Anyone made base molding? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-30-2014, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking of making some baseboard to replace the small early 80s crap installed in my house. I am thinking of using 3/4 MDF and ripping strips at about 7 inches wide and routing a profile on one edge. I'll prime and paint and then install. Does this sound like a good approach? Anything I need to look out for?
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-30-2014, 07:31 PM
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It sounds like it would work to me. I make base using a shaper however a router table should do fine. It works better if you brush it down and get a helper to pull it out the other side. It runs better if you run it at a slow even pace and never stop in mid-cut. Anytime you stop running molding it makes a mark that is hard to sand out.
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-30-2014, 08:17 PM
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You need to check the thickness of your door casings. 3/4" may be too thick for older casings. You can cut them up from the floor and use a plinth block if they are too thin and you want to use 3/4" stock. Most of the time with wider baseboards, the base is a plain square edged board, then a cap molding is placed on top.

I recently posted under tips and tricks. I made some cap molding that will be used on stair skirts and baseboard. A few pictures of the way I did it, using a horizontal router table and a stock feeder. Same process can be done by hand using a standard vertical router table, tall fence and feather boards/ hold downs.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/m...r-table-65435/

I would recommend against using MDF. I know, it's cheap, but, it's cheap. Terrible dust to deal with, rather soft when milled, puffs when nailed, can break easily. If I didn't want to match the grain and species with my project and it was going to be painted, I sure wouldn't make my own cap molding. It takes a fair amount of time and ready made are available every where and far less expensive.
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-30-2014, 08:19 PM
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Might be a little more money, but perhaps 1X4 or 1X6 pine? MDF is gonna make a lot of dust. I used 1X4 for door casings and 1X6 ripped in half for moldings, stained red mahogany. Did have a shaper though, with this cutter:
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-30-2014, 09:37 PM
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Not to mention that MDF will dull your cutters pretty quick also.

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post #6 of 21 Old 09-30-2014, 10:04 PM
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I did the same thing on my last house . Worked great but the profile on the mdf was very diffecult to paint because the newly exposed edge fibers wanted to stand up . Very hard to sand the profile.
On my current house I cut 7" strips of mdf and made a profile in poplar to apply to the top edge of the mdf . Worked great .
Good luck.
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post #7 of 21 Old 10-01-2014, 08:22 PM
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You can make whatever kind of base board your tools will allow. Me personally I have at least a half dozen different router bits for the task.

I would not use MDF. A solid wood would be best.
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post #8 of 21 Old 10-01-2014, 08:34 PM
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If I do the math I find that I can not make 7"x3/4" MDF base for as cheap as I can buy it. A sheet of MDF minus the kerf will yield me 48 liner feet of 7 inch base stock. I currently pay almost $40.00 a sheet for it. That's $1.20 a foot.

If you add in time, wear on tools, and the fact that the comercial base is preprimed I would be way in the hole if I did it myself.

Not to mention that I would also have a seam every 8 foot instead of every 16 foot.


On the painting of machined MDF I find that if I spray 3 coats of a good pva primer before I ever sand I can make it look like plastic.
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post #9 of 21 Old 10-01-2014, 08:39 PM
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I think you did the math wrong....it works out to 83 cents a foot. But I still wouldn't do it due to the mess and the wear on the tooling.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #10 of 21 Old 10-01-2014, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the thoughts and information. I really appreciate it! I will have to double check the math and compare the economics of buying it ready made. I know one room I did with premised stuff was about $1.85/lf and that wasn't nearly the 7" width I'm interested in.

The plinth block idea is excellent. I hadn't even gotten that far in my thinking process yet.

I really like the idea of using a simple strip and then capping with another material. That would work very well and avoid a lot of the dust and tool dulling issues.
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post #11 of 21 Old 11-16-2014, 11:23 PM
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just came here to ask this question...

bought some simple 620 baseboard in the 4.5" variety, it was $12 for 8'

can I do better? I dont see a way.

