A Very Short Piece of Matching Moulding

What are you going to do when some old door casing mouldings have been cut off just an inch short of the floor? Here are some great ideas for making the match. April 12, 2013

A renovation to a master bedroom I’m currently working on has left the door casings short of the floor about 1". The house is a Victorian with wide and thick profiles not found in stock. Custom reproduction is not the client’s first choice due to budget. I've never dealt with this situation. I figure there's a product that can be smashed in to fill the gaping hole and then carved to the profile. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor P:
You could create plinth blocks as an option.

From contributor J:
Plinth blocks are a great idea, or perhaps you could try upper rosette blocks? If the casing detail cannot be changed then short molding pieces are easily duplicated on a band or scroll saw by sawing them out vertically and joining them to the ends of the existing casings. This is patchwork of course, but if done properly should be acceptable (paint-grade should be imperceptible).

From contributor M:
Plinth blocks are a great idea. If that's not an option, look inside the closet. If the profiles match you can cut casing from the inside of closet doors to patch the visible ones, or switch them if they are longer. Then you can use plinth or a reasonable match to fix the unexposed closet casing.

From contributor H:
If the client will agree to the cost you can have knives made to match the existing profile. Then you can run a single length of casing to replace one in an inconspicuous location. This removed piece can be cut into short segments to fill the gaps.

From contributor F:
All great ideas shared so far. Here's one more that’s just a little off-the-wall for you though. You could use hand tools to make a short length of molding close enough to patch in.

Depending on the exact profile the easiest would be to grind an inexpensive card scraper as close as you can to the profile. Then using an appropriate easy to work wood, say poplar, you can scrape the profile in. Cut the pieces to the length you need and glue in place.

If it's a deeper profile then you may have to step up to a beading tool. You may find one for a low price at the local used tool shop. I've done a couple moldings over the years with a beading tool and a couple of extra blades when I needed a few feet of something for similar renovation type situations.

From contributor A:
One option is to use a block of wood to fill up space, and then use fiber re-enforced bondo to make the profile.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor K:
I would use an epoxy fill stick. It's easy to press into any shape (like Playdough) then it can be carved to make fine adjustments or sanded. I then would follow with a matching stain and graining pens to blend it all in. A little sealer/topcoat and it magically disappears.