dovetailed slides that fit into matching grooves in the upper chest (page 127).



Shaping the second piece of molding

The piece of molding that is glued to the first one to build up the face molding is shaped by the same process used in step 1. Unscrew the first piece from the template, then draw a cutting line for the second piece, offsetting the line by the width of the first piece plus % inch. Band saw along the mark (left). Cut and shape the second piece of molding as you did the first: Cut it to width, attach the piece to the template, and shape it on the pin routing attachment—this time, using a round-over bit. Once the molding has been shaped, unscrew it from the template and saw it to final width.

3 Preparing the face moldings for installation

Glue the parts of the face molding together and hold them securely with clamps. Once the adhesive has cured, each piece of face molding must be cut at one end to meet the side molding and at the other end to fit around the rosette. For the side mold­ing-end, set up your table saw for a com­pound cut by angling the blade to 45° and the miter gauge to the angle formed be­tween the straight edge of the molding and the side of the carcase when the molding is held in place. Clamp the face molding to the miter gauge, protecting the stock with a wood pad. Since the top of the molding is straight and the bottom is curved, you will have to feed the stock with what would normally be the trailing end first. Hold the gauge and molding securely, and push the stock into the cut, keeping your hands well clear of the blade (left). Then band saw the waste (marked with Xs).

2 Preparing the upper chest for the side molding

The side molding is attached to the chest with a sliding dovetail joint to allow the carcase to expand and contract because of changes in humidity without breaking the mitered joints on the front corners. The dovetailed groove is cut in the chest side with a router. Install a dovetail bit, then attach a commercial edge guide to the tool’s base plate and screw a wood exten­sion to the guide fence to increase its bearing surface. Set the chest on its side and place the router on top. Adjust the edge guide so that the groove will be cut just below the corner joint. With the bit clear of the chest, start at the back and feed the cutting edges into the side pan­el, pulling the edge guide extension flush against the top panel. Continue toward the front of the chest (right), stopping the cut a little past the halfway point.


Installing the side molding

To produce a slide to match the groove in the chest, leave the dovetail bit in the router, mount the tool in a table, and shape the slide in two passes along the edge of a board. Then rip the slide from the board. Position the side molding against the chest and mark the sides of the groove on the back of the molding. Secure the molding face-down in a vise and screw the slide to the back (inset), aligning it between the marks. Spread glue on the mitered end of the molding and on the first 2 inches of its back face, then slide it in place (left) and clamp securely.

Rosettes are an ornamental feature common to many furniture styles. They can take many shapes and he produced in various ways. The con­centric circles of the rosette at left were turned on a lathe, creating a pattern that flows seamlessly from the graceful curves of the crown molding.


2 Gluing up the rosettes

Position each rosette in turn on the chest so that its wood grain runs in the same direction as the face molding. This will create the impression that the two parts are one continuous piece. Mark the rosette where it touches the molding, then apply some glue to the contacting surfaces of both pieces. Use one clamp to secure the rosette in place and a second (right) to keep it from sliding forward or back­ward. Protect the stock with wood pads.


Preparing the face moldings for the rosettes

Once both rosettes have been turned, use a gouge to shape the rounded end of the moldings so that the contacting surfaces fit snugly together. Set the upper chest face-up on a work surface and hold the gouge upright as you pare away wood from the molding (left) until it fits flush against the rosette.

Updated: March 17, 2016 — 11:55 pm