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Old 02-08-2009, 07:26 AM   #1
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Installing plinth blocks?


I'm nearly finished installing all new interiors throughout my house and ready to begin installing new casing and baseboard. I'm using standard 2 1/2" colonial casing and will probably go with a simple beaded baseboard 3 1/4" high. I'd also like to install plinth blocks at the bases of the doors for a more finished look. The blocks will be plain #1 white pine stock cut to size. My question is what size to make them and how much reveal.

I was thinking that since I'm using 2 1/2" casing and 3 1/4" base that the plinth blocks should be 2 3/4" wide (leaving 1/8" reveal on each side) and 3 3/8" inches high in order to leave a 1/8" reveal above the top of the baseboard. If I stick to that, when the casing is centered on the plinth block with a 3/16" reveal on the jamb, the plinth block will leave 1/16" of the jamb revealed. Does that sound like it will look right?

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Old 02-08-2009, 08:26 AM   #2
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Installing plinth blocks?


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If I stick to that, when the casing is centered on the plinth block with a 3/16" reveal on the jamb, the plinth block will leave 1/16" of the jamb revealed. Does that sound like it will look right?
sounds good to me.

If youre doing a lot of new molding, make yourself a reveal jig. Take a block of pine and make a 3/16 rabbet on all four sides. Trace this on all your jambs and you'll have perfect reveals through out the job

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Old 02-08-2009, 06:52 PM   #3
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Installing plinth blocks?


The main thing here is the eye, if it looks right to the eye then it is right,and I think you have it right.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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Installing plinth blocks?


Billy d's got the right idea. And when our eyes survey most anything, we are "conditioned" to expect heavier toward the bottom..... in this case both larger, thicker blocks than up higher, and also more of the block reveal protruding past the trim edge.

This concept should be carried right on through the grain of the blocks if you are finishing transparently (so the grain shows).

First, the grain should align with the structural direction of the associated pieces. In other words, the lower blocks would have vertical grain to align with the casing or with a column. And the upper blocks would have horizontal grain to align with the structural theme of the "carry-through" of the header piece.

To carry this further, the blocks with horizontally aligned grain should have the thicker, more closely stacked grain at the bottom, transitioning to the wider spaced, lighter grain toward the top.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
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Installing plinth blocks?


Badfish.....interesting question. Heres my take. If you use such a small plinth, why bother? They should be an architectural statement. So...I used the golden ratio to come up with a couple alternatives. One at 4 5/8" and the other 7 1/2". Use this method a lot when designing a piece of furniture and the proportions always work. Whats important is what looks good to you. Post pics when your done.

ps... do a couple mockups and see what looks good to you.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:22 AM   #6
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Installing plinth blocks?


12Penny,

You're gonna blow some minds with that Golden Ratio proportioning talk. But, I have to personally say I sure appreciate someone with an eye for artistic balance. You wouldn't believe some of the renderings that come across my desk... and from professionals who should know better.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 12penny View Post
Badfish.....interesting question. Heres my take. If you use such a small plinth, why bother? They should be an architectural statement. So...I used the golden ratio to come up with a couple alternatives. One at 4 5/8" and the other 7 1/2". Use this method a lot when designing a piece of furniture and the proportions always work. Whats important is what looks good to you. Post pics when your done.

ps... do a couple mockups and see what looks good to you.
Funny you should mention 4 5/8". I just measured the ones in my office and they're exactly that size. However, the baseboard trim is about 4 1/4" high, but it does look nice. I was planning on going with a smaller block because I was going to use a smaller baseboard. Maybe I'll go with a larger one.

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