Moulding Knife and Template Design

by Russ Rego

Moulding Knife Template Design, C.A.D to Acrylic Moulding Pattern Video

We would like to share a few ideas on how to accomplish superior molding knife design that will help produce some of the finest architectural mouldings you have ever produced. Inadequate layout design practices produce a lower quality product, additional labor costs and damaged reputations for everyone involved. Many designers don't place as much time or passion into the drawing process as we do, or on how a pattern might be milled on the client’s machinery. A good portion of our thought process relies on the look of the profile, as well as its installation on a given job.

With over thirty years' experience in knife design we have made more than a few mistakes in the ways some profiles were manufactured on a moulding machine. Learning from our mistakes over the years has brought us to the pinnacle of our career by discussing and eliminating potential problems before they happen. If you were to build a house with an out of square or faulty foundation you would end up chasing that problem all the way up to the chimney. All our thought and design practices revolve around the manufacturer, for it is our responsibility to design and draw the most beautiful and elegant mouldings on the market today for all our clients.

Every time a woodworker or moulding machine operator walks into a building they are prone to look at the quality of the millwork in those structures, we know, we do the same thing, we also know quality when we see it! Frankly speaking some moulding and millwork jobs look less appealing, while others reflect the design, artisanship and beauty for all to admire. It is those woodworking projects that keeps our energy, enthusiasm, passion and drive alive, thanks for the trust you place in us.

We have compiled a list of things that we think about every time we design a new moulding for one of our clients. It takes us a lot longer to design a new molding than it does to grind a new template and a set of knives. Once the design is “moulder operator friendly” the remaining tasks of milling, finishing, shipping and installing become easier for everyone involved. We hope this list will provide you an indication on how we proceed with work you provide us.

Crown Moulding Wood Sample Crown Moulding 3.250" - 26 Casing 3.250" - 78 Template & Knife Design
Casing Moulding Wood Sample Casing Moulding 3.250" - 78 Crown 3.250" - 26 Template & Knife Design
  • How are we going to get this moulding through our client's machine in the safest way, be cost efficient, allow flexibility and have it look superior to all others?
  • How many moulder spindles does our client have on their machinery? A moulding design for a four-spindle machine might be different from a five or six spindle moulder.
  • What would be the best way to orient this profile on their machinery? Designing the pattern in a different way may cause the machine operator to have problems with hold down and or feeding the wood, these issues can lead to finish and installation problems.
  • What is the best way to hold the molded work piece down during the milling operation? Will they be able to use a flat pressure shoe, or will it require a more time consuming and costly custom pressure shoe?
  • How big of a knife-cutting circle does the client have on their machinery?
  • Can the moulding run with one, two, three, or four profiles working in unison?
  • Is the moulding profile best run on the vertical spindles verse the top & bottom spindles?
  • Does the client have enough horsepower on their machinery to do the milling operation?
  • Will the client allow us to make small design changes without changing the overall appearance desired to obtain a superior product?
  • If draft angles are used for sharpening purposes, would it affect the moulding design outcome?
  • What type of wood will the client be milling?
  • What is projected lineal footage to be manufactured with this profile?
  • What type of high speed steel or carbide best fits this customer’s application?
  • Can the product be run out of 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 6/4, 8/4, 12/4 lumber and will a minor design change be able to save our clients’ money?

As you can see, many thoughts go thru our mind daily about knife design and moulder applications. We trust you have a better understanding on how we can work together as a team, by designing and manufacturing some of the finest architectural moulding templates and knives you have ever used. Take a moment to watch part one of the informational video at the top of the page, it will give you a peek into the life of a molding profile knife designer.

If you need any further assistance or would just like to ask a few questions, please feel free to contact us, we would love to hear from you.