Making custom moldings

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Forum topic by mission76 posted 09-05-2010 03:46 AM 1794 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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47 posts in 3651 days

09-05-2010 03:46 AM

Just had a question…I am thinking about the possibility of making my own moldings and trim work for my bedroom. I would really like to do it in cherry. Anyone ever make thier own moldings? Anyone recommend any web sites for bits and such, or even ones discussing maiing your own moldings. Thanks in advance

13 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile


31417 posts in 2895 days

#1 posted 09-05-2010 03:59 AM

I’m not trying to discourage you but I think that you would be better off trying to make some furniture for your bedroom or a built in or something. We make mouldings and they’re not that expensive. For the money and time that you would spend getting bits and setting up with multiple passes and so forth I think that you would be better off making something else and spending the money that you would have spent on the bits for the mouldings on some bits that you could use from now on on some other projects. Also, think of the length that the mouldings have to be for you’re bedroom. That’s another complicating factor. That’s just my opinion.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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47 posts in 3651 days

#2 posted 09-05-2010 04:05 AM

No I totally understand, honestly if it all went smooth I would eventually redo the whole house, but I’m working on one room at a time which is why as of now it’s only for the master bedroom, but yeah I agree, the cost of bits might make this expensive to a point where it would be stupid to proceed. The dimensions of the room are 13×13, which isn’t incredibly hard to do in one piece but I have been toying with the idea od plinth blocks along the top and baseboard so that would make it easier.

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3025 days

#3 posted 09-05-2010 04:08 AM

When I started cabinet making I had to buy tools to make the mouldings I needed. This becme expensive. Different bits and moulding heads for every profile !
The only real advantage to doing your own is you can create a profile like no one else has.
Keep in mind when you buy the RAW stock that you are going to throw a lot of it away as sawdust !
Some of it will splinter !
With todays availability of being able to buy it already made, it is probably the way to go, unless you want the challenge and satisfaction of saying I DID this myself !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View ClayandNancy's profile


519 posts in 3043 days

#4 posted 09-05-2010 05:19 AM

I bought different profiles from my supplier and created my own style. It comes out cheaper and quicker this way.

View aurora's profile


229 posts in 3280 days

#5 posted 09-05-2010 02:17 PM

i used some 2×4 stock for the curve on my cornice. two setups on the table saw. setup 1 to put a 45 degree on it lengthwise, to remove most of the material quickly. setup 2 to create the curve with the saw blade. i removed the fence put a couple of guides clamped to the top and took about 5 passes to get the cove shape. the cove shape did require a lot of sanding. used a router bit for a separate piece that went below and above the cove piece. cost of materials and bits were way less than the cheapest purchased pine or even composite board moldings, but you have your time to consider as well. i have yet to try this on hardwoods, probably be even more time on cutting the cove as a bit slower feed rate would be required.

View bob101's profile


321 posts in 3479 days

#6 posted 09-06-2010 03:45 AM

I have made mouldings in the past, there kind of a pain , and large router and shaper bits are expensive , I purchased all of mine at lee valley. For large mouldings you need both a large (powerull router) and a fairly robust table and fence for the long stock. and multiple small passes taking off a bit of stock at a time, if you dont do this is just plain dangerous.

-- rob, ont,canada

View Edziu's profile


151 posts in 3079 days

#7 posted 09-06-2010 04:46 AM

I guess I’ll be the first to give positive support to this idea. I have, and will continue to make my own moldings for various rooms in my houses over the years. There are several advantages to making your own moldings.
1. You can always make more
2. You can incorporate more than one wood into the molding.
3. When windows are close together (or doors next to doors, whatever), you can make some wider molding so you don’t have little spaces of wall showing through (which look weird and are hard to paint.)
4. You can build in a ‘feature strip’ that can conceal large nail holes or trim screws, and then the feature strip just goes on with pin nails—virtually no filling!

