My friends and I create a lot of projects working with wood, PVC lumber, manufactured lumber and other materials. Over time, we have accumulated a wide variety of odds and ends, bits and pieces from the different projects.
One friend was bragging about a special machine he purchased. The price tag made me gag; it rivaled his car. That wasn’t all- he had catalogs of bits he was going to accumulate as well. The machine made custom moldings for woodworking. Even a few bits and blades for his machine were out of our financial range. We could see in his eyes he was looking for a few custom orders from us to offset the cost.
Upon returning home, I noticed my box of molding pieces. I pulled out a flat 1-by-4 piece and began by placing a cove piece (that’s a piece with a groove carved lengthwise) on each side. I grabbed a piece with carvings on it and set it on top. Other trims were used to create a transition on the sides. A plinth (a square block at the top) covered in a medallion was added. I took a picture of it, printed it out and made a list of the pieces involved.
Inspired, I began going through the house and staring at the ceilings, walls and baseboards. I called my friends and showed them my idea. I could not have imagined their response. They and their wives had thought about remodeling, but the price of expensive moldings and trims kept our rooms from becoming everything we wanted.
We meet once a quarter now, bringing samples and listing amounts of trims/moldings we have for trade. Women have clothing trading parties; this works well for us too.
It does have advantages:
- · Woodworkers and handy people get to clear garage space.
- · We save money by obtaining pieces we want without going to the DIY store.
- · The short lengths are perfect for most woodworking projects. If we need more, we can go to the store and purchase enough to finish. This saves a bundle of money.
- · I don’t always take moldings and trim home. Sometimes I just want to get rid of accumulation in my own stockpile.
We have used unusual things to build moldings. One of my friend’s sons is into science fiction and ultra-modern décor. I took a piece of 1-by-4 PVC lumber, two feet long. I placed a one-inch piece of PVC pipe on either side. On the top of the lumber, I split a two-inch piece of PVC pipe in half lengthwise. I placed it cut sides down on the lumber. Next, I cut a length of three-inch PVC pipe into four pieces lengthwise. Two pieces were placed on the lumber and on the side of the center rise. Two more pieces lay on the pipe, covering the lumber and rested on the sides of the other pieces. We called my friend’s son in. He suggested painting it silver to make it look like piping. We all donated PVC pipe from our stashes. The total cost for trimming this boy’s room was around $200. One of our group is an independent plumbing contractor with plenty of spare pieces. Most of the money was spent on paint.
His brother had a different idea. He wanted trim covered with toy wooden wheels. We found bags of them in different sizes at yard sales and craft stores. He liked random patterns of wheels glued to a 1-by-4 base. Quarter-round trim on the top made a transition from the wall.
His sister had something different in mind. She loves “girly” and “dainty” “Princess-style” things. Her idea of trim was to have the 1-by-4 padded with gathered fabric like her headboard. Embellished with beads, laces and bright buttons, her room looks spectacular.
By experimenting with different pieces and items, you can create custom moldings for your home.
Glue the pieces together with construction adhesive. You can also use fine finishing nails by pre-drilling holes to avoid splitting the wood.
Wood trims can be found online at DIY sites, auction sites, local recycling sites, used building materials stores and garage sales. I have picked up discarded furniture by the roadside and dismantled items for the trims, hardware and wood.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse forms of DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.