How to save money by making your own trim and baseboard

October 25th, 2009 by Erik

Step 1: Cut down about 10 good sized cedar trees, cut logs into 20 ft sections.
Step 2: Rent an excavator and stack (or deck up) the logs, let them sit for 1 year.
Step 3: Hire a mobile sawmill to come out and cut your logs into 1×4, 1×6, 1×8…whatever fits your needs.
Step 4: Stack your wood in a dry covered place with stickers between each layer, let them dry again for 4-6 months.
Step 5: Run each board through a planer, at least 3 times to your desired thickness. Due to the sawmill and drying process, thickness will vary.
Step 6: Run each board through your tablesaw on the left edge to straighten one side.
Step 7: Run each board through your tablesaw on the right edge to straighten the other side.
Step 8: Assuming your planer did a pretty good job of smoothing the face, sand the faces of each board with 120+ grit sandpaper.
Step 9: Assuming your table saw left blade marks on the edges of your boards, sand each edge with 80 grit sandpaper.
Step 10: Now you sand the edges of each boards with 120+ grit sandpaper.
Step 11: Wipe each board down with a damp tack rag to remove sawdust.
Step 12: Add a finish product of your choice, make sure you get both edges of your boards. Let dry.
Step 13: Lightly sand your finish with steel wool or fine grit (like 500) sandpaper.
Step 14: Wipe each board down with a damp tack rag.
Step 15: Repeat step 12.
Step 16: Repeat step 13.
Step 17: Repeat step 14.
Step 18: Repeat step 12, if necessary.
Step 19: Repeat step 13, if necessary.
Step 20: Repeat step 14, if necessary.

Your trim is now ready to use!

Cost of what trim would have been from the lumber yard: $5,000
Cost of doing it yourself, including labor paid at less than minimum wage: $4,997
Total savings: $3
Value of doing all of the work yourself: Under $3 at this point.

3 Responses to “How to save money by making your own trim and baseboard”

  1. Serry Says:

    Haha, that sounds very intensive, but fun, I bet the wood would be exquisite! Did you do this?

  2. Erik Says:

    Thanks Serry, it was a process. Of course, I have a friend who is building his own log home, so I shouldn’t complain too much!

  3. Kathy Says:

    That’s great – At least you are using your wood, mine is still in a pile!

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