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How Do I Make Make This Large Baseboard?

how to install large baseboard

BASEBOARD-103 in foyer and hall is easy to design and install.

Sean and I have been exchanging emails recently about his plan for building DOOR TRIM-114.  He’s wondering how to make the large, two-piece baseboard I used to complement it.

Sean Asks: I would like to know how you stacked the two pieces of moldings to make BASEBOARD-103.

Answer: Hi Sean.  Building this baseboard is really, really easy.  Even better, it’s not expensive.  It’s made from two pieces of common mdf moldings that you can run out and buy at most any lumber yard.

mdf baseboard

Out of the many times I’ve installed this baseboard, this is the only DIY photo I have. Go figure.

  1. MDF Victorian baseboard molding
  2. Nailer you can make out of whatever you want.
  3. I left the old baseboard grouted into the tile in pace to act as the lower nailer.
  4. Cut out for the return on the lower detail

Second Piece of Baseboard Molding

In this case I wanted the lower molding to be  appropriate for a rural farmhouse rather than an urban townhouse, so I used the 5-1/2″ tall ogee baseboard pictured below.

large mdf baseboard molding

I’ve seen baseboard patterns like this in humble Victorian farmhouses throughout the midwest.

Below  Create a little more drama with this baseboard by substituting the lower molding with something more detailed like BASEBOARD-101.

mdf baseboard skirting board molding large

Change the lower baseboard molding detail and a base shoe to create this, BASEBAORD-101.

Good luck, Sean.  Keep me posted on your project.

Cheers, Ken

Posts in This Series

1.  How to Build DOOR TRIM-114 for About $60.00

2.  PLINTH BLOCK-101: How to Make Step by Step

3.  PILASTER-103: How to Make Step by Step

4.  ENTABLATURE-100: How to Make Step by Step

5.  How Do I Make This Large Baseboard?

6.  How to Paint Moldings:  Steps to paint this door trim and this room are on this page.

4 Responses to How Do I Make Make This Large Baseboard?

  1. Gwuinifer August 3, 2012 at 10:30 AM #

    Howdy, Ken– LOVE the blog! (Wish we lived close enough to hire you!) I’m setting up shop for the new place we bought, and I haven’t touched a power tool in almost ten years. Sold off or gave away the ones I had before, and I’m using your list to gather what I’ll need to start wrapping the house in fabulous moldings per your instructions. I am planning to do a larger baseboard treatment, but a bit less detailed than 101 or 103. I’m sticking with plainer, more Craftsman-style moldings for the most part, and I’m thinking an 8″ baseboard is minimum to stand up against our partially vaulted ceilings. Question is, how big of a compound miter saw do I need? The price jump between 10″ and 12″ is considerable, and I thought I’d ask you before I picked one. The widest piece of the crown will likely be 5″, so I think that 8″ board will be the widest one I’ll need to work with. I have a table saw, too–any guidance would be much appreciated! 🙂

  2. Ken August 3, 2012 at 1:57 PM #

    Hi Gwuinifer!

    Having grown up around homes with all Craftsman style moldings (Detroit area), I have a particular love for them.

    If you’re going for Craftsman style moldings, then yes, 8″ tall would be a good minimum height for the baseboard.

    In fact, the historic Craftsman style baseboards I’m most familiar with are 10″ tall and 3/4″ thick with a 1/4-round base shoe. That’s it. Just flat-stock.

    That being the case, you can rip those out of sheets of 4′ X 8′ X 3/4″ mdf boards. Home Depot sells them for about $45.00 each, but you can get a better price at independent lumber yards.

    As to miter saws: You will regret buying anything less than a 12″, especially if you’re going to upgrade the moldings in your entire house

    Just as important, the maximum height board standing up against the miter saw fence is super important! It must be at least 6″ or you’ll be hating your saw in no time.

    I’m speaking from experience. I too sold all of my good tools when I changed careers and moved to Tucson, and just bought some inexpensive ones when Jennifer and I started working on our townhouse. My Rigid 12″ miter saw only cuts a tad more than 5″!!!

    Thanks for commenting, Gwuinifer, keep us posted and don’t hesitate to ask questions.

  3. Gwuinifer August 3, 2012 at 2:34 PM #

    Thanks for the reply, Ken–I really appreciate it!

    I’m going to get this one, I think: http://www.dewalt.com/tools/machinery-miter-saws-dw716.aspx
    According to the product page on Amazon, it can do “up to 6-1/2-inch base molding against the fence when mitered to the left or right and delivers up to a 2 x 10 crosscut with the innovative back fence design”. Plus, it’s on sale for $345 (pricey, but I’m a sucker for a discount and not a confident enough handyman to trust a reconditioned unit). I’m pretty sure I had a DeWalt last time, but it’s been a while. It was yellow, for sure. 😉 Got the Porter Cable pinner and nailer in the gauges you recommended already winging their way to me (got a sweet combo deal, $110 for both!). Looking forward to the magic of pnuematic tools this time; last time around, it was just me, a hammer, my trust nail set, and a whole lot of cursing.

    Looking forward to getting started! I’ve been on the lookout for a Benjamin Moore for the Satin Impervo, but it looks like the nearest one is about a 45-min drive away. I’ll call before I go to make sure they carry it!

    Thanks again, for all your amazing help and this wonderful blog! 😀 We’ll keep you posted, and we’ll be taking pictures in case it turns out good enough to show off! *crosses fingers*

    Best wishes,
    Gwuinifer

  4. Ken August 3, 2012 at 3:17 PM #

    I had the older version of that saw that I just loved. When I bought a new one when the other went in for service, I couldn’t get the fence to square up to the table.

    Thinking it must have been just on bad saw, I returned it for another one. Same problem. So I bought a Makita. That was back in 2008, so hopefully Dewalt makes a better fence these days. But make sure you check you fence-to-table squareness with a precision gauge. If it’s good, then that saw would a really great choice.

    We’re very excited for your new project, and so very happy that you’re finding inspiration on or blog. It’s a real sickness, installing your own proper moldings.

    I’ve been at this a long time and yet I still get just as excited at the thought of starting a new project as I did with my first one!

    We’ll be waiting for those pictures! Good luck!

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