Wooden Chair Rail Molding with CNC Router

Wooden Chair Rail Molding with CNC Router

Getting a trim for your house walls is an interesting but perplexing task. Usually, people confuse between chair rail and wainscoting, mostly trying to think about which one suits best. And, this is totally understandable. These two moldings (chair rail and wainscoting) are very easy, quick and innovative ways for interior designers, remodelers, and renovators to induce life into a boring wall.

Of course, you want to have the best option for your house. However, what happens is that due to many opinions, confusion increases, and as a result, the application of either of the trim hampers the beauty of the wall.

Nonetheless, in this article, we will try to decrease this level of confusion by giving you a little information about what chair rail molding really is. Although we do promote that you go read about the wainscoting, before opting for any of the two trim, yet, as a measure, we would like to measure everything about chair rail molding. Be it its application, benefits, or increased competition, we have ensured that we cover each and everything about this topic.

What is a Chair Rail Molding?

Going by definition, chair rail molding is basically molding an interior wall attached horizontally along the perimeter of the room. However, in simpler terms, we can tell you that chair rail molding is a trim, perhaps a type of trim, done to prevent the rubbing of furniture against the walls.

However, today, the chair rail molding has a different purpose. In this fast-moving world, this trim is a speedy and stylish way to define your living room, dining room, or, in some cases, entry hall. Chain rail molding is especially done for cases when the designer or the renovator wants a distinction between two different colors of paint or, maybe, paints and wallpaper.

How was the Term Coined?

The term was first coined by the Shakers, who used to place the wood and pegs on the wall in an attempt to clean the underfloor by hanging the chairs. Nonetheless, besides this, there are many more theories about how this term came into the market. One of them is that the chair rail was used centuries ago so that it can make a pleasing distinction while dividing walls into equal proportions of three.

Fine Details of a Chair rail

The term chair rail is pretty popular among new constructors. Mostly, the height of the chair rail is between 2 and 3 inches, and when it is placed on the floor, this size ranges from 32 to 36 inches. However, the placement of the chair rail varies from ceiling to ceiling.

Take, for instance, the placement of a room with an 8-foot ceiling will have the chair rail placed lower than the room has a 10-foot ceiling. A good thumb rule to determine the placement of chair rail is to divide the wall height by 3. Then on the one-third way up the wall, place the chair rail.

Normally, the chair rail to match the crown molding or the baseboards is either stained or painted. The designers/renovators, who have a present-day view over the designs, usually opt to paint the chair rail, thus, presenting a streamlined look in accordance with the wall.

What is the Application of Chair Rail Molding

Having a chair rail mold in a room is a statement of class. It also adds to your decorative and creative genius. Besides, it acts as a protective barrier for your walls from the regular wear and tears from different furniture, especially in high traffic areas or spaces where the need of the hour is the constant movement of the furniture.

This kind of trim is mostly seen in places like:

● Dining rooms

● Breakfast nooks

● Living rooms

● Foyers

Planning and Shopping Manual for CNC Chair Rail Molding

There is no doubt over the fact that using a CNC router for chair rail molding makes the job go a lot easier and faster with a focus on less material wastage. Also, opting for chair rail opens a lot of options regarding the variety of styles and woods for the work.

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Further, doing this helps you in making your own chair rail molding. However, what you need to cut the chair rail is a miter and a coping saw with extra blades. Reason for extra blades? They are very fragile and break easily. Though a finish nailer is not that necessary, yet we will advise you to use it in order to derive a better and faster result.


When it comes to planning, it is wise to sketch out a plan regarding how you want to set things in your room. Measure the exact size of the wall to minimize the size of waste reduction. After this, decide the style of the chair rail. That’s the most crucial part of your planning. In any case, you find yourself juggling between different styles, try to contact an interior designer or renovator.

