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Carpentry: Make A Return For Chair Molding


carpentryHere's a great carpentry project. If you are installing chair molding, you can finish it with a return and make it look very professional. A return is where the molding doesn’t appear to have a cut end, rather the profile of the molding returns into the wall. It doesn’t really, but with a couple of well-designed cuts, it looks that way.

Using a return will enable you to start and stop the molding wherever you want, in the middle of a wall for example. You are no longer bound to begin and end at a corner.

To make a return, you will need two pieces of molding, a long piece that runs along the wall, and a short piece for the return. You will cut each piece of molding at a 45-degree angle to form a right angle. I usually cut the long piece first and secure it to the wall. Cutting the short piece is dangerous. Use a piece of molding that is much longer than you need and cut the 45-degree angle in it, then cut it to length. Using a miter saw is perfect for this but keep your fingers away from the blade. Clamp the piece of wood onto the miter box table and cut it rather than using your fingers next to the blade.

Once the pieces are cut, use wood glue and painters tape to hold it in place until it dries. If you use a nail gun, you risk splitting the small piece in half. The glue certainly takes longer, but the appearance is great.



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