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How to make Complex, Bespoke Mouldings on a Router Table

How to make Timber mouldings on a router table without buying expensive cutters. This section shows how I've made complex wood moulding for my door using basic router cutters. The techniques can be adapted to make your own custom mouldings for various applications.

Moulding made on a router table

Tools and Equipment used to make timber Mouldings

Using a Spindle moulder and expensive dedicated cutters is out of my price league. However I have a Router Table and 4 cutters from a 15 piece Trend router cutter set. With these I've made these, attractive complex mouldings to fit raised panels on my front door. The timber was prepared using a Thicknesser to the right dimensions, square and true.

Dimensions of door moulding

Door Panel and Moulding Design

To simplify the making of the door I chose to fit the panels, after assembly of the door frame, with applied mouldings. This also allows me to have moulding that stands proud of the door face so it has the bespoke door look that I wanted.

Section through raised panel and routered mouldings

The outside moulding has a lip that comes around to the face of the door. The inside moulding fits in the recess so the panel is held securely.

Working Out the Router Cutting Sequence.

This took me a fair bit of time to work out, which cutters to use and the order in which to use them. The order is critical to ensure there's enough of the stock section left to guide the moulding squarely against the cutter.

Router Cutters Used

Half inch shank Router cutters for moulding

These are all from my “relatively” cheap 15 piece 1/2” Trend router cutter set. You can see I've removed guide bearings

The Router Cutting Sequence

Router moulding animation

  1. Groove using a 12.7 (1/2”) rounded bit

  2. Rounding off the the top edges with a 9.5mm radius bit

  3. Stock removal on the bench saw.

  4. Edge moulding with an 4mm radius OGEE router bit

  5. Final edge moulding with the 9.5mm radius bit

  6. Rebate or rabbet with a straight bit for the joint faces

It does take some time, with all the various passes, but the results are great and CHEAP!

Video: Custom Timber Mouldings with Cheap Router Bits

Fitting the Mouldings and Raised Panels

The outside mouldings are cut with tight mitres to fit the recess. These are glued and pined in place.

The panels are seated against this using acrylic sealant. As the sealant has a low resistance to shear it allows the panel to expand and contract. At the same time the elasticity of the sealant helps to keep the joint water tight.

The Inside mouldings are fitted into the recess. Glued and securely pinned. Keeping plenty of pressure against the panel.

Finishing the Door

Beading needs applying for the glazing. I made this also using the Ogee router cutter. The external beading is glued and pinned in place. The internal beading is set aside awaiting the leaded glass panels. The glazing might be a while yet.... another set of skills for me to learn.

Hope you've found the write up of my door building, useful / interesting / laughable. What ever please leave me a comment.


How to Make a Timber Door

Part 1. Timber Exterior Door Design

Part 2. DIY External Door Design and Proportions

Part 3. Tenon Theory and Cutting

Part 4. Mortise Marking and Cutting

Part 5. Fox Wedging Mortise and Tenon Joints

Part 6. Raised Panels on the cheap

Part 7. Routered Mouldings and Fitting