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Our house is around 100 years old, and during the course of a bathroom demo, the contractor irreparably broke part of the window trim.

Of course, the big box and local lumber stores are completely useless for finding a match. I imagine the design was common and is probably still available somewhere in bulk. I've also seen an HGTV show where a place used tools that follow the curves of a sample piece to create a match.

The problem is, I don't have a clue where to start my search... any ideas?

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5 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is a wide variety of router bits available online.

Handheld routers can be had for less than $200. Some are even less than $100, but the ones I have seen have ¼-inch shanks. Some of the “interesting” router bits are only available for ½-inch shanks.

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I love my router, already used it to reproduce baseboards, but the door/window trim design is slightly more complicated than my workworking skills. –  richardtallent Aug 5 '10 at 14:10
    
Do you know a good online source of unusual router bits. You have me intrigued. –  JohnFx Aug 9 '10 at 14:34
    
@JohnFx - Google finds numerous stores. Unfortunately I have not shopped from any of them; I have left the cabinetmaking to my dad for now. –  Vebjorn Ljosa Aug 9 '10 at 15:57
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Look for a local furniture shop or woodworker and ask if they can make it.

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There is a really good place down in Houston, Texas. I love shopping at this place because of all the interesting old reclaimed building supplies they have, especially old plumbing fixtures, doors, windows, and doorknobs.

I checked their web-site and it looks like you can shop online: Adkins Architectural Antiques & Treasures

If nothing else they might be able to refer you to someone local.

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If the damage is small: plaster, wood filler, Smith's flexible epoxy or bondo can work wonders. Note the bondo stinks really badly.

But for the ultimate, get proper molding made. Turns out there are now several factories that automate the reproduction of historic molding. You send them a 6 inch section, they build a knife to match, and cut as much as you want:

custom copy of historic window trim from 1938

In the photo, my original 1938 molding is on the left, the new stuff has the green end. I paid $150 setup plus $1.30 per linear foot, delivered. I ordered through a local retail outlet "The Moulding Company" in the San Francisco Bay Area. I had some spare made also, so this house at least is covered for all foreseeable accidents.

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This is pretty much the ticket. I knew an old millwright who made his retirement sharpening planer blades. The local molding plant retained his services and he could make up a custom set of blades (usually 3) for just about anything. Better than new, exact match. –  Fiasco Labs Dec 5 '13 at 2:22
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A good, local lumber company should be able to tell you whether such a thing is available. Even if they don't stock it normally, if it is available, they should be able to special order it for you.

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They don't. Been there, done that, all they can get are contemporary designs. –  richardtallent Aug 5 '10 at 14:10
    
Hmm... maybe there is a way to "build it up" from using stock lumber? But that would probably be going more down the route suggested by aphoria. –  Scott W Aug 5 '10 at 14:38
    
A good, timber merchant, will have the machine to make custom trims for you. –  Walker Oct 16 '12 at 11:52
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