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  • window casing/door casing

    Can anyone enlighten me on how to install casing around a widnow/door in a timely fashion? I have been hanging some window casing and its taking me a long time, with many trips to the saw and back.

    I am cutting standard MDF casing, surrounding the window with said casing, miter cutting the corners at 45 degrees. I can get good results, but i seem to take forever to sneak up on a solid joint (4 to 5 cuts).

    Any tips on measuring faster so that I can make a few less trips to the saw?

  • #2
    Re: window casing/door casing

    Originally posted by franklin pug View Post
    Can anyone enlighten me on how to install casing around a widnow/door in a timely fashion? I have been hanging some window casing and its taking me a long time, with many trips to the saw and back.

    I am cutting standard MDF casing, surrounding the window with said casing, miter cutting the corners at 45 degrees. I can get good results, but i seem to take forever to sneak up on a solid joint (4 to 5 cuts).

    Any tips on measuring faster so that I can make a few less trips to the saw?
    So its paint grade right? Easy to fill mistakes with putty. You can try cutting the inside miters 44 degrees and the outside 46. Sometimes that helps. Its also more forgiving if your installing against carpet so if its off the floor a bit its okay.
    Also measure all of them and make the cuts. Install one side (nail at top),then get top fitting against the side joint so you can turn each one a bit to get solid fit then nail top , then other side.

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    • #3
      Re: window casing/door casing

      I used to install windows and doors pro and although some of the guys made fun of me, I used good ol arithmetic. If you have 2 1/4" casing and you want a 1/4" reveal left on the jamb which is pretty standard you can measure inside jamb to jamb on top, add 5" and there is your outside miter to miter measurement. For the sides you do the same, but only add 2 1/2" and you get your bottom to outside miter measurement. As for tight miters, as stated above paint grade is very forgiving when caulked, but I always tried to get it as tight as possible. I found that nailing one side, then the top, then the other side gave me the best chance to work the miters tight when installing solo. Eyeball up the reveal on the side, or measure it and mark it first if you need too, and nail it up from the bottom leaving the top a little loose so you can move it where you need it as you install the top piece. Don't go nuts with the pins at first, and remember you can always pull it or push it where you need it before you pop the nail.

      The last thing is if you are really having trouble keeping those corners tight it is okay to have your reveal off a tiny bit if you have to cheat it. That is far less noticable than other places. The rule for paint grade in existing houses (never square or plumb to start) is "split the difference".

      Just how I did it and do it. I hope I made the math part clear. I'll be back later tonight so if it don't make sense let me know.

      Good luck.


      PS. If you need to pull the casing away from the wall a bit at the miters to make them tight it is okay as the casing to wall line will be caulked and painted. Use a small pry bar to hold the corner out so miter is tight and shoot your nail while holding it. This will give you a gap at the wall that is easy to caulk and hide and keep the miters tight.
      Last edited by woodenstickers; 11-27-2007, 10:08 AM.
      A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

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      • #4
        Re: window casing/door casing

        I will start by saying "Sometimes this method is dangerous".. But,i like to measure the inside width of window or door add 1/2" for reveal,and cut everything short 2 short. Then,most importantly,i nail the frame together on the floor or a flat surface,with glue on the mitres. In my case i would have 20 or 30 windows/doors to work on at a time. So,i would skip to another window/door and cut,glue, and nail it together while the previous frame's glue is drying.
        This is just the best way for me. I installed custom trim in high end homes for about 6 years.That is very satisfying work,especially if you're working with a good sawman or helper.This is one of the houses i worked on last year. My boss and i trimmed out this house by ourselves. FUN STUFF!

        http://www.hometouramerica.com/detail.cfm?ad_id=2197

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        • #5
          Re: window casing/door casing

          Damn! My wife would LOVE that place!

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          • #6
            Re: window casing/door casing

            Originally posted by mspaugh24 View Post
            I will start by saying "Sometimes this method is dangerous".. But,i like to measure the inside width of window or door add 1/2" for reveal,and cut everything short 2 short. Then,most importantly,i nail the frame together on the floor or a flat surface,with glue on the mitres. In my case i would have 20 or 30 windows/doors to work on at a time. So,i would skip to another window/door and cut,glue, and nail it together while the previous frame's glue is drying.
            This is just the best way for me. I installed custom trim in high end homes for about 6 years.That is very satisfying work,especially if you're working with a good sawman or helper.This is one of the houses i worked on last year. My boss and i trimmed out this house by ourselves. FUN STUFF!

            http://www.hometouramerica.com/detail.cfm?ad_id=2197


            that is exactly the best way to do it and that is how we do it too. also after you brad nail your casing to the jambs you need to finish nail it to the wall but keep you finish nails back from the miters at least 8'' to prevent the miters from opening up when it is sucked back against the wall.

