Kerf cutting skirting boards

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by JayCee2020, Nov 1, 2020.

  1. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Depending on the curve if kerfing one length of skirting proves to be a nightmare it can be a lot easier to cut 150mm or so sized pieces with a 20-30 degree angle on each end and fix them to the curve and glue each piece to the last with mitrebond.
    JayCee2020 likes this.
  2. JayCee2020

    JayCee2020 Active Member

    Thank you so much for your reply, I'll have to ask around here to see if I can find a joinery shop in this area I can order from. The original skirtings were sublime, beautiful workmanship with perfect curvature, I was gutted at losing them when the hallway needed damp coursing/replastering. I'd love to get that same quality again. Cheers for the pictures, I bet you're well stoked with how that turned out for you.
  3. JayCee2020

    JayCee2020 Active Member

    Thanks for your explanation, that's really helpful. I did carpentry when I was at secondary school, absolutely loved it and would have jumped at the opportunity to pursue it further, alas I was told 'nursing or secretarial' being a female lol Who knows, this may be the start of something pretty darn cool, I'm certainly going to have fun working this out. Appreciate you taking the time to post that for me.
  4. JayCee2020

    JayCee2020 Active Member

    I've a pretty long hallway that starts with the convex curve from the doorway, leading around the hallway. I could tell the original had to be done in two lengths, but I'm fascinated at how they achieved the curve as there weren't any kerf cuts, the wood was definitely hard wood. I'm wondering if they were steamed.. would that even have been a process used over 50 years ago? Thanks for taking the time to reply, Jord, it's appreciated.
  5. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    Never used erbauer. I believe the evolution kit is nicer/better. I have a couple of evo tools and they are good (but not saws). For heavily used kit I prefer blue bosch, but more expensive.
    JayCee2020 likes this.
  6. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    Steaming timber takes a long time, only really any use for small sections.
    The only way I have done this and I was taught by a joiner who did his apprenticeship in the 40's is to cut the curve from a solid piece of timber and mold it on a spindle molder. With taller sections such as skirtings, it is possible for softer curves to create a former, a former being a frame that is to the shape you require, the skirting can be wrapped around the former, the outside of the skirting can be kept wet which will allow it to expand and gradually take the shape of the curve, the former curve will be slightly smaller than curve you desire, allowing the board to spring back a bit when the pressure is released.

    I have attached an illustration, this is very easy to do but will take a few weeks,

    1. Grab some sheet material minimum 12mm thick, 50 X 50mm batten, skirting that you like.
    2. Cut the sheet material to a slightly tighter radius than the curve you want, e.g. 4000mm radius finish - cut the former curve to about 3600 radius. 2 sheets 1 top and 1 bottom.
    3. put battens between the sheets to just over skirting height. best to notch them in with a jigsaw, this will stop them from caving in under pressure.
    4. put the skirting around the former and use ratchet straps to pull the ends round. The wonders of modern technology.
    Do not apply to much pressure, wet the back of the skirting trying not to soak the former so it falls apart.
    for the next few weeks, a little tightening on the ratchet and soak the back of the boards, you could probably do this morning and evening.
    Do not apply to much pressure or the timber will split, you will soon get the feel of how much you can apply.

    Job done, who needs a joiner?

    Bending skirting .jpg
  7. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    Interesting thread, but I think everybody is talking about slightly different things. I suspect re-reading the thread and the OP's first post this is a tight external radius, in which case all the posts, including mine, regarding internal curves in bay windows etc is irrelevant. If it IS a tight radius external, then as has been suggested, a fabrication or solid block machined out to the profile may be one way to get a perfect job, but I would certainly try INTERNALLY kerfing MDF as it gets very bendy when deeply kerfed.

    I found this and it scared the **** out of me Jeez!
  8. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    Try doing 3D handrail parts on a riding knife because you can't lay them flat on the bed, There is a reason these machines are called widow makers.
    Mr Rusty likes this.
  9. JayCee2020

    JayCee2020 Active Member

    Thanks Mr Rusty, appreciate
    I should have posted this sooner, but couldn't get my phone to share at the time (temperamental wotsit, I need to throw it at the wall a few more times). This is my eye-sore of a skirting board and the way it's been left. I'm sure you can appreciate why I'm not happy with it and it's half the width of the original skirting - low grade wood and has the aesthetic appeal only woodworm could appreciate.