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3315 days

#8 posted 09-07-2010 11:36 PM

For furniture, I frequently make some of my own moulding, yet for long pieces for a whole room, the others have already given great advice, Unless you invest a lot of money in shapers, power feeds, big routers and cutters, lots of cutters, it just isn’t practical. I have however used diffent combinations of standard moulding and combined them for a more custom look, even on furiture I build. I know these answers are not encouraging, but they are practical.

My house has a lot of custom moulding, but I did it when I could use shorter pieces. If you don’t have a shaper with a power feed, you will find long pieces to be a huge pain. It is almost impossible to keep from getting dips and chatter in your work. What kind of equipment do you have? The answer to that could determine what you do.


View RichClark's profile


157 posts in 3459 days

#9 posted 09-08-2010 05:26 AM

I make my own but not “redoing the entire place” I am copying the existing that I cannot find and its painstaking.
Mine is more “craftsman” style so not allot of coves .etc but the crown molding is a bitch and I have pretty much hand shaped the places (over windows and doors) and it takes way way way way longer then you think.

If you have access to a shaper… you might consider Picking out the profile and having it made. That way you can recreate it at will and then you can mill your own on the cheap.

My 2 Centavos


-- Duct Tape is the Force! It has a light side and a dark side and it Binds the Universe together!

View mission76's profile


47 posts in 3651 days

#10 posted 09-08-2010 08:33 AM

I’m actually suprised at the amount of people saying that this isn’t a great idea! Anyway to answer the questions, I have a cast iron router table and a Hitachi router…but I was going to use this as an excuse to grab a Bosch or Porter Cable, something aong the lines of 3 HP. I found a few websites that have some router bits to make moldings, I think I like the Freud sets, where they use two different bits to make the crown, I kind of like a uniformed appearence, so it’s not like I would ever buy the entire set of crown molding bits, baseboard bits and chair rail bits…I usually go with the one I like the best and always use it!

Anyway this isn’t a project that needs to be done right away, I can take my time with it, and have no problem doing numerous passes of various stock through the router. I really was going to do this not only because I think handmade cherry trimwork in my bedroom would look great, but because every once and awhile I can look up from the bed and know that I actually produced the moldings from stock cherry wood!

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 3071 days

#11 posted 09-08-2010 02:24 PM

Another option not mentioned yet is a table saw molding head. The best I’ve seen is the Magic Molder It isn’t the cheapest option but the quality of this setup can’t be beat. There are 80+ different cutters available for the molder so your choices are limited by your imagination.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View gerrym526's profile


274 posts in 3837 days

#12 posted 09-09-2010 11:11 PM

If you’re going to be working with long pieces of molding, I’d recommend the tablesaw molding heads mentioned by rsmith71. A less expensive alternative to the Magic Molder is the Delta molding head with about 30 different inserts.
I highly recommend using featherboards-one to hold the piece down on the saw table (and serve as a guard), the other to hold the molding against the rip fence.

-- Gerry

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3575 days

#13 posted 09-10-2010 12:11 AM

I too have considered adding a molding machine for our kitchens we build, my situation is of course much different. In your situation I would think setting up to cut your own moldings is not going to be your best option. In my opinion you should make use of a power feeder and a lot of muscle behind the cutter in order to ensure a good result. An inadequate set up will likely leave chatter, maybe some burn marks, knife marks along with a lot of sanding and maybe a poor result. Some router bits offer a two part molding but in this case you have a glue up and then will need to sand the seam inside the profile area, not ideal.

To do this I would think at a minimum you would want a substantial heavy duty table, strong feather boards, small to medium power feeder and a minimum of a 3 hp router should be utilized, then use some great bits/cutters. A step up but probably better would be a 3 hp shaper and power feeder combo. Then the best route would be the molding machine which probably is not cost effective. At least the addition of the shaper would give you a lot of flexibility and a shaper is great at a lot of different tasks. Custom knives up to 3” tall can be cut for shaper heads.

Just some thoughts on the deal.

I would be willing to bet that you could find a lumber yard with milling service that would charge a simple knife fee and run whatever profile you want. If not then there does seem to be a large amount of custom trim suppliers online which would ship moldings to you. Just some thought.

-- .

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