Monday, January 18, 2010


We have been doing some renovations on our new house in Seattle (new to us, not newly constructed), and after stalling out during the holidays I decided it was time to ramp up again. All the drywall is completed, so the next big step is to get the trim up. This is most urgent in the downstairs bathroom, since it will allow the toilet to be installed. The difficulty with installing the trim is finding a match for the existing trim, the house was built 106 years ago (in 1903) which means that replacement parts can be hard to come by. On Friday I went to a millwork place in Seattle to see what they had, they did not have a suitable replacement but could custom make some for us. There were two problems with this: first, there was a 2-3 week lead time, and second, it was pretty expensive with setup fees of a few hundred dollars and then about $13 per linear foot of baseboard trim.

In light of these drawbacks, I decided to head to home depot, buy a router (using the money saved by avoiding setup fees), and see what I could cobble together using their stock moulding. Here is a photo of the baseboard I was trying to match, it is unusual in that it is about 10 inches high:

Here is a shot of my trim fabrication station (located on our front porch due to rainy Seattle weather), we already had the miter saw but the router is a new addition:

At Home Depot I procured some 7 inch MDF boards and some door trim, at about $1.50 per linear foot:

Et, voila! With a little routing I was able to come up with a reasonable approximation to the existing trim for the cost of the router (which would have been put towards set up fees for the custom trim) and about 1/10th the cost per linear foot of the custom trim!

Hopefully this week I can get the toilet and sink installed (my progress is usually inversely correlated with how good the weather is, sunny days lead to more time spent skiing and riding my bike and very little time spent on home improvements), further updates as events warrant.

Weight: 164.6

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