Molding 3 - Preparing the Molding Molding 3 - Preparing the Molding

Checking for Straightness

Don't assume that your lumber is straight when purchased. Straight edges are very important when making molding or building a picture frame, not just for straight sides, but for perfect angles. Use a straight edge of the table saw to determine if there are any bows on the board.

Removing Bows

Use your jointer to remove curves from the wood and ensure a straight board. Set the fence on the jointer at an angle of exactly a 90 degrees. The cutter head of the jointer revolves at a very high speed and shaves the bottom of the wood to provide straight edges and a perfect 90 degree angle. Wear safety glasses when using the jointer! (Also you can tack a straight piece of plywood to the board and run this along the fence as you rip the stock to get one straight side.)

Ripping the Stock

Rip the stock to the width specified in the plans. Set the table saw to the width specified in your plans by measuring the width of the final stock between the fence and the inside edge of the blade. Use the finger board to apply pressure (fingerboard prevents the stock from "wiggling" when it goes across the table saw).

Making Various Moldings

Simple Moldings Using a Tablesaw

  1. Cut slots by setting the fence on the table saw at the distance specified in your plans. The blade should protrude 1/8" inch through the table top of the table saw. Use the finger board for extra support. Use push blocks to keep the wood flat on the table. Guide wood along the blade to make the dado grooves. Turn the machine off and wait till the blade comes to a complete stop before reaching over the blade. Flip the board and make the second groove cut in the molding.
  2. Using a jointer, tilt the fence or the blade 45 degrees and set the depth to 1/8" inch. Make three passes to get the correct depth.
  3. There are three other common methods to make the chamfer cuts: using a table saw, shaper or router. When using a table saw, tilt the table or the blade to a 45 degree angle. Use a fence extension and make sure finger boards are in place so wood can be passed across the saw.
  4. Also you can use a shaper or a multipurpose machine with the shaper accessories to finish the edges. In this case you would simply install the desired shaper cutters and pass the molding across them.
  5. The router spins at a very high speed and creates different shapes depending on the type of bits used. With a router you will secure the stock to a bench and run the router down the edges.

Making Molding Using Molding Knives

More complex molding can be created using a molder or a table saw and molding knives. The knives come in various designs that cut different grooves in the wood. Often you will set up the knives, run the board across, turn it around and run it across again. Sometimes you may make 3 or 4 passes, changing knives between the passes.

To chamfer the edges use a shaper or a multipurpose machine with the shaper cutters. The cutters attach to the machine and the board is passed by them. They are available in many designs and sizes.

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