B.H. Davis Company

There are a number of different ways to build a curved moulding.
In the photos below you will see examples of some of these methods.
At the bottom of the page there are descriptions of these different methods.


Close up of straight butt joint.

Layered moulding with butt joints offset between the two layers.
This moulding is approximately 4 1/2" wide x 3" thick.

Full view of the above moulding.

This is our rear mount wafer joint system where a mahogany disk is let into the back surface of the moulding.  The segments
are butt jointed together and then the wafer spans the joint.  Note that the grain of the 3/16" thck wafer is going
across the joint for maximum strength. 

This shows our standard finger joint construction applied to a red oak moulding.  Careful grain
and color matching help make the fingers disappear into the grain.  In this moulding you have
to look very closely at the joint in order to see the fingers.

This 2 1/2" Colonial pine moulding is shown prior to sanding so as to highlight the
appearance of the fingers in the face of sloped profiles.    With wood species such as pine and maple,
which have uniform color and minimal grain pattern,  we recommend investing a bit more and
upgrading to the rear mount wafer system displayed above.

This is a laminated moulding that will be applied to a curved wall.  The lamination strips are typically
1/8" to 1/4" thick depending upon radius, wood species and moulding thickness.

This is a mohagany moulding made with no visible joints or seams.  Its construction is similar to a
 strip laminated moulding but the natural grain pattern across the face of the moulding is more pronounced. 
In thin strip laminations the grain pattern disappears because the strips are not much wider
then the material removed by the saw blades cutting the strips.   In this process the blade cuts
are only a small fraction of the final moulding width.   We call this process "steam-lam" because
it combines steam bending of wider strips with laminated constructon.

A full width shot of the mahogany steam-lam moulding.  It's hanging on the wall
above our digitizing board.  The board is used to digitize tracings of windows, doors etc.
into AutoCAD with extraordinary accuracy.  This assures that we will produce mouldings that
accurately fit the templates provided by our customers.

Typical custom made double wall corrugated shipping carton.   This type of box
does a good job of protecting our mouldings during shipment.  On the rare occasion
we experience shipping damage we will rectify the situation immediately.

A group of poplar moulding sitting on our CNC router.  This computer controlled machine
precisely cuts out our segmented mouldings.

There are four ways to make a curved moulding:

1)  INEXPENSIVE METHOD:  Out of single board.  This will work on mouldings with a rise of up to about 18" at the center.  This is not a good way to make a moulding as the grain remains horizontal all through the moulding.  This results in grain that does not follow the curve, the likelihood of breakage near the ends where there is significant cross grain to the curve and failure due to seasonal expansion and contraction since wood moves about 1/8" per foot of board width on average. This is a fast and easy way to make a moulding but is a construction method we will not use.

2)  MORE EXPENSIVE METHOD:  Strip laminated.  This is 1/8" to 1/4" thick strips long enough to go all the way around the moulding glued together around a form to make up the moulding width.  This is a good method for making a moulding that looks like it was made from a single bent board and works nicely with oak in particular.  When we use this method we keep the strips in the same order as they were cut from the board for the best appearance.   However the final moulding is going to look like it is from a quarter sawn board with no face grain pattern.  This is usually acceptable but we always mention it to customers. 

3)  MOST EXPENSIVE METHOD:  Steam laminated.  This is almost the same as the thin strip laminated method above but the strips are 1/2" to 3/4" wide and steam bent before being glued back together.  Again the strips are kept in order.  This method makes for the best looking moulding.  Like the strip laminated method it appears that a board was bent to the curve but since the strips are a lot wider the moulding maintains what ever grain appearance was in that original board. 

4)  MOST MODERATELY PRICED:  Segmented construction.  This is the most commonly used construction method with thin strip laminated mouldings as described in #2 above being the 2nd most.  For this method we'll take a board and cut it into 14" to 18" long segments (depending upon the moulding radius) with angled end cuts.  We then create one of various types of joints on the butt ends and glue the segments together in  the order they came out of the board.  This makes a faceted blank that goes to our CNC router for cutting out the curved moulding.

PO BOX 452, THOMPSON, CT  06277
PHONE: (860)923-2771 FAX: (860) 923-3495

Call, fax or email us with
your questions, comments and price quote requests.