    I loved watching that! Thanks for posting. I'm blown away at the technical ability of someone who can create that from pieces of wood. Incredible. There's a guy on YouTube who creates rolling pins, tables, etc.. Watching those should be prescribed on the NHS :D How the heck they retain ten digits is beyond me. Who needs a horror film for a white knuckle experience? Hah!

    Attached Files:

  10. JayCee2020

    JayCee2020 Active Member

    Me! There's no way I could achieve that. I'd lose the will to live after the first 24 hours :D
    Thank you for sharing that process, such a fascinating insight into how that's achieved.

    I wonder, once wood is steamed like that over a long period, is it then treated with a chemical once fully dried to deter potential to draw in damp?
  11. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    Would not have been treated in ye olden times, once the timber is fitted in place it will stay dry unless you have rising damp etc.

    Can't see what's wrong with your skirting!!

    For a bend this tight I would cut it from a solid block.

    1. cut the block to the radius of the wall plus the thickness of the skirting. leave a bit of straight on each end if block allows.
    2. mold the skirting face.
    3. cut the skirting to thickness.

    stringer molding block.jpg
  12. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    I've never done this (I have made arches out of sections though.) - rather than a single block (which is not easy to lay your hands on) do you think you would get away with a laminated block out of e.g. 2" boards glued together with e.g. PU glue?
  13. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    It will work with laminated blocks, not a fan of PU but I know more and more people use it now,
    Large blocks are tough to get from timber yards, find a joinery shop that orders by the cube and chat them up, most will have short ends lying around.
    I give blocks like this away; as not big enough for a lot of work I do, end up with a pile of them.
  14. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    good to know. As a matter of interest, what glue do you use? I tend to use ordinary PVA mostly, but do find PU stronger (and messier) (and absolutely necessary for Accoya which PVA won't work on).
  15. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    yes, just normal PVA, I use to use cascamite but since they have gone planet saving it doesn't seem to work anymore, I have never worked with Accoya but I know PVA joining end grain Wenge doesn't work, it just sits on the surface.
  16. JayCee2020

    JayCee2020 Active Member

    Today it's been sanded right down/smoothed so it's looking much better and as it should look. The way the filler had been applied, it appeared misshapen slightly at the top but now it's been properly sanded it'll be okay for priming/painting until I can make new ones
  17. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    After seeing the picture above, I was going to suggest hacking off the polyfilla (I think you said had been used ?) and get a tub of this stuff, far superior in all ways;

    Dries rock hard, good adhesion to dry, dust free timber, relatively easy to sand, ready to sand in 15 minutes so no long delays, sands to a glass like finish, takes paint without a problem, etc :)

    Some time and patience and you could build up that skirting curve to a perfect finish
    Ok, the bead at the top is a little more fiddly but lash on the filler, wait until its semi set and you have a minute or two to mould the shape before it sets solid

    Sand down, P60 for excess filler fast removal (but will leave scratches in filler), P120 for detail sanding, light rub over with P180 to finish (or worn 120)
    2nd hit of filler, sand again, repeat as required

    Prime/undercoat/ topcoat/ = perfect curve and forget about the history :)
    JayCee2020 likes this.
  18. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    Already mentioned in post #7. ;), a few good brands on the market such as Decor Fill, and even P38 car body filler.
    JayCee2020 likes this.
  19. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Apologies matey - I’ve only skimmed through this post

    I’ve used a few brands of 2 part fillers over the years but now stick to the Ronseal

    Just find that although it dries rock hard, it sands down fairly easily whereas others I’ve used, sanding is painfully slow (can’t remember what products / brands)
  20. JayCee2020

    JayCee2020 Active Member

    I hear you. The sanding down of this was the same in terms of being painfully slow, it's taken three attempts to get it fairly smooth. I'm glad P38 car body filler was mentioned, I'd completely forgotten about that - I grew up a grease monkey and loved working on my dad's motors especially the body work where he taught me how to cut out rust, plate, fill, sand (dry and wet) etc.. so I'll get some of that for future use as it'll be handy to have. Appreciate you replying though, Dave.

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