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            • #7
              Re: window casing/door casing

              Sorry all,I forgot to say why this may be "dangerous". Sometimes the brad will pop out of the wood,so make sure you hold the joint together far enough back that it will not hit your finger. This may be a problem with the mdf, I haven't had experience with this material,but i know it's fairly hard.If the nail does pop out it can be snipped off and sunk into the wood,and of course ,a lil putty can fix that! Glad to see others doing it this way!!

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              • #8
                Re: window casing/door casing

                Originally posted by mspaugh24 View Post
                I will start by saying "Sometimes this method is dangerous".. But,i like to measure the inside width of window or door add 1/2" for reveal,and cut everything short 2 short. Then,most importantly,i nail the frame together on the floor or a flat surface,with glue on the mitres. In my case i would have 20 or 30 windows/doors to work on at a time. So,i would skip to another window/door and cut,glue, and nail it together while the previous frame's glue is drying.
                This is just the best way for me. I installed custom trim in high end homes for about 6 years.That is very satisfying work,especially if you're working with a good sawman or helper.This is one of the houses i worked on last year. My boss and i trimmed out this house by ourselves. FUN STUFF!

                http://www.hometouramerica.com/detail.cfm?ad_id=2197
                Ditto, that is the correct and most satisfaction way of doing trim. Once you know your lengths, use a stop block with the cutting procedure, thus all the same length pieces will be 100% identical. Make a jig for a stop block.
                Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                http://www.contractorspub.com

                A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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                • #9
                  Re: window casing/door casing

                  cut everything short 2 short.

                  forgive me, but was does "short 2 short" mean?

                  Then,most importantly,i nail the frame together on the floor or a flat surface,with glue on the mitres. In my case i would have 20 or 30 windows/doors to work on at a time. So,i would skip to another window/door and cut,glue, and nail it together while the previous frame's glue is drying.
                  So the casing is like a large picture frame? It dries on the floor and then you hang the form when its dry?

                  Beautiful trim work on your link! Bravo!

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                  • #10
                    Re: window casing/door casing

                    "short 2 short" = measuring the short dimension to the opposite short dimension.

                    Yes, he is building a picture frame so to speak. Its the best/easiest/quickest to put them together.

                    Regads,

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                    • #11
                      Re: window casing/door casing

                      Shortest point of the mitre ends. Wodenstickers referred to the long points,this is just the opposite.
                      Yes , the casing is like a picture frame. I nail everything possible together on the floor. It's the best way to get tight joints, imo.
                      I just made a google skethcup pic for ya,try not to laugh,im not very good with sketchup yet.!

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                      • #12
                        Re: window casing/door casing

                        Hmmm... File upload failed, i'll get it for ya in a sec.

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                        • #13
                          Re: window casing/door casing

                          Can't say i'm proud of this drawing, but I hope it helps.

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                          • #14
                            Re: window casing/door casing

                            I have never done production trim work on a new construction site, always retro fit and always in a house that is full of stuff. I love the technique described and the work in the link, very nice! (what kind of wood is that in the office pics?)

                            For the retro/remodel work or homeowner who is upgrading trim or replacing windows/doors they might not be able to use the production process though. For one it is not often you find enough room to pre-assemble the frames on the floor in front of each window/door.

                            You are also faced with un-flat walls and openings that unlike new construction have twisted and settled and are rarely square. I live in the bay area, and the earthquakes have made pretty certain that no window or door opening is within 1/8 of square. This makes tweaking the reveal necessary sometimes.

                            Also, I have always found it easier to measure and mark long to long for double mitered pieces since I can hook my tape on the point of one miter instead of trying to "cut an inch" by myself on the short. Am I missing a good trick for this?

                            Eli
                            A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

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                            • #15
                              Re: window casing/door casing

                              All the trim in that house is finger-jointed poplar.
                              I always hook my tape on the base of my mitre saw,then move my board to 1" mark, I have a large table for my mitre saw, you can also hook the table.
                              All you need is a door slab and some saw benches. You wouldn't want to do this over a finished floor,cuz the glue will squeeze out. Or even the garage floor,if you have a garage.

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