Tools and Supplies

● Chair rail molding

● Appropriate CNC Router(as per the requirement)

● Chalk line

● Tape measure

● Stud finder and Pencil

● Circular saw

● Coping saw

● Drill along with 1/16-inch twist bit (1/16th inch only if necessary)

● Hammer and nail set

● Wood putty

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Shopping Manual

We all know that the wood used for this work is very expensive, so the best way to track what things go missing is to make notes about the sketch of the room you desire. Rest, here are a few tips that can prove effective while you go out shopping:

● For chair rail molding, buy pieces of the wood that can be used for a long span to help you cover the entire wall else, you might face a situation where you have to carve open the other sections of chair rail molding.

● Make sure that you check each piece for their flaws, such as tear-outs and splits.

● Select pieces with smooth surfaces to neglect heavy sanding.

● In case you are planning to varnish and stain the molding, try opting for pieces that have similar grain color and pattern to maintain the uniformity of the mold.

● Visit a lumber yard operated by professional contractors or ask chair railing profiles for special orders of chair molds. Ordering from home centers will only cater to your needs of a few oak chair rails and pines.

● Don’t worry if the molding is not called a chair rail; there are many combinations and types of molds that come under this category. However, it would be apt for you to do your market research before visiting someone.

Benefits of CNC Chair Rail Molding

Since you have now grabbed the essence of how you will go about your shopping strategy for CNC rail molding, we would like you to check out a few benefits of this trim. So, here they are:

● Accuracy

Without a doubt, accuracy is the very first benefit stated by a designer or renovator while mentioning this trim. Further, the enhancement in the technology has drastically improved the output of a CNC rail molding in comparison to the output from a CNC mill. The thing about chair rail molding is that they produce accurate silk-smooth surfaces for complex parts.

● Materials:

Material plays a very big part in determining the quality of the finish of the chair rail. Though CNC machines are very adaptable and can work on commodity materials yet there the production of good finish over these materials is not certain. Making sure that you are buying pieces of expensive material to minimize wastage and cost, as mentioned in the shopping manual, could turn out to be a wise decision.

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● Cost per part:

This is something that may vary from worker to worker. So make sure that you have done your market research properly before opting for the best available option. Besides, the operating cost of a small part from a high strength grade plastic or of a tough rubber could exceed your predicted budget.

● Speed:

This is one aspect where this trim remains a top choice. Using a CNC router for chair rail molding enhances the speed of the process. Though the typical cutting process with a CNC router often takes around 3 to 5 minutes. However, using a medium-size CNC router for this process can increase the time to 3 hours.

However, what’s really good with this process is that, when the process is done, the operator didn’t have to remove the intricate supports, sandblast, wash, seal, polish, or post-cure the part.

DIY Hacks of CNC Chair Rail Molding

The basic rules of architecture and creativity are to master the art of measuring the proper size and placement of molding in a room. And, when it comes to chair rail, customers are advised to opt for the low fitting of molding rather than going for either too high or too low.

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The problem with installing the chair rail too high or too low is that it reduces the size of a room, thus, making it look a bit stuffed and uncomfortable.

Moving further, besides height, the other problem a customer faces is while installing the chair rail. Perhaps, not the lack of knowledge regarding how to terminate or convert a chair rail into stairs, casing, and other moldings is a problem which needs addressing. For that reason, here are some DIY hacks for you to give an elegant look to your finishing:

● Prevent back-cutting the chair rail while working around window casings and doors.

● Butt cut the chair rail while running around a combination of stool and apron. Try notching the stool while covering the back of the casing. Only after that butt cut the chair rail only to steadfast the apron into the casing.

● The best solution in terms of terminating a deep chair rail is to install a backband around it.

● Always use skirt boards on steps irrespective of the number of risers.

● Make a golden rule of never interrupting the casing of the chair rail.

Try to install the molding on the windows if you feel you are in full control of the process. Besides, do make sure that the height of the window sills is the same as that of the chair rail.

To conclude, we will only suggest that although chair rail molding is an easy way to perform and you can gain a stylish outlook to your room while performing it; try to go for a pair of professional woodworkers and designers who have mastered the art of molding. Rest assured, do look for a woodworker who uses a CNC router while performing woodworking as it will only increase the speed of the process.

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