Why Pros Cut All the Trim at Once

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.)