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How would I go about recreating some decorative woodwork? Answered

I need to recreate a piece of decorative oak from a door.  I have other doors on the property that match but I do not want to rob them off.  Someone clearly removed a piece from our front door before we bought the property.  We are trying to restore it so I want to do this as accurately as possible, but need some ideas/help on the how to go about it.



Best Answer 6 years ago

There is a power tool that can do what you are talking about. It is a 3 D router. You place a tracing stylus on the wood to copy and it transfers the design to the workpiece. They are pretty expensive tools but are impressive in what they can do. I remember seeing an add for one that was around 2,000. You might be able to rent one from a tool rental company. They often rent out expensive tools that you might only need for a day.

If your handy this is a cheap way to do a 3D routing pantograph.

It should be able to copy the shape you have.

Oh wow that is cool! I am handy....not sure I'm THAT handy, but I may have to give it a try, thanks for the link I appreciate it!

I asked around, I found a guy who has one and would do the basic cuts for me. I can likely carve the flower, it's getting that basic shape and getting it the right size I was really worried about. Thank you for your answer it was much appreciated and helpful!

There is a method that involves making a mold and essentially you'll have an exact replica that you could finish to match the wood color. Here's a link to the process. If it's important to you to make the piece out of oak then you should look for a company (or a private individual) that has a CNC machine. The only other option would be to carve the piece yourself or enlist the services of a master carpenter.

OH wow, this might not work for this part of the building but this is a great great link! There are other areas where I can use this thank you so much!

I really wish I could vote best answer for all of you!! I greatly appreciate the community help figuring this out! This will not be the last question I ask on this property.

Most of the "copy" can be done with a band saw or hand saw with patience, The flutes can be routed to inlay carving you would have to mold or carve.

Try finding a woodworker/carver near you who will do the copy for you. Restoration craftsmen can also be found.

In the Uk you can buy many moldings and may well find one that suits.

I have been talking with people at work, many have crafty husbands, so I think I have a guy who can get me my basic shape. My hope is that he will let me watch, the wood work upstairs has been robbed and some painted (I loathe painted woodwork) so I know eventually I will need to mimic what's downstairs upstairs. Thank you for your reply!


6 years ago

If you want to do by hand, are good enough with woodworking, and you only have one (or a few) to do- you can use tracing/stencils to transfer the designs.

I would not do more than two by hand- really tedious.

Remember that you dont need to be perfect, just really good, so @ > greater than 3feet it looks good.

So, to get started, most designs are a conglomeration of several simple parts. Work part by part. For example the top part looks like a little house with a round dowel on top. Trace the square and triangle, and the circle border of the rose. Trace the edges of the rose. Transfer directly to wood or use measurements and your sketch to lay out. I'd add a round dowel for the top part, after sanding and finishing it would probably blend in (@ >greater than 3ft, just line the grains up.)

The curves below are essentially small sections of decorative moulding- if you look at it as parts. You may be able to buy these. Maybe. If not, trace the side profile to define the curves. Then router, chisle, sand, plane... lot of moulding used to be cut with planes that had curved blades. There are companies that will make these blades for any specification, often advertising in the back of woodworking magazines. Although for just one or two, it is not worth the cost.

Hope this helps. Just try to work part by part and it becomes a simple task, if a bit tedious. Hey, you'll be ready to do inlay next!


Answer 6 years ago

Forgot to mention: since this is by hand, be mentally prepared to mess up once or maybe twice. It happens. Just budget it in and you wont give up.

Thanks for bring that up, even when you realize goofing up can happen it's always nice to be reminded that it's ok.

That does help. It's the basic shape I'm concerned with, the details like the flower I can do by hand, I'm just ill that some anti-antique individual ran off with part of my door (ok it was before I owned the building but still) Thanks so much for your help! I've never used a hand chisel before, but figured I could use a dremal. I think knocking out some of the basic shape that way is a good idea and then using the chisel for finer detail. Thanks for your reply!