After several trips to Woodcraft to exchange router bits and one trip to UPS to return the MLCS router bit I ordered a month ago, I have settled in on the final profile for my dining room crown molding. The final design kept evolving – I went through three additional possibilities after finally coming up with a profile that was mostly true to the cornice molding I was copying, yet was reasonably easy to replicate. Take a look below (click to enlarge)…
One side note – I had ordered a large MLCS thumbnail table edge router bit to cut the round over shown in the lower half of the original profile. This bit was so big that it was actually larger than the opening in my router base. There was no way for me to safely use it. Since I have never had this issue come up before, it did not dawn on me to verify the outer radius of the router bit prior to placing the order. Lesson learned I guess. The router bit is on its way back to MLCS for a refund.
With the crown profile figured out, I made a MDF copy…
The example shown in the photo will become the template from which all the molding will be cut, and there is a lot of molding to cut. MDF is the best material to make this molding because its flat and straight – I won’t have to contend with any warped lumber. But the main drawbacks of using MDF are 1) the tremendous amount of dust created during fabrication, and 2) MDF is very dense and therefore heavy.
In the photo above, I utilized a 1/2″ cove bit and a 1/2″ round over bit near the top of the profile. Then I switched to a 1/4″ cove bit for the small return. Next on the way down is a large 5/8″ cove bit (four cutters on this one) and then the same 1/2″ cove bit used for the top of the profile.
This means a lot of router work in the coming weeks and I’ll have to be extra careful to align the different layers correctly; keeping my fingers crossed for that.
My first step will be to attach a thin strip of pine on the walls which will serve as a place for me to screw the molding into and then the MDF fabrication will ensue. That will be the subject of my next post.
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