So, I made this awesome crown molding.
But now it’s time for a DIY reality check. Even with help, this is not a job for the faint of heart. Or anyone who doesn’t like to pay attention to detail. I’ve been working on this millwork project for over a week, and I’m maybe 25% done. Maybe. Thinking about trying it yourself? That’s cool. I’ll going to tell you exactly how I made the casings. Maybe I can talk you out of it.
The lumber I’m using for the casing is standard 1×4’s. That means that their actual dimension is 3/4 by 3 1/2 inches. My casing needs to be 5/8 by 3 1/2 inches. So I got lucky. The width was fine, so I didn’t need the table saw for Step 1. I only needed to run the boards through the planer to get them down to the right thickness. It took 2 passes through the planer to take off that extra 1/8-inch.
I did, however, need the table saw for Step 2. But again, I was lucky. A single cut on the table saw was all I needed to get the rough shape I needed.
But remember, I’ve got 256 feet of casing to make. That’s 32 8-foot-long boards.
So every step has to be done 32 times. These first two steps took me 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Getting a clean cut on this one required two passes through the router for each board. So it took me about an hour just to get this one cut. (I was actually at the workshop for a lot longer than that, working on the other moldings. But we’re just talking about casings here.)
Day 3: I returned to my casing, only to discover that I had done a crappy job on that first cut, even though it took me an hour to do.
More than half the boards looked like that. (How’d I miss that??) So I spent the first 30 minutes of my day re-doing what I did the day before. *sigh* Add another pass through the router to Step 3.
This actually took 3 passes through the router too. One to do it wrong:
(Yes, I actually ran all 32 board through the router before I noticed that this cut was wrong. *face palm*)
And two to get it right and clean it up. Total: 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Day 4: This marks the day where I got something right on the first try (mostly). High fives all around.
The third cut took 2 passes, and one hour. And it gave me the confidence to move ahead to the next step.
Another two passes, another hour. But after that, this is what I was left with:
So, the last step on the router:
Two more passes through the router, with a slight adjustment in between, and the pointy part was nibbled away into a more rounded shape. Another hour gone.
So. For those of you who like to keep track of such things:
- Twice through the planer.
- Once through the table saw.
- 5 different router bits.
- 12 passes through the router.
- 9 hours
- 4 days.
And I’m not done yet. Because as you can probably see from that last picture, the new casing is far from perfect. All 32 pieces still have to be scraped and sanded.
And when that’s done, there’s still 32 pieces of back band to make.
And 9 pieces of base cap.
And then it all has to be primed.
So. With all that work in front of me, I think I’ll do what I always do when I feel overwhelmed by a project: walk away and start another one. I feel like hanging some doors in the kitchen this weekend. How about you guys?
Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with American Workshop. They have generously allowed me to use their space for this project, but have not told me what to write. All projects and opinions are my own.