An arched top cornice with brass tacks

    We have been given a work order for an arched top cornice with a shaped bottom and brass tacks outlining the shape.  Sometimes our work orders are not drawn to scale and the finished shape cannot look exactly like the rough drawing.  In this example the required width is about twice what the drawing would indicate so the curves are much less pronounced.  Once again we will use Homasote for our shaped top since it is relatively inexpensive and relatively easy to bend.  After the box is built and polyester batting applied over the plywood we will cover it with muslin before applying the finish fabric because with most shapes it simply produces a better looking product.   Since the pattern in this fabric is quite detailed and has many lines to match we will sew it from the back side making sure all the lines meet.  The seam from the front is not quite as good as a regular seam but much better than having lines that don’t match which makes the seams much more obvious.  We lay the sewn fabric on the covered box and mark the part of the pattern we want to be centered top to bottom and side to side.  Then we make minor adjustments and mark the parts of the pattern that will be at the points of the bottom shape to give the best overall balanced look.  After pinning the fabric in place we measure down from the top to a similar part of the pattern on each side of the cornice.  Then we lay a straightedge across the pattern and make minute adujustments so that pattern is exactly straight across.  Now we start the stapling process.  First we make  cuts where needed and staple the bottom edge.  Next we flip the board over and staple the back edge of the returns.  Then we stand the board up on its bottom edge and staple the the back edge of the top board.  Since we don’t know if the shank of the tacks will protrude through the face board we leave the inside lining for last.

    At this point we flip the board face up and lay the tacks an inch above the bottom edge to see how many tacks we need for each scallop.  We start by hammering in a tack at the top of each point and at the outer ends of the face.   Then  we can hammer in the tacks between the points.  Some of the tacks may need to be pulled out and hammered back in if they are a little out of position.  After the tacks are all hammered in we flip the board over and apply lining and gimp to the inside to complete the cornice.

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