How to Make Wood Trim & Molding

By G.K. Bayne

While wood trim can be as simple as nailing a piece of lumber in place and giving it a coat of paint, most wood trim and molding is processed using either routers or molding machines. These machines give the trim or molding a certain consistent look depending on the bits or blades used in the machine. Molding machines are available as standalone machines or may be an option on a wood planer for the home workshop.

Choose the lumber you wish to use for wood trim or molding. The wood should be at least 5/8-inch thick and can be as wide as 6 inches depending on your needs.

Set up your router and router table by assembling the router with the molding bit of your choice. If you are using a molding machine, load the molding knives and secure in place.

Turn on the router or the molding machine.

Begin feeding the lumber, one board at a time, either across the router bit or through the molding machine. If multiple passes are required, repeat the procedure.

Continue until all the molding or trim needed for the project has been processed.

Cut the finished molding or trim to the appropriate lengths for installation. Once installed, the trim is ready for finishing with paint or wood stain.

Tip

Use a feather board when using a router and router table to keep the wood secure against the table fence and keep your fingers away from the router bit.

Dozens of molding and trim bits are available for both routers and molding machines. The designs can range from simple rollover edging to elaborate ogee patterns.

Always wear safety glasses and earplugs when operating any woodworking machines.

Always follow all safety and operating instructions that came with either your router or your molding machine. Failure to do so could lead to severe injury.