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Old 02-20-2009, 11:02 AM   #1
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can never get door/window trim to corner nicely.


Does someone have any links or literature for the real TRICKS to get my 45 degree miter cuts to lay flush perfectly? Yes, if you paint you fill in the gaps with putty, but if you stain its critical to get your window corner trims to match perfect.

I'd say its 1 in a million that a window is perfectly 90 degrees, OR the trim is not bowed (thank you HD and Lowes).

Do you guys figure out the angle with a tool before cutting? (perhaps its a 88.5 degree corner). Or do you put one side on first with 45 degree cut and then "figure out" the angle for other cut?

Invariably what happens with me is i nail the first piece in with a 45 cut, then i take a scrap with a 45 cut and lay it up against and then "eyeball" if i need the next cut to be wider or smaller. It will take me about 5 trips to the saw before i can get a perfect fit.

there has to be a process i don't know about.

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Old 02-20-2009, 11:16 AM   #2
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can never get door/window trim to corner nicely.


What you are most likely experiencing is a common situation where the wall is not flat. To understand what I mean, cut two good 45's on your miter saw. Now place them together on a solid, flat table. They should fit perfectly (or as perfectly as your saw will cut them... don't forget a saw can be off)

Now, take a dime, and slip it, lying flat on the table, under the inside corner of the joint. See what happens to that perfect joint?

Next, take the dime out, put the joint back together, and now slip the dime under the point (outside) of the joint. See how the joint opens up again.... but this time in the opposite direction?

Frankly, there's not much you can do about these conditions other than to either learn (it takes a lot of practice) to sense the tilt of a wall at a joint and compensate as you cut (kind of tough to do, and harder to explain).... or just try some thin shims under your joints as you put them on the wall. Experiment to get the feel of this.

If your saw is cutting correctly, this is probably just a matter of uneven corner wall surfaces, nothing more.

BTW: This is usually caused by the way the corner bead sits "proud" of the wall by an eighth of an inch or so.... and the bugger is that both sides of the corner are seldom off by equal amounts.

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Last edited by Willie T; 02-20-2009 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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can never get door/window trim to corner nicely.


Willie, your answer is most of the time EXACTLY what is happening.. but i didnt want to bring that up in this thread.

yes, many times when i i've put sheetrock up if i'm not exactly "rock depth" on my window frame i just say "eh, the trim will cover that."

but then it messes up all my angles. You are 100% correct.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:47 AM   #4
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can never get door/window trim to corner nicely.


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Originally Posted by windowguy View Post
Willie, your answer is most of the time EXACTLY what is happening.. but i didnt want to bring that up in this thread.

yes, many times when i i've put sheetrock up if i'm not exactly "rock depth" on my window frame i just say "eh, the trim will cover that."

but then it messes up all my angles. You are 100% correct.
Sad thing today is all the isolated "specialization' of the various trades. Few younger guys (and gals) have the slightest idea how much the correct installation or application of their part of the job effects so many other trades persons.

"Back in the day" we did just about all of it ourselves. So we often, and quickly, learned that we had to do it all correctly....... or we would be paying for it a little further on down the line.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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can never get door/window trim to corner nicely.


When casing a door or window I always set my miter saw to the 45* angle, but I also set the saw to back bevel the miter about 1-1/2 or 2*. That will really help draw the finished edges together, especially when the wall or jamb isn't quite perfect and the back of the casing doesn't lay perfectly parallel to the wall/window.

I also often use biscuits on casing. I ALWAYS USE WOOD GLUE. Not gluing casing is just like begging it to open up.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:26 AM   #6
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can never get door/window trim to corner nicely.


There are several ways to deal with the situation that you are having. First of all, make sure you saw is tuned up really well. Use a square to both check the 90 and 45 degree detents on the saw. Also, check to make sure the bevel is not cutting at a slight angle. It's easy for the saw to be bumped or tweaked out of where it should be, especially moving it from one area to another.
If you already have extension jambs that are flush with the drywall, I like to run a straight edge along the edge to make sure they are coming out flush or nearly so with the drywall or wall covering. If they are off more than 1/8, you will need to add another extension jamb, offsetting it 3/16 to give it a little visual interest. Sometimes you can tweak the trim a little if it is only off a little here and there around the perimeter. Check in several places.
Backcutting the drywall a little will help if the jamb is off in just one section. If your casing has been backcut from the factory that helps, and if it isn't you can always backcut it on the tablesaw. Both of these operations allow the trim to adjust to a window jamb that is too short.
At this point, I like to assemble the casing using biscuits and spring clamps if the casing is thin, or pocket screws and glue if it is 3/4" material. After the glue has set up you can wrench on the trim a little to get it to all come together and not have to worry about the miters coming apart.
From the sounds of it, as was mentioned in previous posts, you are rolling the casing which causes the miters to come apart. Assembling it ahead of time will prevent the trim from separating at the miters.
I actually prefer to assemble the jambs and casing all at once, paint it, and then set it into place. It allows me to do trim production style and keeps all the joints tight and professional looking.
Now maybe you have just the opposite, and the jamb is sticking out too much in the room. An electric plane will make short work of something like that.
Now you could try to slightly off bevel the casing maybe 1 degree or so, and that will work too. I have found this to be trial and error and I don't have time on the jobs to do this. The downside is that if you don't join it together, the miters will come apart when the jambs swell and shrink and when the casing swells and shrinks from season humidity. This can be a big problem around windows since they are often exposed to unconditioned air.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:11 AM   #7
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can never get door/window trim to corner nicely.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
When casing a door or window I always set my miter saw to the 45* angle, but I also set the saw to back bevel the miter about 1-1/2 or 2*. That will really help draw the finished edges together, especially when the wall or jamb isn't quite perfect and the back of the casing doesn't lay perfectly parallel to the wall/window.

I also often use biscuits on casing. I ALWAYS USE WOOD GLUE. Not gluing casing is just like begging it to open up.
Just what I was going to suggest!

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