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Fit and Trim: Dressing Up Doors and Windows

Room Remodeling: Door and Window Trim

Windows and doors are like pictures on the wall. As such, the same considerations that go into picture frames should also go into the moldings around these doors and windows. Dress them up with some fancy or unusual moldings, but don't stop with the selection available from the local lumberyard. Select the design and wood you want by creating your own moldings.

Here's how:

Plan your trim. Decide what kind of trim you want. Window trim that meets with the stool is called conventional framing. Choose between mitered corners at the top or use corner blocks. Corner blocks allow you to butt join the trim. This is an easy way to add a decorative treatment to the framing. Around the doors the trim goes to the floor or joins with a block of wood (plinth) at the baseboard. The method of treating windows with no stools is called picture framing. Remember: When measuring for mitered framing, add twice the width of the stock to the length of each frame member.

Design the contours. Use molding knives from the molding attachment as templates to draw the contours you want. Then, move knives into various positions to get different contours. Keep in mind that the contours on the knives are slightly longer than the actual cut. Remember that the table saw can be used for bevels and chamfers, and the lathe can be used for turning the corner blocks on screw centers. Plan on making extra trim to avoid duplicating machine setups.

Prepare stock. First, rip all stock to width. Use only straight, true and clear stock for your moldings. Ponderosa pine, fir, poplar, walnut, oak, cherry, mahogany and butternut have all been used extensively in finish carpentry work.

After ripping the stock to width, cut the 1/8-in. deep relief in the back using the 1-in. blank knife set of the molding attachment or use the Dado attachment. This relief will allow you to adjust to inconsistencies between the wall and the door or window jamb.

Mold the trim. Set up the Mark V with the molder head in place. Use scrap stock to locate the proper settings for your table and fence.

click to see larger viewUse the molding jig to make this operation easier and safer. If you Counterbore for the bolt heads on both sides of the fence, you'll be able to attach it on either side of the rip fence for use on the left or right side of the table.



For narrow trim, mold the edge of a wide board then saw the part off that you want. Be sure to use push blocks, and feather boards at all times on these operations.

Install the trim. Use the Mark V as a cut-off and miter saw. Use finish nails to attach the molding and use a nail set to countersink the nails. Fill the nail holes with wood putty and apply the finish of your choice.

For further reading: Thomas H. Jones, "All About Moldings,"Mechanix Illustrated, May 1983, pp. 51-55.
From Tree to Trim, Western Wood Molding and Millwork Producers, P.O. Box 25278, Portland, OR 97225.

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