Milling Molding with a Planer - Is it worth buying a planer and cutters

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Forum topic by JohnnyQ posted 07-30-2011 02:43 PM 7389 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 3341 days

07-30-2011 02:43 PM

I was going to put molding throughout my house (living room, dinning room, den and 3 bedrooms with 8ft ceilings). I saw a video showing a guy milling molding on his planer. Is it worth it to buy a planer and the cutters to create molding or should I just buy the molding. Since I have 8ft ceilings I was not going to with too large a profile. I need crown, base and casement moldings. I would use a router as much as possible and probable need the planer/molder for the crown and casement moldings. I was going to buy a planer next year but if it is worth it to mill the moldings I could justify buying it now,

7 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3275 days

#1 posted 07-30-2011 03:05 PM

The answer to your question hinges on 2 other questions: (1) What will the cutter heads cost and (2) will you have a future need for them?

My intuition is that after you buy the material for your moldings, the amount you will save by milling your own will be modest.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3848 days

#2 posted 07-30-2011 05:18 PM

You don’t need a moulder/planer to make crown moulding. Coves
can be cut on the table saw and they come out pretty good. A
moulding head for the table saw can make some other cuts a router

Moulding cutters for Belsaw are pretty inexpensive, and the planers
are good ones. As far as the imported planer/moulders from
Asia go … well, I dunno if they are up to the same standard or
not. I do know that there are a lot of stock profiles available for
Belsaw/Woodmaster machines, but profiles for ShopFox and other
Asian brands are usually limited.

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2876 days

#3 posted 07-30-2011 06:48 PM

I think after you put a pencil to this you will find that the savings will not come close to paying for the cutters let alone the planer. If you would be doing other jobs then it might eventually pay out. I would have to think long and hard about this and I have a Belsaw sitting in my shop. One house really isn’t much.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3848 days

#4 posted 07-30-2011 07:45 PM

You can really save money by making hardwood mouldings,
softwoods, not so much… a lot depends on your ability to
source appropriate lumber for making mouldings, since grain
direction has some greater importance.

There is a fair amount of labor in making and sanding
mouldings. Belsaws can be had very reasonably on the used
market, but the cutter sets to do standard interior house
trim would run to a few hundred bucks at least… and the
resale market for them is soft – but if you’re patient and
not too picky about profiles you can pick them up on ebay

View JohnnyQ's profile


14 posts in 3341 days

#5 posted 07-30-2011 07:57 PM

I had not run any numbers and before I started pricing it out I thought I would first ask here. I am going to look into the table/router method first. Unless I could get planer cutters on ebay it might not pay. The wife wa.ta painted molding so I was going to go with soft wood. Thanks for the input

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3747 days

#6 posted 07-31-2011 02:13 AM

We own a large woodmaster and just love it for cost savings and convenience. We build kitchens though. We save a lot of money on our custom moldings. If i were in your shoes, it might not be as cost effective for just one house. But on cl a good belsaw or woodmaster might be found cheap enough to justify the purchase.

I personally would not have anything less then the woodmastee but my situation is different. I would avoid cutting moldings on router table, that is a terrible idea. Dangerous and quality of cut will severely be lacking.

-- .

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2893 days

#7 posted 07-31-2011 05:09 AM

I own a Belsaw and many cutters. If it’s just for a one time project it’s pricy but if have a market for it it’s worth the cost.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

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