Because I don’t have any drawings and very few dimensions to lead me on this interpretation of a two-tier corner cabinet, I wanted to visualise the proportions of the cornice before embarking on the upper tier.
The untrained eye may be forgiven for assuming all mouldings are stuck as one. Indeed, modern crown moulding, skirting and architrave are typically machined from single pieces of timber (all be they straight-grained). Surviving complex wooden moulding planes also demonstrate wide, one-piece, intricate profiles were being stuck as early as the seventeenth-century (the moulding planes, often with rope holes so the plane ‘drivers’ could harness the additional grunt of an apprentice or two). By far though, the most commonly seen mouldings of this complexity are built up from smaller, individual arcs (ovolos and scotias) and flats that were stuck with smaller, more manageable moulding planes or scratch stocks.
I don’t have a single large moulding plane capable of sticking this cornice in one go and even if I did, I’m not sure I’d be keen on tackling this quantity of cross-grained ash in one hit anyway.
Cross-grained mouldings inevitably shrink across the grain leaving the characteristic splits and gaps, but to minimise shrinkage, the moulding stock is prepared by gluing small sections of ash onto pine grounds.