My wife wants my to dress up the passageway between the dining room and
living room that is about 18.5 inches deep and 98 inches wide. I want to put
wood on the sides and then trim around it like a doorway. The problem is I
can't seem to find nice wood that is 18.5 inches wide other than plywood
which I want to avoid if at all possible. I see nice select quality pine and
poplar at Lowes, etc up to 12 inches wide. Lowes did have a 20 inch wide
pine board that was basically a bunch of smaller strips glued together but
it did not look as nice as the select pine/poplar as it had a lot of knots.
I just want to paint all the trim white and not stain it. Would it be that
hard to cut two pieces of the select grade wood and then try to make it look
reasonably like one piece after being painted? I have a table saw [Ryobi
BT3100] so I could rip the pieces at 45 degrees and plane/sand edges, glue
and nail the joint so that it is on a stud, then fill it with something and
sand. Should that look OK? If so what should I use to fill/hide the joint? I
suppose I could use the 20 inch wide stuff from Lowes but it would be much
easier working with the smaller select quality lumber that also looked much
nicer. Thanks for any help. --- Steve
You need a quick lesson in woodworking.
Lesson one: wood over 12" wide is almost impossible to find and if you do,
it can be very expensive.
Given the fact that you are going to paint it, I'd not use real wood at all,
but instead, use MDF. It will be flatter, smoother, need no sanding, be
stable with climatic changes, and no one will know it is not real wood. You
can trim it with wood or other trims that are available according to your
Next alternative is to glue up narrow boards. This is done all the time and
has benefits over a wide boards. Narrow glue ups will often be more stable
and less likely to cup or warp. Fine furniture is done that way. Just look
at a table top or dresser. You'll need a bunch of clamps and a flat
surface to hold everything until the glue dries. You can do it on the
floor, on a bench top, whatever works for you. A thin coating of glue,
clamp, let it set, trim to final size. You'll need at least 4 or 5 clamps on
an 8' board.
Many of us use biscuits to help with alignment, especially on long boards.
You need a plate joiner or router with the right bit to make the slots. I
recommend that method. Doing this as a glued board is easier than doing
the 45 degree cuts and nailing you are considering. A good joint will be
hidden under the paint.
What would I do? I have plenty of tools, clamps, plate joiner, sanders etc,
but I'd use MDF just ripped to size.
Thanks for that info Edwin - very helpful. I never though about or have
tried gluing my own boards but it certainly sounds like something I may
attempt. Would you suggest that I use two 10 inch wide boards or use smaller
yet? I will also look into the MDF. --- Steve
No I do not have clamps yet. I was at Menards yesterday and saw that they
had 4X8 sheets of 1/2 inch MDF for $15. MDF never even crossed my mind until
I posted in this newsgroup. I also noticed they had a lot of prefinished
molding and door jambs made from MDF. Thanks to everyone for the advice on
MDF as that is what I am going to do. The cost savings will also be very
significant and I can rent a truck from the local store for $19 to get a
couple sheets home. I will cut the sheets in half with my circular saw or
have them do it at the store and then rip to spec on my table saw. Hopefully
my 36 tooth Freud blade will do a good job and I can sand edge for final
finish. --- Steve
You would have to glue up a panel from narrower boards to get the 18"
panel. Otherwise you will get problems with warping.
Since you are going to paint it I would use plywood or mdf.
You should be able to find veneered plywood that would also be an
If you are doing an existing wall you should need 1/4" ply only.
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 13:28:04 -0600, "Steven L Umbach"
Was this wide board not straight, or too much filling/sanding?
I have a picture of a similar " archway", the arch is done in strips
of beadboard or beaded panelling with moulding on the ends, which
looks pretty good.
I'm doing a couple 7" ones right now in my post and beam home, so I'm
making the top look like a beam over the doorway, the beams there now
will be covered up as they are only 3" and offset, and have small
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