Door Trim and Other Time Consuming Tasks

Well, fellow renovators my monthly update is in order. Still focused on the basement woman cave – and lots have been going on. I still haven’t gotten to the really pretty stuff, but we have to pay our dues in wading through the tedious stuff. So this episode focuses on that pesky door trim that you have to address if you have any type of hole in your wall.

1 cabinet insertsFirst we make a couple of plywood cabinet inserts. These are 3/4″ UV coated cabinet stock. They will go in the bathroom – the one on the left will get a door mirror. The one on the right is open towel storage. They’ll need trim, right?

2 inserts in placeAnd this is where they go in the bathroom. Uh, oh – looks like some complicated trim gymnastics coming up.

3 pvc trimFirst we figure out the pieces for the Tall cabinet and cut to size. This is PVC trim – all of the trim in the bathroom is made from this material.

4 marking trimThen we flip it over and mark where the screws will be drilled and a mark for the inside corner.

5 Kreg tool drillThen we drill the pocket screws using my cheap Kreg drill guide. This system is great to make quick work of cabinet projects like these face frames.

6 glueing trimEach joint is coated with PVC primer and then general purpose PVC cement. Keep the cement a little ways away from the front face of the joint to keep the front looking pretty.

7 fastening trimI then use a clamp to hold the pieces against the table surface while I set the screws. I use the clamp to keep the two pieces from shifting under pressure. This assures a nice flat face.

8 sanding flushIf you have kept the glue off the face, you can sand the joint flush immediately. If you have solvent on the front, you’ll have to wait a day or two to sand, as the glue softens the PVC and it will be impossible to get a flush joint.

9 trim pieces finishedOnce the two trim assemblies are finished, it’s time to make it a little more difficult.

10 trim pieces assembledThe trim to the right is for the door and the left is the trim around the cabinet insert. I’ve joined the two together to get super smooth joints. You’ll see how this all fits together in a later post. The two pressure clamps and a strip of PVC are used to stabilize this awkward piece without breaking the joints when moving to install.

Quick way to measure trim

Since I’ve done every door, window and cabinet in this place with all new trim that I fabricated,  I’ve had plenty of practice. Here is the simplest way I’ve found to measure and cut door trim.

11 trim spacerFirst make a spacer for the reveal of the trim. This is the space between the interior jamb of the door or window and the start of the casing (the flat part that goes around the opening.) I take one side of casing and space it with my template. Then clamp the piece in place.

12 trim clampedRepeat the process on the other side. Make the casing sides the same length and let the bottom edge rest on the floor.

13 marking header trimPlace a piece of casing along the top edge and mark the outside edge. I also put reference marks to keep pieces in order.

14 trim surround finishedI drill pocket screws and assemble just like I showed you earlier.  Keep the outer edge of the side casings flush to the top casing to make sure the reveal is correct. This makes a strong, flat joint and it will fit perfectly around your door.

Pretty stuff coming up in the next post. Promise.

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Sunroom Window Trimming

Now that we are back on the ground we can trim out the big windows in sunroom. We have 7 in here and all will get the same design treatment – except the two on the end wall that will be wrapped with bookcases.

1 jamb jointFirst we rip the jamb stock to size – just a little wider than the surrounding drywall. These will be painted, so I’m using poplar – a very good wood for projects like this because of it’s easy workability and tight grain to make that Oh-so-smooth finish. You see that I have a routed joint – it will make your life so much easier when doing window jambs, as it keeps the joint perpendicular.

2 router spacerI always make as many jigs or templates to make the job go quickly. If you have more than a couple of anything – this is the best way to speed things up. Here I have a spacer that is exactly the width of the router base to the straight edge jig.

3 router jigHere’s a picture of a jig setup for routing the bookcase around the windows – but it’s the same idea. The template rests against the straight edge jig and is lined up with the marks where you want the joint to be. I’ll get into detail in the next couple of posts.

4 stool cutI assemble the three sides of the jamb – the top and sides. So you have a ‘U’ shaped piece glued and nailed together. I then make the stool – the sill of the window. I shim this at both sides of the window and set the ‘U’ on top.

5 loose stoolI shim and nail the ‘U’ in place and add the side casings to the windows as well. Here you see the window trimmed but the stool (sill) is removable. I do this because it’s easier for me to get the proper reveal on the sill this way. Most will set the stool first and work off of that. So I’m different – deal with it 🙂

6 tight stoolStools in place and fastened.

7 casing blockAs mentioned earlier – I use templates and whatever to make things go quicker and more accurate. I use this block of wood to get the reveal the same all around. Make the block flush with the jamb and you have a uniform reveal. The clamp comes in handy when the side casing might be a little bowed. A little pressure on the clamp and it will straighten it out.

8 octagon jambsThe octagon window jamb was easy. I had made two when I installed the same window in the upstairs closet.

9 octagon casing cutThe eight pieces are cut for the casing – looks like it’ll work.

10 pocket screw jigTo assemble I make one pocket hole with a Kreg tool. Only one is needed, as it’s mainly used as a way to clamp the pieces together.

11 finished octagonThe finished casing glued and ready to put up.

12 bookcase wallThe casing up and all the windows have been trimmed and back banded – all but these two, which get bookcases built around them – that I haven’t designed yet. Nothing like waiting to the last minute. But I have my yellow pad there…

12 window casing with back bandHere are the two big boys – 8’6″ each. All trimmed out with back banded casing. (That’s the piece that ‘picture frames’ the side and head casing) and the apron below the stool (sill).

13 waspAnd all the time this guy kept me company. I think it was his uncle I was swatting at when I fell off the ladder last year.

This time I left him alone – lesson learned.