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Old 08-11-2008, 08:00 AM   #1
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


So, after installing trim on 11 doors, I am willing to bet that I have wasted at least (4) 8', and (3) 12' pieces of trim by cutting it the wrong length. I have 3 more doors to do (actually, 1 full door and 1 side of another door). I wonder how many pieces I will waste?

When the system works, here is how I do the trim:
1. Measure interior width of door opening at top of door, add 8.5", then cut the top piece of trim to length, with a 45 at one end.
2. Line up the mitered end with the vertical reveal line, then mark the opposite miter at the opposite reveal line.
3. cut the 2nd 45 miter, install top piece of trim.
4. Measure from floor to top of top trim piece, add 1/2". Cut vertical trim piece at that length, with a 45 miter at one end.
5. Take trim piece and invert, such that miter is on floor, then mark the opposite end where it intersects the top of the top trim piece. Cut at mark, and install.
6. Repeat for opposite side.

Problem I have is that I will invert the vertical trim then mark the opposite end where the upper trim piece reveal line is. (why do I do that? I think that it goes back to when I first started this project and would try and install the verticals first! Of course, I was cutting the trim at the wrong length then as well!!! I would cross cut at that mark instead of adding the trim width. The steps above work very well. (When I can follow them!)

This drives me crazy!! as I said, I have ruined several pieces of trim doing this. Worse part (asside from the cost) is that the store is not right around the corner, it is 30 minutes away. Sheesh, the pile of castoffs is getting deep. Think that for the remaining three doors, I just need to slow down and take my time.

On a positive note, while the S.O. was out buying baby stuff, I was able to remove an old failed double hung window and install a new one, with trim before she got home. So that got me a few browny points.

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Old 08-11-2008, 09:08 AM   #2
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


When casing doors and windows, I install my verticals first. I never measure. I hold them in place and mark the cut location at the jamb stock reveal. Once cut, I just pin them with a nail at the bottom and the middle. Leaving the tops loose lets you adjust 1/6" here and there. Then I cut a miter on one side of the top piece and hold it upside down in position. Holding it upside down allows me to mark the outer edge of the casing, which is the long end of the miter. I use biscuits and glue to join the top and sides at the miters, and hold it with a couple 18ga brads. Everything else is nailed with a 16ga nailer.

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Old 08-11-2008, 03:27 PM   #3
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


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Originally Posted by javan View Post
.....Problem I have is that I will invert the vertical trim then mark the opposite end where the upper trim piece reveal line is. (why do I do that? I think that it goes back to when I first started this project and would try and install the verticals first! Of course, I was cutting the trim at the wrong length then as well!!! I would cross cut at that mark instead of adding the trim width. The steps above work very well. (When I can follow them!)
This drives me crazy!! as I said, I have ruined several pieces of trim doing this. Worse part (asside from the cost) is that the store is not right around the corner, it is 30 minutes away. Sheesh, the pile of castoffs is getting deep. Think that for the remaining three doors, I just need to slow down and take my time....
Don't worry about it. Everyone, and I mean everyone that starts installing casing and trim constantly cuts the pieces & angles backwards. Even I did it (when I first started as a newbi). Every new guy does it for the first several jobs. It's confusing for newbis.

I don't do it anymore (er, well....once in a while, if I am not paying attention, or someone is talking to me...).

When you gain more experience with installing trim work, you will, shall I say, get "in the zone", and start to "visualize" the areas, as you are cutting the pieces. When you do that, you are always aware of the directions of your angled cuts, and the mistakes are few.

Don't fret, it just happens to everyone, when you are starting out.

Tip: When you are getting ready to cut your trim, Write the measurement on the backside of the section to be cut. You can also use the abbreviation LP (long point) or SP (short point).

Also, if you plan on painting the trim, you can draw a light line (at the angle of the cut you want to make = OR ), to also remind you of the direction that you want to cut in.
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Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 08-11-2008 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:47 PM   #4
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Also, if you plan on painting the trim, you can draw a light line (at the angle of the cut you want to make = OR ), to also remind you of the direction that you want to cut in.
I always mark the off-fall piece with a slash mark in the direction of the miter. It has saved me a lot of wood over the years!
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:19 PM   #5
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


I like to draw a line in the direction of the cut as a reminder and write the length on the back of the piece also. Can't even guess the number of times I cut a backwards miter of cut an inch short when I started adding trim work to the work I offer. Crown mold...........we won't even go there! Remember, measure twice and cut once. Don't beat yourself up.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:10 PM   #6
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


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Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
Also, if you plan on painting the trim, you can draw a light line (at the angle of the cut you want to make = OR ), to also remind you of the direction that you want to cut in.
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I always mark the off-fall piece with a slash mark in the direction of the miter. It has saved me a lot of wood over the years!
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:54 AM   #7
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


Yes, I also put a small line in the direction of the mitre. I do not write the measurement since I rarely measure. I mark my boards for cutting. Leaves less room for error, and I find it more accurate. I also put an X on the side I'm leaving.

it really sucks when you cut somethign backwards and then bring in the piece that was supposed to be scrap and go to hold it in place but it's completely backwards and not the right size at all.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:19 AM   #8
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


With trim, I only measure to get the piece in a rough size so that I can mark it for cutting.

