Advice from finish carpenters? (cabinet trim)

So, in one of my personal houses, the kitchen cabinets are missing about half of their trim. For whatever reason, they only put up pieces here and there. I need about 20 linear feet of a trim that (according to the original manufacturer) doesn’t exist any more.

I have plenty of carpentry experience… not worried about installing or matching a stain…

My router experience, however, is VERY basic. Rounding corners, putting in slots, etc…

Is there a series of bits that could be used to achieve the look of this trim? I have a table.

The existing trim has been constructed in two pieces… broken as shown.

I’ll do some hunting but I expect you could find cutters that will get close. I’d expect the original molding was made with a custom molding cutter ona shaper or other larger machine.

You might have a look at Magnate for router bits. They do a lot of unusual and larger cutters.

How large is your router and do you have a router table?

I just have your average router. The table is a hobbyist style one where you upturn the portable and bolt it in underneath.

I know this is a long shot. I would just replace it all, except it matches other cabinetry all over the house,

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These folks have quite the extensive inventory of moldings

Not trying to be a wise guy, but why let the tail wag the dog? If there isn’t that much to begin with, why not remove what there is, and replace it with all new pieces of whatever shape you’d like it to be?


Nice. I can actually get it here, but they want 400 dollars per 8 feet…

That is a totally valid thought, and one I had… however there are other cabinets in the house, some on the other side of the open living room, and another kitchen entirely on the third floor, all of which have this stupid trim. I will probably end up going that way, or biting the 800 dollar bullet for the custom stuff… but I couldn’t help but wonder

I’ve know lots of people to have custom cutters made to run their own trim, but you usually need to run a fair amount for the initial cost to be worth it.

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The trim could be sawed in the rough shape to right and or rabbeted partially. 3/8" bead cutter bit can take care of the beads. The only hard part is creating the 1 5/8" arc. A profile for each half of that would cost less than a complete profile of the trim. This would be a good question to pose at the FWW forum.


Many fleamarkets around our region sell old wooden planes, I would buy one that comes clos or is wide enough, adjust the chisel with a grinder and the base with a table saw.
A sanding block to finish.
Might depend on wether it is painted, though.


You could cut the arc on the table saw with a couple bevel cuts, each a slightly different tangent to the arc. Then sand to an arc.

I realize this can be dangerous, with a potential of kick back.
If you’re not comfortable with running the piece between the fence and blade then don’t.


I’m assuming you want a wood finish.
I made a lot of fancy trim to match existing 100 year old stuff in my house using a bit of plastic cut to shape and filler, probably not what you need, mine was all a paint finish. Mind you, the ‘professionals’ that my wife got in to finish the job because I had to go away to work couldn’t work out how I made it or come anywhere close to matching it.


I’d start by shopping millwork shops for standard “belly profile molding” to see if anything comes close to the outer part. These typically have extra stuff you would rip off to leave just the center hump and beads, then glue a 3/4 x 3/4 part to the back. You might be able to get pretty close. My experience is that having a shop make a custom profile is very expensive and not worth it unless you are buying hundreds of feet, e.g. to do an entire house.

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After a quick search, I did find this cutter that could be used to get your profile

I’m not sure the center section is the exact height, but it does look close to my eye.

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Which is very impressive! I achieved all my years of carpentry experience working for theatres around the world, and I would say a vast amount of the finish-work was “can you make it look like _____” so I learned very quickly how to faux-finish. It’s not easy at all.

In this case, though it will come in handy. I’m lucky that the original finish is very dark and satin shiny. There’s a lot of forgiveness there.

This is quickly becoming my experience as well.

Taking it “Roy Underhill” Style. :wink:

This is some wonderful, crazy style problem solving. And I am not adverse to a table saw… set more than my far share on fire doing stupid things.

This is not unlikely! And if it wasn’t exact, I could possibly run a second set and replace all the trim… hrm

Here is a quick portrayal of the cutter & Wood

Cutting wood.skp (710.3 KB)

Karftmaid & Merillat Cabinetry offer “stock” Traditional Light Rail
In a similar profile.
TLR8 (Traditional Light Rail 8’ length)

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For the relative effort of every other method, if it’s for a short length I would just notch it out with a series of table saw cuts then use thin a chisel or chisel-plane to smooth it off, then sand it. It’ll get you pretty close!
If the piece you are needing is prominent, or demands accuracy, then swap out your DIY piece for one in a less prominent place .

Or you could make a guide plane by grinding & sharpening an old/cheap plane iron?

(sharpen to red line)

Another trick I’ve used for various purposes is with a rotary cutting tool (could be a lathe or a router) to create a shaped cutter using a soft grinding stone.
You can create profiles fairly easy using some sacrificial metal or a grinding disc. Of course these would gunk up pretty quick on most materials.

(remove red area)

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Send a copy of your diagram to MLCS Woodworking. They may be able to help you or quote a custom bit.

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