Sunday, May 04, 2008

Theirs and Mine

Theirs are better. No Question. I mentioned last week how I should have done one more pass with the router on my baseboard cap. Well, after I got the first two pieces on I decided I couldn’t stand the way it looked, so I ripped them off and went and bought another router bit that would let me do what I needed to do. This last bit was only a 3/8th inch, double flute, so it only ran me $15. Not too bad.

Mine are a little too…they’re not quite….they’re sort of….I’m not sure what it is. They are definitely in the spirit of the original baseboards, but the lack the finesse and gracefulness of the originals. They are too heavy.

As I mentioned, the first problem I had was that the shank on the stepped bead router bit I bought was not long enough. I couldn’t get the profile far enough down on the board to leave me room for the other parts. What I ended up doing was moving some of the profile on to the cap that should have been on the main part of the board. I’m sure they cut the main board with a shaper and not a router, back in the day.

My half inch bead should have been smaller, as well. I’m not sure if that is 3/8ths or ¼-inch on the original, but my half inch is too big. It makes the profile look thick and crowded. The cap is all wrong too. I must have looked at 20 or 30 bits and settled on that one. Looking at it now, it doesn't even seem close.

Its not the end of the world. I don’t have to meet up with any of the original boards, so it will do just fine.



Unknown said...

Have you looked at molding-machines? Essentially they're planers with profiled kknives. Back in the day they may have used profiled hand planes to make your baseboard.

Jennifer said...

Hmmm... the bottom lip looks a little big in your version. Other than that, it does look good, and since you aren't meeting any of the original it should look great.

Sandy said...

Don't beat yourself up... they look nice!

Greg said...


This house it totally a product of the industrial world. You can see planner marks of some of the millwork.

I looked in to a planer 5 or 6 years ago. In the end it was tough to justify because I need so little millwork redone. The machines run $1000 to $3500 and then you need to get knives cut. Those can run a few hundred dollars a piece. It is one of those things where if you are doing a lot, it pays for itself quickly. If you are doing a little it can be cheaper to just have a mill do it.

Eureka Observer said...

A Planer/Moulder can be picked up for about $1,500 and you can grind the knives yourself on a bench grinder. I wish I had invested in one myself years ago. Like you I have tried to "fake it" with a router and always end up with not quite the result I wanted.

But what really should have happened is that all of us around here with old houses should have gone in together and purchased a shaper, which for many jobs (such as windows) is the tool of choice. You only need it when you need it, and we could have all easily have shared it.

Eureka Observer said...

I left a nice comment about routers, shapers, and planers but it never appeared. Did it get lost?