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MOLDING - Making Your Own
Improvement stores (all of them) charge an astronomical
amount of money for a piece of plain wood that has undergone
minimal machining to transform it into "molding". I needed
molding for the replacement window in my
back door, but
I'll be dipped
if I'll shell out $70 for three 8-foot lengths of molding
that was made from $6 worth of wood! In any event, the
outside of the door needed some custom molding which Lowes
and Home Depot don't carry, so I decided to fire up my
router and make my own.
Rounding corners with a router
and a molding bit is super-simple; in fact,
it's practically "retard-proof".
However, cutting grooves or removing ¼" of material from
half the thickness of an 8-foot length of "1 by 3" is a job
that requires a bit of skill and a router guide (or a router
table). Here you see a plunge router set for ¼" depth, and a
router guide used to guide the cutter to the center of the
guide keeps the cutter from wandering too far "inside" the
part where you want the material to stay, and permits the
cut to wander to the edge of the "outside" of the board
where you want the material removed.
cut required 3 "passes". For the first cut, always
adjust your guide and cut material from the
area you want to remove material from. This leaves you material on
both sides of the cut so that the router's base is held
horizontally stable. For the second "pass", you set
the guide for the farthest "in from the edge" cut. The last
"pass" finishes the job, removing the rest of the wood to
the edge. For the last "pass" you must hold the router base
steady on the (left side in the photo) thick part of the
work because you'll be cutting away the stabilizing edge of
trick to nice, smooth cuts is to
the router towards you; and
the router into the work. Doing this provides much better
control of the tool. Also you must keep the base of the
router flat down against the surface of the work. Before you
start, make sure there is nothing that will impede the
smooth travel of the router across the surface of the wood
(especially staples or nails).
As with all things, practice makes (almost) perfect (only
God is perfect).
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