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Why Moldings? I Am My Father’s Son

Update: My dad, Herb O’Brien, passed away in late January, peacefully and at home, right where he wanted to go. He was a wonderful dad, and I’ve missed him every day since.

His last year was quite difficult, and so helps explain my lack of publishing new posts since July. But now with life settling down to a new normal, I’ll resume creating new molding patterns for you to enjoy.

moldings historic architecture

A model of the HMS Beagle my dad built for me, and one of my most used architectural books. Both sit just above my computer as I write DIY molding post for you.

Everywhere my dad lived he would eventually upgrade some of the moldings.  Usually just the baseboards, but sometimes the door trim too.

This came to mind as I stood in the great room of my newly purchased home, the one that started my love of moldings.  “I’m a homeowner now,” I thought to myself, “I can do anything I want to this house.  So what should I do first?  Paint the walls, of course, but what else?  Dad always upgrades the moldings where he lives, maybe I should look into changing the moldings.”

moldings and detail

My dad building one of his sailing ships.

Dad has no particular love for historic architecture, and his upgraded moldings were never more than slightly larger than the old ones, but he loved tinkering with the house on the weekends — a vastly different activity from his day job as an automotive draftsman, sitting at a drafting table all day designing functional parts for Cadillac interiors.

But as his mobility declined and with it his ability to take on big home diy projects, he focused more on tending his flower gardens and building model sailing ships, some from kits, and later, as his skills improved, from scratch.

Mention that you served on a particular ship during WWII and next thing you know dad would take a year off from whatever sailing ship he was building at the time and build you a replica of your old ship — configured exactly how it was during the years you served on it.

That’s my dad: Cadillacs, gardens, home improvement and ship builder; an all-around detail guy.

Me?

Jet engines, wildlife biology and architectural details.  I am my father’s son.

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Joseph’s New Appliques

woodworking ornaments

They came in and I’ll have to say is, wow, the resolution is amazing.

— Joseph, The Joy of Moldings reader

I agree, Joseph. And you can’t go wrong with the beautiful urns and swag ornaments you chose to use in your design.

Please send us some pictures of your completed work, I’m sure my readers would just love to see what you’ve created!

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DOOR TRIM-106

door trimTraditional Style

I found this beautiful door surround last summer gracing the hall of an historic building in Grand Rapids Michigan.

I think the building is an art college of some sort, though I don’t remember exactly because we were looking at all of the wonderful art displays during Art Prize. This year, when I attend Art Prize again, I’ll find out the name of the building and what it’s original purpose was.

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ARCHWAY-102 and Ornaments of Life!

archwayTraditional Style

Many homes with open floor plans have at least one large walk-through opening like this one.

Why not bring attention to it by wrapping it in a beautiful surround of moldings and enhanced with architectural ornaments?

In the Before picture below, notice how much space there is to build something big and beautiful here.

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CM-012

crown moldingSmall Ogee

This is your standard-issue, ogee crown molding.

You can use it as part of pretty much any architectural buildup you can think of; valance boxes, entablatures, fireplace mantels, newel posts — just to name a few.

I used this one as part of a flying crown molding.

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Wood Molding Warpage: A Warning

poplar baseboard

[This is part of my How to Install Moldings series.]

If you are going to use a tall, single-piece baseboard like the one pictured above, then you need to know about warpage.

I had to deal with it when I used the above molding profile (BB-002) while wrapping it around the pilaster bases of FIREPLACE MANTEL-103.

First of all, keep in mind that this is a high-quality poplar baseboard I picked up at a really good lumber yard, and not an inexpensive finger jointed pine product.

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Make Flying CROWN MOLDING-108 for c. $3.08/lf

crown moldingTraditional Style

Some of these pictures may look familiar to you since they make up my post on how to make a crown molding finial return.

But this time I want to focus on the crown molding itself.

Especially now that I have the original crown model I made for Greg way back when I was working up the design (Thanks for saving it Greg!).

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How to Install Crown Molding Series

crown molding designs

Click image to see all numbered crown molding patterns.

CROWN MOLDING PATTERN INDEX |  CROWN MOLDING-100  | 101 |  102 DIY  | 103 DIY  |  104 DIY  | 105 DIY  |  106 DIY  |  107  |  108 DIY  |  CEILING MOLDING-100  |

 

Making it Easier to Navigate The Joy of Moldings

In an effort to make it easier for you to navigate the over 400 pages of information I’ve posted here on The Joy of Moldings.com, I’ve decided to consolidate my PATTERN BOOK with my more general categories that you find on the right side of your screen.

Since I have more crown molding posts than any other kind, I thought it best to start here, and then work my way through the other PATTERNS over the next week or so.

I hope these changes help you find the information you are looking fore here on The Joy of Moldings.

All of my crown molding-related posts are below.

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Before & After: CROWN MOLDING-103 Installation

before crown molding

[This is part of my How to Install CROWN MOLDING-103 series.]

The traditional style crown molding I installed in this boy’s room, complete with these toy airplanes hanging from the ceiling, is a classic design that’s an appropriate style for the majority of homes in North America.

But I warn you, crown molding is the gateway drug to the permanent condition of wanting to upgrade all the moldings in your home, once you see a nice three-piece crown molding like this one installed in your very own home!

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Make CROWN MOLDING-101 for c. $3.62/lf

crown moldingTraditional or Victorian

Finish carpenter installation price c. $14.00/lf + $15.00/corner or return

If you’ve always wanted an ornate crown molding in your favorite room, this pattern might just be the very thing for you.

It’s three pieces are not only very affordable and easy to install, but you can buy all the materials at your local lumber yard and get started this weekend.

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Return Your Chair Rail On Top of Door or Window Trim

chair rail return

[This is part of my How to Install Moldings series.]

Historic Example, 1928

When your chair rail pattern projects beyond the door or window trim, then the proper way of installing it is to return it on top of the casing and not butted into it.

This example I found in the historic Allen House in Birmingham, Michigan. The chair rail is a two-piece design and acts as the wainscoting cap as well, though you will often find it as a stand-alone chair rail.

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Crown Molding Hanging Return in Historic Home

crown molding

[This is part of my How to Install Crown Molding Series.]

In The Allen House, 1928

In my continuing effort to show you historic examples of the molding design and installation techniques I preach about here on The Joy of Moldings, I give you what I call a hanging crown molding.

This one I found recently while touring Birmingham, Michigan’s, historic Allen House.

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PM-015

chair rail moldingTraditional Style

Your local lumber yard will most likely label this molding profile as a chair rail, and indeed you can use it for that, most people do.

But it has other uses as well, like making wall or ceiling frames.

This example is for a pre-primed mdf version, but this profile will be available in many other materials like pine or poplar.

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