Custom Historical Mouldings

A 100-year-old moulding style may not be manufactured any more. If you have a sample piece, we can make it! We can match any moulding profile to exacting standards of historical accuracy. If we do not have a knive that will work, we’ll have a knife specially ground to replicate the profile you need.

When making custom profiles, it is important to consider thickness as it equates to cost.

For hardwood mouldings, thicknesses are an important consideration:

  Rough Lumber Thickness   Finished Moulding Thickness  
  1” (4/4)     1/2” – 13/16”  
  1-1/4” (5/4)     7/8” – 1-1/16”  
  1-1/2” (6/4)     1-1/8” – 1-1/4”  
  2” (8/4)     1-5/16” – 1-3/4”  

Using the above example, specifying a moulding that is 7/8” thick will require approximately 35% more material than one that is 13/16” thick. Any hardwood moulding over 1- 3/4” thick may have to be glued for thickness, depending on the species of wood.

Custom mouldings are priced using a complex formula of material cost based on wood species, thickness, width, length and quantity for each moulding - plus labor cost based on material “difficulty factors” and complexity of the moulding profiles and required tooling. We price out each moulding estimate after considering all of the following factors:

  • Material Cost: The total cost of raw hardwood material including waste.
  • Rip, Joint, Plane: Labor to grade and process lumber into pre-sized blanks.
  • Knife Grinding: Labor to grind or sharpen knives and set up cutter heads.
  • Set up: Labor to install and adjust cutter heads, fences, etc. on moulding machine.
  • Moulder Run: Labor to process mouldings through machine, break down tooling and clean up.

Material Costs are determined by the actual “board foot” cost of the raw hardwood lumber. One board foot is the equivalent of a 1” thick x 12” x 12” “board” (144 cubic inches). Hardwood is first graded at the sawmill. “Firsts and Selects” (FAS) is the best appearance grade. FAS material still includes many defects that must be trimmed by the millwork manufacturer, creating “waste”. Each species, thickness and width of hardwood mouldings will have a different “waste factor”. Typically, narrow and shorter parts will have less waste per lineal foot and wider or longer parts will have the most waste.

Rip, Joint and Plane Labor also varies depending on the size and species of wood to be processed. Some materials, such as Honduras Mahogany, require an extensive amount of grading by the millwork manufacturer to work around color and grain defects, worm holes, etc. Other woods such as Poplar are much more uniform and yield much more usable wood with less time required for grading.

Knife Grinding charges will vary depending on the size of the moulding, the profile depth, the number of profiled surfaces (handrails often have 4 profiled sides), and whether existing knives will be used or if new knives must be created from scratch.

Set up Costs are determined by the complexity of the profiled part to be manufactured, In addition to installing cutter heads on the machine, fences, chip breakers and pressure hold down shoes must be set and adjusted. On longer runs and for abrasive materials such as Teak, frequent re-sharpening of knives is also required.

Moulder Run costs include the labor to feed pre-sized lumber blanks through the machine, quality check each part and bundle or palletize the completed mouldings for shipment.