Archive for the ‘Trim’ Category

Why Pros Cut All the Trim at Once

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

crown-pieces-ready-for-joining.JPGShort answer: Because the room (or woodwork) doesn't change dimension just because you put up the first piece of trim.

When I apprenticed with an aged cabinetmaker and trim carpenter, I learned how to do it the slow way. It made sense to me at the time. It doesn't anymore.

For starters, the old way takes a lot of walking. I like walking, but not while wearing a toolbelt.

So, instead, I make all the measurements and record them in my proprietary shorthand (which has become increasingly complex over the years). Then I'm off to the saw to do all the cutting at once.

crown-chains-ready-to-install.JPGOther benefits of this approach are:

  • Better optimization of the trim sticks: Start by cutting the longest ones and you'll probably get more useful pieces out of your stock.
  • Full concentration on cutting. This is especially important on crown, which is traditionally cut upside down and backwards.
  • Join pieces before hanging them for better joints. (See image at right.)

(Nearly) All Woodwork Depends on Glue

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Most of us have a lot more idealism in us than we realize. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

However, at times it can be a severe liability. It can make us susceptible to sales tactics that recognize and exploit those idealisms. Generally, when you are about to make a major purchase like a car or a kitchen remodel, you want to shed any simplistic notions you may have and find out “the real deal” about whatever it is you are buying.

In this case, I'm talking about buying cabinetry. Should you insist upon your cabinets being made of bona fide solid wood or is it okay if they are made of plywood? What about particle board or MDF? Plastic? Foam? Cardboard? (Don't laugh — I've seen it all) (more…)

Adding Furniture Base to Cabinets

Monday, March 12th, 2007

For some people, the Holy Grail of cabinetry is to make new cabinets look like fine and antique furniture. Here's one technique for doing that.

Furniture Base on a set of Vanity Cabinets


Where to Look for Broken Trim in a New House/Project

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Typical scenario: You walk through the new house admiring all of the trim work, especially that beautiful curved trim. You just love it. You buy the house. A year passes. The builder of the house quietly moves to a different continent.

One day you notice a small crack in one of those lovely pieces of curved trim. The next month you notice another crack in another piece. “Ye gods!” you exclaim, “Have those always been there? Is my house falling apart?”

Yes, it's true. You are another victim of Bent n' Broken Trim Syndrome. Here's how it happens.fireplace-full.JPG