Flexible molding Review - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default Flexible molding Review

I just finished a project using flexible molding and thought I would give a report on my impressions. The molding is flexible polyurethane trim I purchased online from Flexible Moulding Concepts. I used flat stock but it is available in many profiles. I purchased it in eight foot (243.8 cm) lengths although it is available in lengths up to 20 feet (609.6 cm).

The project was trim for a curved opening between two rooms. The first two photos show the before and after. Since the trim is painted I used half inch (12.7mm) MDF for the casing with 3/4" (19mm) thick molding for the casing cap and 1/4" (6.4mm) thick molding for the fillet along the bottom. The top cap is 1 1/4" (31.8mm) wide and the bottom fillet 7/8" (22.2mm) wide. Both were glued to the edge of the 1/2" MDF with Loctite polyurethane construction adhesive. Since I was attaching to the edge of MDF is could not use nails or brads. Install would have been much easier if I could.

The thick top trim was pretty stiff to work with but once I got a few key clamps on it was manageable and bent well to the shape of the casing [photos 3 and 4] . On the other hand, the bottom trim is like working with a wet noodle. [See photo 5] I had a difficult time clamping it. After running out of clamps, I finally resorted to holding it in place with masking tape every few inches until the glue dried over night.

It was shipped coiled in flat boxes [Photos 6 and 7]. The polyurethane wants to hold that coil shape. I dry clamped it place for 24 hours but when I took off the clamps it immediately wanted to return to its original shape. Not a big issue, but in my application the cap hangs over the casing by 3/4" on the ends and the original coil gives it a slight curve even in that short distance.

The material cuts and machines easily but since it doesn't lay flat I don't see how it could be machined on a router table. For painting I used Glidden's primer and sealer as a base coat because it will stick to most anything. Top coat was with a water-based interior enamel. The manufacturers say the material can be stained. I haven't tried it but I suspect we are talking about using a polyurethane gel stain of some type.

Final score: 7 out of 10 for my needs.
Pros: Flexible, easy to machine
Cons: Awkward to work with, wants to retain shipping shape, needs polyurethane glue
Would I use it again? Yes but only for special cases like this project.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 01:49 PM
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I've heard a heat gun or even a hair dryer will work to cause the product to form better to the state you want it in. Did you apply any heat when you had it clamped in place? I used some quarter round and did just that. I did have the advantage of being able to tack it in spots. But the heat allowed it to form readily. And it seem to stay.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 02:02 PM
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I have used a heatgun to good effect, but you have to be very carefull of spot heating as you could loose shape or get bright spots. I normally tape it to a mould or plank and leave it in the sun for a few hours, but then we have lots of sun!
Ronald
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 05:55 PM
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Thanks for sharing this Oliver. I am sure this will solve problems for members.

Mike
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 09:34 AM
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Oliver, That is a very nice documentary on flexible moulding! Thanks for sharing it with us. This is maybe only funny to me, but several years ago, Joy decided that we would get new garage doors. She had made a deal that included: removal of old doors and openers, replacement of track and everything else. I never would have expected that it would include replacement of the perimeter trim, which I had made and installed only a couple of years earlier; but by the time I got home from work the installation guy was done with making his mess. Neither Joy nor I had expected or forseen the need for removal or replacement of that trim - which was some of my best work and I was proud of it. Well, much to my disappointment, it was in about 20 pieces by the time I arrived home.
Being the considerate husband that I work hard to be, I never said a word about what had already been done.
The guy's last step was to put-on new trim. He had on his truck some boxes about 20 feet long with plastic trim pieces he cut parts from. The plastic trim was very generic - unlike what he had wrecked earlier. It had an appearance of woodgrain, but certainly wasn't wood. He installed it using an adhesive and a heat gun and it ended-up all being one homogenous wrap-around. He stepped-back to admire his work and looked at me and said, "Well - what do you think?" Not wanting to offend him or my wife, I said, "That looks really cool - now all I need to do is paint the trim!" (Frankly it looked like someone had replaced the Taj Mahal with an outhouse) I then said "What is that material the trim is made from?"
"Synthetic Plastic!" he exclaimed proudly.
I said, "Wow, now that is really some fakey stuff".

Quite possibly that was and is only funny to me...
Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 07:02 PM
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Default Great job!

it looks great, it must of been like a puzzle at first. once again great job.

Jorge
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 10:59 PM
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Some people are unaware that many flexible trim manufacturers will custom shape the moulding to a template or radius. Shaping to a template may add some cost to the product (typically 20%) but shaping to a radius does not usually add any additional cost. This eliminates the need to heat or force the material into the desired shape and will give a much better fit and finish.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 07:06 PM
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Great job on that opening, Gaff. I had to do seven openings on a job one time with a profiled flex trim. The company had made it to match a piece of molding that we sent them for a template. When all was said and done, I had about five or six hours per opening, just carving, rasping, and sanding trying to get it to match up with our door casing. Needless to say, I was not impressed. Next time, I'll go the flat route like you did. That turned out nice.

Troy
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