I will soon be purchasing an 8-year old 2-story traditional that needs some
TLC to the entire upstairs. The previous owners skimped on all the materials
so I want to do the following:
1. Remove Carpet
2. Remove Window/Door Casing
3. Remove Baseboard
4. Remove Doors/Bi-Folds
6. Install 6-Panel Oak & Oak Bi-Folds
7. Install New Carpet
8. Install New Casing/BaseBoard (Natural Oak).
I am not happy with the selection at the home centers; they offer only 1 or
2 different types (Colonial or Teardrop in Casing). I am stuck with 2 1/4"
casing(since that is the max width my house will allow in many places) and
maybe a 4" baseboard. I have been to a few Millwork Shops and found W180
Profile that would look good but it's not available in Oak. There are no
Sills/Aprons on any of the windows so that makes things a bit easier for
That being said, I was thinking of going for a Shaper or Moulder equipped
with a stock feeder to create my own Casing as well as Baseboard to go along
with it. I was watching This Old House Yesterday and noticed that Tom Silva
had a Moulder with a custom set of knives. There are no Sills/Aprons on any
of the windows upstairs so that makes things a bit easier for me. I already
know that in addition to this project I will have many other projects
requiring it so I am not afraid to spend some $$'s to get myself setup.
When casing runs $3-$6 per foot, this seems like an expense that could be
justified. I have a 25x40 Shop that has plenty of open floorspace for
equipment like this and enjoy woodworking with my tablesaw,router,jointer,
Any thoughts from fellow woodworkers?
Absolutly do it. But don't do it thinking your going to save money. You
buy wood at retail plus you have the hump of the expense of the
equipment to get over. And then your still doing the making yourself. Do
it because you will get a really good, crisp, nice relief moulding
rather that flattish junk. Also you will probably then notch things up
in your wood selection too. Do it for the quality. Moulder, sticker,
shaper or good router table. Study moulding designs.
Mike Bittel wrote:
Thanks for your input, my thoughts exactly. I want to create something
unique, something that can't be found at every Home Center. I realize that
the initial cost is high.
Are there any online vendors that carry Shapers/moulders and knives? Any
recommendations here on equipment?
Plenty of vendors carry shaper-molders and knives. I tried earlier to post a
note telling you to see if you can check with Tom Watson. He had a Williams &
Hussey molder/planer for sale a short while ago. I think it also had some
knives already with it. In case you don't know, the W&H is the best of the
small molder/planers, though it has a narrower planing head than most. It takes
just a couple minutes to change knives, is powerful, and basically works
wonderfully well. It is also the most expensive of the small units (used to
cost about two grand ready to go, with accessories to quickly run that way up).
I don't have Tom's e-mail to hand, nor his web site, but both are easy to
"Character is much easier kept than recovered." Thomas Paine
I have a shaper and a nice router table. But if I suddenly had a house
I would look hard at those planer/moulder thingys. I think Jet and Sears
makes one. ( Or check out a CT050 at http://www.busybeetools.com/
) This isn't an endorsment and if anybody had one, please speak up and
let us know how they really work. As it looks easy to make many types
including crown. This is just an idea. I have a 3hp $haper and still
this other little buggy looks very intrigueing.
I've got the 13" Jet molder/planer and a Jet 1.5 HP shaper. My intent when I
purchased these tools was to do relatively small jobs not production runs.
Both tools work but I don't think I'd want to make many many hundreds of
feet of casing, base, etc. for a whole house with either one of them. You
still have to get a flat face and two square, parallel, edges that are
perpendicular to the flat face to get good results.
This isn't just true of "home" production. I've watched my wife's cousin in
his commercial cabinet shop use a W&H Molder to create wide crown molding.
The 16+ foot red oak stock was face jointed, edge jointed, ripped on the
table saw, and then went through the W&H. Sal was working his ass off
running those 16+ footers over his Powermatic 8" jointer. Sal has 4 shapers
ranging from 3-9 HP with power feeds but for crown he uses the W&H. He
doesn't have a four head molder as he doesn't make enough molding to justify
Personally, I need to make a couple hundred feet of base and about 400 feet
of casing to match existing patterns in my house. I haven't found the
pattern in any of the millwork catalogs I've come across... I don't look
forward to it!
I have done kind of the same thing. I purchased a used Williams and Hussey
unit. It does a very nice job. (I recently went to a seminar that used a Jet
molder/planer that is somewhat similar to the W/H unit). Overall I probably
haven't saved any money, but I enjoy custom woodwork, and I got my own molder.
Plus you have your choice of woods!
Shop around some more! Home centers are the poorest place to find millwork
for older homes, they only sell what is popular at the moment. Look up
millwork in the yellow pages, you will find companies that specialize in
doors and trimwork. Surly someone in a reasable area will do custom millwork
for you also. Check with contractors in the area that do high end homes, you
may get some leads that way.
If that all fails, buy the equipment and make your own. It may satisfy your
I have a WoodMaster planer/molder and the basic setup on it is around $2000
and you have to help get it off the truck. Knives cost $50 - $100 more if
you need really tall profiles.
In my area of KY red oak runs $2.30 per board foot, undressed, $.15 more for
If you are planning to replace all the casing, baseboard, etc. I'd be
inclined to order it rather than make it... If, on the other hand, you are
trying to match existing that cannot be found then make it.
Towards the purchase end, I just got a millwork catalog in the mail Friday
from The Millworks that may be of interest to you. They have oak listed and
a web site at www.themilworks.com .
I got a response to my e-mail inquiry to The Millworks:
Hi! Thanks for the email. Our website is currently undergoing contruction.
We hope to have it up and running again by this weekend. If you have any
questions I can answer for you please give me a call at 800-933-3930.
The Millworks, Inc.
Some good suggestions already. If you try to make your own, then
consider doing one room first, the one you care least about, in order
to iron all the kinks out. Plus, doing the millwork for an entire
house with a non-production machine will be tedious.
Well they are most certainly not made in America but if that was a
deciding factor for every decision you couldn't buy much of anything.
My "American" Chevy pickup has lotsa parts from other countries, I
don't like it but it's reality.
The grizzly's work fine and cost 2/3rds or sometimes less than their
All right there I said it. Now's the time for the Delta folks and the
$350 (!!!) dovetail jig guy to start hollering.
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