Materia Millwork

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Interiors Winner: Best of Luxury Design 2023

How To Create Curved Molding

November 7, 2023

In this episode of Revealed, I walk you through the process of replicating exterior curved molding for the Sapele entryway we’ve been working on in the shop. Check out the highlights below and be sure to watch the video to catch all the action.    


We started with a piece of the deteriorated existing curved molding to get exact measurements. Then we had custom knives made for the molder and ran a few templates. The goal was to replicate the existing piece as close as possible. One difference is that our curved crown will be made out of three pieces versus two—a bottom, middle, and top section.

Each curved layer has already been cut to size. The most important layer is the first—it is already cut to final width and it is the base that all the other profiles are run off from.


The molder is set up to match the desired profile. We run a test piece to make sure it’s exactly what we are looking for. The molder is curved each way—an outside radius and an inside radius. As we advance the wood, it feeds along that angle and delivers a clean profile cut on our curved pieces. After the first pass, I’ll run it through a second time which should be the final cut. We use a polyurethane glue to adhere the second layer (you’ll want to wear gloves—this stuff stains skin and takes days to come off… trust me). Additionally, we’ll screw down the pieces as we go and use a handful of clamps for additional pressure.

Once the glue has cured, it’s time to remove the clamps, clean up any excess glue, and make sure the two layers are trimmed flush. Then we run it through the molder with a different cutter. Finally, the third layer is treated similarly as the first two minus using screws—we’ll just use glue and pinch dog clamps. Once the glue dries, the three-layer piece is run through the molder for the third and final profile. We’ll run it through a few times so we can make any final adjustments and make sure it’s smooth. And soon this curved molding will be making its way back to the jobsite for installation.  

—Ken DeCost

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