How to Make Fluted Molding


Fluted molding, with its rows of parallel straight grooves, lends a classic touch to any woodworking project. It is one of the easiest moldings to replicate and can be used on door casings, baseboards or other trim. Decide how wide your molding will be; the larger the molding the wider the flutes. As with any table saw project, be especially careful when running the boards over the blade to keep hands well clear and always wait for the blade to stop before reaching for a cut piece.

Things You'll Need

  • Hardwood lumber
  • Table saw
  • Tape measure
  • Dado blade
  • Measure the molding width. Leave 1/8 of the width of the molding plain on each long edge for a nice clean line. Draw a mockup of your molding on paper. Decide how wide the groves should be and how many you want. Space them evenly across the width of the center of your molding. Typically, spaces between fluted grooves should be close to their width.

  • Cut a piece of 3/4-inch thick hardwood to the correct width for your fluted molding.

  • Set up a dado blade of the correct thickness to cut the width of flutes you want. Unplug the saw, remove the throat plate and set the blade to its highest point. Wedge a piece of wood between the back of the saw throat and the back edge of the blade to hold it and turn the arbor nut counterclockwise to remove it. Remove the blade and fit the dado stack blades onto the arbor. Reinstall the nut and tighten.

  • Set the depth of cut you want for your flutes. Adjust the saw fence to the distance from the outside edge to the edge of the first flute. Start the saw and run the board over the blade, pressing it down firmly against the table and fence. Use a wooden push stick to finish the cut to keep your fingers well clear of the blade. Turn the piece around the run again, with the opposite long edge against the fence to make the opposite outside flute.

  • Move the fence away from the blade at the distance you want between flutes and repeat the process, cutting along both edges, until all flutes are cut. Sand the piece with 150-grit sandpaper, folding a corner to sand the bottom of each flute to smooth any roughness from the dado blade.

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  • “Jim Tolpin's Table Saw Magic”; Jim Tolpin; 2004
  • Photo Credit construccion y cielo image by Norberto Lauria from
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