Honestly, I think that my biggest problem now is rushing. I am trying to get all this done before the baby comes in later October, and I have a lot left to do. Plus the "shop" is in the basement, so it is countless trips up and down the stairs, therefore I will try and combine trips whenever possible.

Just have to be more aware is all!
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:42 AM   #9
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


what I do is mark out my reveal around the top and side corners of the jambs. I Always install the head piece first, that how I was taught 45 years ago. never taking out a ruler. then I cut my angle on the headpiece bring it over to the door and mark for the other angle. and cut this . I always cut two, one for inside and one for outside. they will be the same if your jambs are square. Once, cut I then install the HEAD first. then bring my casing (pre cut 7') over to the door stand it in place and flip it around so the face is facing the wall and the thicker part of the casing is against the headpiece and mark the top of the side of the casing even with the top of the head casing. knowing that these cuts are always going to be the long point of the cut, move your miter saw to the proper angle and split the line with your cut, bring the piece over to the door glue miter and install. take your hammer and tap the top side casing into the headpiece to close up the gap. Don't cut the front side casing the same as the inside unless the floor is even from that room to the other room. Good luck BOB.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


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With trim, I only measure to get the piece in a rough size so that I can mark it for cutting.

Honestly, I think that my biggest problem now is rushing. I am trying to get all this done before the baby comes in later October, and I have a lot left to do. Plus the "shop" is in the basement, so it is countless trips up and down the stairs, therefore I will try and combine trips whenever possible.

Just have to be more aware is all!
Read the post above, you will cut down on your trips.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:11 PM   #11
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


Thanks buletbob I might revise my method a little

Also, javan. Don't rush! You'll end up taking more time in the end fixing stupid mistakes. Aside from actually taking more time in the end, you won't be as satisfied with the final result because you probably took some shortcuts or say "good enough" on a lot of things that aren't really. you'll regret it later when you're done and looking over your work.

When they say slow and steady wins the race, it applies here very well.

Trying to go fast will just make things worse, trust me I've learned this lesson many times over. Speed comes with experience, not rushing.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:59 PM   #12
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


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...I Always install the head piece first, that how I was taught 45 years ago...
Ha, ha...me too. I know that standard installation is always the sides first. But I prefer top first, then the sides cut to fit snug to the floor.

Like KCT, I always "float" my mitered ends on the top casing, to allow for minor adjustment when butting to the side casing pieces.

As far as biscuiting joints. I believe in this procedure, if the project warrants it....Time = $$. Some projects demand it (high end install with high end materials), some don't (Cost efficient install, with basic trim materials).
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:46 PM   #13
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


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Ha, ha...me too. I know that standard installation is always the sides first. But I prefer top first, then the sides cut to fit snug to the floor.



As far as biscuiting joints. I believe in this procedure, if the project warrants it....Time = $$. Some projects demand it (high end install with high end materials), some don't (Cost efficient install, with basic trim materials).
Right on. You just can't teach a old dog new tricks. I totally agree with you it depends on the type of job.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:48 AM   #14
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


I always put it up like buletbob. Take a sliding square and mark my reveal a few places on the jamb. I always cut the side pieces a hair long in case I have to adjust the miter a little. When the miter is right then cut the excess off the bottom. Especially if I am recasing an old jamb that may not be square. Another thing I do is take a utility knife and trim a little out of the back of the miter so that the face stays tight even if the wall is a little uneven. A little glue on the joint and then nail it up. I always cross nail the top corners with some small brads. One thing you might find to make it easier is to do all the tops first, then all the rights and then all the lefts. You don't need to change your saw around that way. Don't feel bad. It all comes with experience. That's the thing you get just after you need it. My son-in-law can't grasp the concept of mitering. You should have seen the scrap pile when we sided the gable end of his house.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:25 AM   #15
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Interior Door Trim (am I the only one that does this?)


Again, as stated above, I install the "head" first, then the sides. The problem is rushing, and on the several occasions, marking the length off by lining up with bottom of the head, rather than the top. Honestly, the 1st time I did it, I though "how dumb". But to do it several times on one project? 'Oy!

Fortunately, I have only 4 more verticals to install!

Side question on this though. When installating the casing for a closet. Do you typically install the same material inside the closet, or go for something cheaper?

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