First off, 3/4" is some thick molding. Most precut molding is 1/2" and Id be hesitant to go off book. Do you buy 3/4" and plane it down? you cant plane MDF even if you wanted to. Go with some clear white pine and it comes out to be $12 for 8' at the same big box store. THen turn a third of it into saw dust on the planer, table saw to trim to height, then router.

and its the same price :(

Maybe if I used dimensional 2x6... bandsaw it in half, plane, rip, rout. doesnt seem worth it still. Tooling costs would be crazy even if the wood is cheap. assuming the wood doesnt twist itself into a spiral.

Atleast it makes you feel better about spending the money.
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post #12 of 21 Old 11-17-2014, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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My problem is that my big box store sells the 6" wide variety for about $1.85 per LF. That seems pretty outrageous to me. I would definitely look at the 1/2" thick mdf if I decide to go that route.
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post #13 of 21 Old 11-17-2014, 10:03 AM
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yeah, that might work. $25 for a sheet, 56-64LF, as low as 40cents/lf

hadnt thought of finding 1/2" sheet of MDF...

not sure how long you can route MDF before the bit will be tearing out.
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post #14 of 21 Old 11-17-2014, 10:27 AM
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MDF wears down bits and blades pretty quickly. Also the cut edge gets a bit frayed so painting is a bit more work.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #15 of 21 Old 11-17-2014, 11:03 AM
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thats what Im wondering. I imagine that they form the MDF molding into that shape to start with. Routing MDF does produce a "fuzzy" surface IME.

If you could find a good source of 1/2" white pine...

The saw dust produced during milling is probably worth more to them then the tooling cost to mill it. So they arent really charging you anything for molding vs S4S lumber.
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post #16 of 21 Old 11-27-2014, 01:40 AM
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that is a pretty good idea and i wanna support you on that .....nice attempt

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post #17 of 21 Old 12-03-2014, 06:53 PM
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no way... look at how they use to do it, a solid piece and then a cap.. It is only worth doing if your making something different than speed base. But you said you were going to paint it... IMO there is no way you could make that product cheaper than you could buy it.
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post #18 of 21 Old 12-06-2014, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer1 View Post
You need to check the thickness of your door casings. 3/4" may be too thick for older casings. You can cut them up from the floor and use a plinth block if they are too thin and you want to use 3/4" stock. Most of the time with wider baseboards, the base is a plain square edged board, then a cap molding is placed on top.

I recently posted under tips and tricks. I made some cap molding that will be used on stair skirts and baseboard. A few pictures of the way I did it, using a horizontal router table and a stock feeder. Same process can be done by hand using a standard vertical router table, tall fence and feather boards/ hold downs.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/m...r-table-65435/

I would recommend against using MDF. I know, it's cheap, but, it's cheap. Terrible dust to deal with, rather soft when milled, puffs when nailed, can break easily. If I didn't want to match the grain and species with my project and it was going to be painted, I sure wouldn't make my own cap molding. It takes a fair amount of time and ready made are available every where and far less expensive.
Lots of usefull information.. thanks for the share! Appreciated

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post #19 of 21 Old 01-04-2015, 09:46 PM
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base molding

Yes- I make base moulding for all my clients. You have the right idea but you'll find a single profile on a 7 base is inadequate- cut your base around 5" and cap with 1/2 inch MD around 2 " with your choice of profile. rounding over the top edge of your 5"" base helps to blend the two together.Adding a small stock moulding to the top of your base also works.
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post #20 of 21 Old 01-04-2015, 10:49 PM
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was looking at some high end open house homes during the holidays. talking 5000sq ft monstrosities. wow... guess molding trends have changed. The whole house had like 12" MDF molding with caps. never seen molding that tall.

Then there was the wainscoting... everywhere... and coffer ceilings... and 2 water closets in the master bath. I was a little jealousy.
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