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Leah Frances 08-11-2009 06:26 PM

Help - Replicating moulding pattern - need tips
Hi Ho DIYers - I am finally doing finish trim work on my sunroom. :thumbup: I need some tips and hints about recreating an historic crown moulding (found throughout our 200 year old farm house, except where the former homeowner cheaped out and put up the lowes 'colonial' special :furious:).

It is a three piece assembly. Below two of the patterns are shown (the third part is just a rectangular piece of wood - I feel confident enough in my own awesomness to replicate it). BTW graph paper is quarter inch squares, hence the notation of 1 inch.

To this end DH has obtained a router, router table, and an assortment of router bits. My job was to spent the afternoon learning how to use the thing. I made a few respectable attempts, I am heading to a local woodworking shop tomorrow to find some more bits for the job.

I also would love to hear what stock you would suggest using - the 2x4 pine I was practicing on was a bit of a mess :laughing:.

I did check with a woodworking shop about having them mock it up. Their minimum set up fee was $400 whether they make you 2 feet or 200 :eek:. Assuming I drop a couple hundred on bits, I figure I will come out ahead.

Thanks for your thoughts


7echo 08-11-2009 09:23 PM

If you are painting the trim poplar makes a good paint grade molding.

You might consider hitting a few more millwork shops for pricing. I think the profiles shown will be a bit of a bear with just a router table. The image you posted looks like a common molding, but there are so many it is hard to say for sure. Google up molding profiles or similar and you might find it is stock profile.

7echo 08-11-2009 09:27 PM

Try this...

Leah Frances 08-12-2009 02:55 AM

7echo - thanks for the link - I will definitely do some measurement and comparisons tomorrow. Unfortunately, I have shopped around for pricing on having a lumber place do the work. :( While I have more than one choice ($400 was the cheapest) my small town seems to be a bit pricy.

I have found similar profiles at BLowes and my local lumbar yard - but the proportions are all wrong - same profile wrong dimensions.

I think I have some poplar laying around I will try and play around with. Honestly, I was able to cut something close with three basic bits and a little planning. I think with a larger cove bit and an ogee I might be able to get what I need.

I'll post pics.

Termite 08-12-2009 07:49 AM

Agreed, pretty tough to replicate those on a router table. :no: It is more of a job for a shaper but even if you had one it would take hundreds of dollars of tooling.

The $400 setup fee at your local millwork company is not that out of line. My local mill charges a $300 setup fee plus a per-foot charge and material costs, assuming they have the knives to replicate the pattern. Otherwise the knives cost $100 per pattern inch to make!

As far as the wood goes...
2x4's aren't going to work well. They're new-growth timber with very few growth rings, plenty of knots and wane and little stability. You'd be better off looking for clear fir or clear white pine boards that are selected for their looks and their grain structure. As stated, for paint grade trim poplar is hard to beat.

ARI001 08-12-2009 08:19 AM

I have duplicated mouldings using the table saw and a router (with table). I have probably somewhere around $1500 in router bit investments alone. Typically you would want to use a shaper to fabricate mouldings if you have a lot to make. The shaper and blades are a substantial investment. If you only have a small amount of trim to make I would say go ahead. If you are in need of several hundred feet I would say pay the mill, it will be cheaper for you in the long run.

Material suggestions: Sugar Pine, Shortleaf Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Redwood, Yellow Poplar, Yellow Birch

If you are trying to stay true to the era of the house use reclaimed lumber from that period. It will cost you a little more though. The profiles you have pictured look pretty common. I would think you could probably order them. You can standard profile discriptions from the wood moulding & millwaork producers association. You can order the cataloges at If you find your profiles in the catalog you can give the wm number to Lowes, Homedepot, or whoever and they can order it for you with out any set up fees. You may have to order a minimum amount.

Maintenance 6 08-13-2009 01:59 PM

You could cut everything in your picture with a table saw and 4 router bits. Or you could order a pair of custom bits to match your profiles. Either way, cut plenty of extra stock so that if you mess up during a final stage, you don't have to go back to stage one and start over to get the full supply needed. Don't be afraid to make some fences and jigs to guide your stock as you progress. Clamp guides onto your router table to keep your stock from wandering and in the proper position. You may need guides on the infeed and outfeed sides of the router. Especially if you plan on making long pieces. One of the biggest challenges on these types of jobs is planning stock removal in the correct order. I agree with the wood types posted. Make sure you are using clear stock and avoid any wierd grain patterns that could tear out.

Leah Frances 08-14-2009 08:14 PM

I spent $199 dollars on some nice bits and bought some clear poplar stock. Spent a few hours monkeying around and am really happy with the results.

Thanks for the help. I'm going to post some pics under How To.

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