Wednesday, May 4, 2011


With the price of virgin material what it is, one is well advised to cultivate an eye for the beauty that resides concealed within even the roughest looking of cast off material.

Here's a shot of my workshop ceiling's salvage rack. There's a whole lot of beautiful material resident there, believe it or not.

Please bear with me while I deliver the back story to this.

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We've recently replaced wall-to-wall carpeting in our home's master bedroom with hardwood flooring. Even the closet's floor got the hardwood flooring. The closet's walls are lined with tongue-and-groove solid cedar -- a very nice touch that the previous owner of the house put in.

Once the floor had been installed, the closet needed a minimal baseboard installation; just a run of moulding to conceal what gaps there were where the floor meets the walls.

I looked around at the Home Depot for something suitable and found nothing, really. What I saw there that even came close left me reeling with sticker shock -- over ten dollars for an eight-foot length of solid pine cove molding that wouldn't have looked right. So much for that bit of shopping.

That nearest plank in the preceding photograph is solid cedar, just like the closet's lining. (It used to be baseboard in our living room until it got replaced.) It dawned on me that my table saw and router could do a credible job of turning some of that into simple moulding that would serve just fine.

I ripped a seven-foot length of cedar plank into one-inch widths, sanded it and ran it past a 1/4" radius round-over bit on the router table and voila, enough moulding to do the job at a material cost of roughly zero dollars and zero cents, with the sales tax forgiven. Here's a length of moulding with the router bit I used.

A seven-foot length of nominal 1x6 cedar plank yielded four lengths like this-- more than enough. Here's a close-up shot of the finished outcome.

It's not flawless, but it's pretty damn good for the price.

So there we are. Much good stuff is hiding inside what may look to some like trash.

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