Hollows & Rounds

Woodworkers come in a wide variety of forms: professionals, hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers; architectural, furniture makers, boat builders, carvers; collectors and users; machinery only, handtool-only and hybrids. There are so many avenues that this silly medium, wood, leads us. Once it has us moving in one direction, may it turn us toward another?

(Fig. 1) Using hollows and rounds when at shows draws both positive and negative attention, depending on the woodworker. In the shop, however, I’m calm and content.

I once spent a weekend in Springfield, Mass. at a large woodworking show making handmade moldings (Fig.1). During the weekend, many different woodworking varieties stopped by the booth and insisted that, with machinery, there were faster ways to do what I was doing, including using routers.

Many of these people brushed the demonstration off as irrelevant and walked away while some lingered in amusement as I rapidly made stick after stick of moldings. To many, I was dancing like a monkey for the cost of admission. To the few that deliberated my presentations, I illustrated what could be done by hand, quickly and efficiently, that machines cannot. In three minutes while using hand planes, I demonstrated the versatility that machines often lack: the idea of infinity.

Tools of the Trade

Hollows and rounds are among the most common profiled planes in existence, and the most versatile. The hollow has a concave sole and an iron that cuts a convex shape. The round has a convex sole and matching iron that creates a concave shape. These planes often come in sets of graduating radii from 1/8″ at the low end to 1-1/2″at the high end. A common half set includes 9 pairs, 18 planes.

To continue reading this presentation or to watch the video, you must
purchase a 360 Fanatic Membership.

Posted on

2 thoughts on “Hollows & Rounds

  1. An awesome article. Since hollows and rounds aren’t manufactured and need to be made, an article on how to do this would be welcomed.

    1. Well, I make and sell them.

      If you’re interested in making your own you should check out Larry Williams’ DVD “making traditional side escapement planes.”

      Matt Bickford

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *