Inexpensive Window Trim

The windows in our house aren’t much to talk about. Just 36″ square vinyl windows in a typical ranch. I’m not sure how old they are as I know they aren’t original to the house, but were here when I bought it fifteen years ago. My wife, Anita, wanted to jazz them up a bit and give them some character, so she asked me to make trim to go around them.

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The first thing we did, was to take out the marble sill, which was the hardest part. Sometimes they get stuck inside the frame, so I had brake them apart in order for them to come loose. If I was lucky, I could cut the sealant around the sill and jimmy it loose.

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I made a new sill out of 7/8″ thick maple. I tried to get rift sawn material so it wouldn’t warp too bad. I cut notches on both sides of the sill so it would stick out on the wall so the 1×4’s could lay on top of it.

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We wanted the header to have character so we took a 1×6 of pine and attached a 1×2 on the top. We then laid a cove molding on the 1×6.

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Using my small miter box, I was able to cut the tiny pieces of cove for the ends.

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I then took a piece of pine 1/2″ thick and used my block plane to shape the corners and ends to create a bullnose. I pinned everything together  with my 18 gauge pneumatic nailer to complete the header.

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Back at the window, I measured, cut, and nailed the rest of the pieces to the wall using a 15 gauge finish nailer. I trimmed the maple sill so that there would be a 3/4″ overhang to sides on both ends.

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Here’s the close up of the header nailed to the wall. The 1/2″ thick bullnose hangs over 1/2″ on both sides of the frame.

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After filling the nail holes with putty, Anita caulked, primed, and painted the window trim. We did both windows in our bedroom the same way. The next step is to frame around the closet, paint the room, get a new headboard, new blinds, ceiling fan, rug, etc… I don’t know, ask Anita, she’s the designer. haha

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Building a Shed Part X

The same weekend it was too hot to work on the shed, was the same weekend I built the corbels. I sell to 26 Lowe’s and 14 Home Depot’s in the Cincinnati-Dayton area, and in all those stores, only one of them carried cedar 2 x 4’s. So, I’m lucky to be building these corbels out of cedar instead of douglas fir. I glued two cedar 2 x 4’s together to give me a post 3″ thick. I then cut the posts to 25″, 25″ and 46″.

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I sized the 25″ long posts to two 12″ lengths. I then built a sled for my table saw so I could cut one of the ends to a 45 degree chamfer. The stop on the sled made sure all the cuts were the same on each side.

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Flipping the post over with each cut, I quickly made the soft point for the front of the corbels.

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I made eight of these pieces. Two of the eight, I will save for a trellis that I will build over the side window.

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I then took the 46″ long pieces and cut them to 12″ long with 45 degree cuts on each end.

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I got lucky with my first post as I was able to avoid a large knot in the middle.

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The woodworking Gods were with me that day as I was able to avoid another large knot on the other post.

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I wanted a 45 degree chamfer on the bottom of the back of the corbels, so I moved the stop over on my sled and reattached it in the proper place.

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Using exterior wood glue, 3″ deck screws and 1 1/2″ long, 1/4″ crown galvanized staples, I fastened the hell out of the corbels as I built them.

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Eight corbels are all the same. I took the best two corbels and set them aside for the trellis as it will be stained and not painted.

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When it cooled down, I fitted the corbels into the soffit. I used a level to accurately scribe where I needed to cut and then used my Fein Multi-Master to cut away the wood.

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As luck would have it, the width of my level was pretty much the correct location of where I needed to cut. I attached the corbels to the trim of the shed with 1 1/2″ long 15 gauge pneumatic nails.

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After a few minutes of work, one side of the shed was done.

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The shed is getting really close to being complete. We just need to build a platform in the front for a step, build and attach the trellis over the side window, build shelving inside, paint/stain the shed, add landscaping, and possibly add electric. Shit, we’re not that close after all. HAHA.

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Building a Shed Part IX

I’ve been as motivated to work while it’s 100 degrees as I was when it was 30 degrees, so the shed has been sitting the past few weeks acclimating to the sun. The good news is that it has given me time to work in my nice cool basement workshop building the doors and corbels. I bought ten more 8′ long 8″ wide siding and slid five of them together to figure out how much to cut off the end boards to make a nice centered door.

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After figuring how much to trim off the end boards, I clamped them together and stapled 4″ cedar trim across the top and bottom. I used 1/4″ crown galvanized staples 1 1/2″ long.

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I attached the sides and center rail the same way. I used a liberal amount of Titebond III exterior glue to help hold everything together.

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I flipped the door over and did the same thing on the other side. I left the door over hang the inside trim about 2″ so that the bottom of the door would be flush with the bottom of the siding. I attached one board on the back at the diagonal to strengthen the door.

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I built the other door exactly the same way with the only difference being the diagonal board was going the other way.

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After the weather cooled down a bit, I took the doors out to the shed to see how they fit. In a perfect world they would fit perfectly, however I don’t live in a perfect world and I’ve never built anything perfectly. So, I had to trim the doors down to size about 1/4″ and shave down one end about 1/8″ less than the top.

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After fiddling around with the doors, they fit well enough for me to be happy. I used large hand screw clamps and clamped the inside of the doors to the frame opening. I then attached three hinges per door while they were clamped.

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After they were hung, they stuck a little bit at the top. I grabbed my block plane and shaved away the tops of the doors so that they would open and close freely.

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Installing the locking handle was a breeze. A simple hole drilled through the door allowed the stem to pass through. I then attached the inside handle with a set screw.

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I needed the left door to stay put while the right door was locked, so I drilled a 5/8″ hole through the floor and used two-part epoxy to glue a small piece of 1/2″ copper pipe inside the hole.

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I then attached the door hardware to the left door so that the bar would fit nicely in the hole.

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I did the same thing for the top of the door except I used a 1/4″ copper coupler instead of a 1/2″ pipe.

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I trimmed out the inside of the door the same way I did with the windows. I took a 2 x 6 and ripped into three pieces that were 3/8″ thick by 2″ wide and attached them with finish nails.

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I’m happy with the way the doors turned out. Now on to the corbels.

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Building a Shed Part VIII

Moving forward with the shed, I installed the large fifteen pane window on the right side of the shed. Being so big and heavy, I screwed some scrap siding boards to the corners so I could lay the window in the frame and shim around the window until it was plum and square.

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With the window secure, I used scrap siding for the inside of the window frame and nailed it to the 2 x 4 framing.

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I then started to build the window trim by taking away one piece of the scrap wood and replacing it with 4″ wide cedar. I nailed it to the siding with 15 gauge galvanized finish nails. The bottom and top of the trim over hang the sides by 1″ on each side, with the top angled at 10 degrees. I then nailed a piece of cedar to the top for a little added detail.

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Putting up the trim was one of the easiest parts of building the shed so far. The cuts were simple and straight forward. Home Depot even had 3 1/4″ wide cedar boards so that I didn’t have to rip  4″ boards down to wrap the corners properly.

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I nailed the trim around the two front windows very much the same way as the side window.

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The only difference is that I had to cut a notch on the side trim boards to fit around the window sill. I had a follower tell me on my last post that I need to add a drip edge to the bottom of the sill to prevent water from going inside the shed wall. I’ll do that soon by either cutting a shallow groove or a gluing bead of wood underneath the bottom.

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Here’s a quick shot of the side finished with the trim. It’s starting to really look like a shed now. I just have to install three  corbels around the roof line and a cedar trellis above the window. Stay tuned.

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I wanted to work on the door frame, so I took two of the 2 x 6’s that I used to make the scaffolding and ripped them on the table saw.

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I cut almost half way through the wood on the table saw and then finished up the cut on the band saw.

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After they were ripped, I planed them down to 3/8″ on the planer. I only need one of the shorter boards so the other one will provide heat to make S’mores.

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I attached the boards to the inside of the front door frame. The boards did two things. First, it cleaned up the edges with a full piece of wood, especially on the top. The second is it kept the top trim of the door level with the top trim of the windows because I used 3/8″ wood to make the window frames as well.

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The trim has been installed around the door frame with a similar top detail in the middle. Now it’s on to make the two front doors.

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Installing Crown Molding

Last weekend I proceeded to work on the dining room by installing crown molding around the ceiling. I already built and installed bookcases that went on either side of the sliding glass doors a couple of weeks ago. Now I needed to complete the look by installing crown molding at the top.

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Before I began, I watched a YouTube video with Tom Silva of This Old House to give me the idea of how to cut the molding. The trick was flipping the board over and cut the trim upside down. Clamping a board on the saw table helped kept the trim at the proper angle.

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The molding around the bookcases wasn’t too bad as the sides were 90 degrees to each other. However, when I ran a piece down the one side of the dining room to the hallway, is when I got tripped up. I may be able to hand cut dovetails, but a trim carpenter I am not. I have no idea how they cope one end of the crown to fit perfectly, then make a perfect cut nine feet away to make a tight corner to a wall that is out of square. I gave it my best attempt and attached the crown to the wall. I then tried to figure out the other angle the other piece of trim would need to be to make the corner look nice. However, every cut I made was way off. I tried about a dozen times to make it work with no luck. I became so frustrated, that I decided to quit Saturday afternoon and reconsider continuing with the room or just take everything down except the crown around the bookcases.

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I woke up Sunday morning and decided to give it another shot. I messed around with the other side of the crown molding for a couple of hours until I was satisfied with how it looked. Below is a picture of the finished corner. I had to shave a lot of the molding away with rasps so each piece would match. I probably should have sanded the pieces better, but I was so frustrated with it I said “screw it”!

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Fitting the crown for inside corners was a bit tricky as well. Even after I coped the ends, I had to file the back of the molding so that it would fit in place. However, after practicing coping a few times, I got better at it.

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This was the final piece I cut to finish the job. It was a bit tricky as I had to cut the trim at the correct length as well as perfectly cope each end so everything fitted nicely.

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After everything was done, Anita started to apply the first coat of paint. Next I’ll be working on the chair rail and the faux wainscoting molding squares I made a couple of weeks ago. I’ll throw up a few pictures of the finished dining room and hallway when I’m done.

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Video of Making Trim

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was able to recreate trim that my wife wanted to put on our walls. I had some time this weekend to make all 36 pieces of trim each about 24″ long. It was fun making the trim, but after number twenty, it started to get old. Thankfully, it only took me a few minutes to cut the profile in the wood once I milled the rabbets into each side of the wood.

I decided to do a short video showing the process better than just showing it in pictures. Enjoy!

Making Faux Wainscoting Trim Molding

My wife, Anita, is planning on sprucing up our hallway by installing faux wainscoting on the walls. It’s a simple approach by installing chair rail and trim in a rectangular fashion down the wall.

We went to Lowe’s and Home Depot to find the type of trim to use for the rectangles. Unfortunately, there was nothing available in the trim section of each store. Then, we saw the special order trim display at Lowe’s of exactly what we were looking for. The only problem was that Lowe’s sells these pieces in pre-made rectangles which wouldn’t work for our hallway. I told Anita that I could probably make the trim with my molding planes, so I snapped a picture of it and went to work.

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I milled a piece of poplar 1/2″ thick x 1 1/8″ wide and drew the lines of the molding on the wood.

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I then planed a 3/8″ rabbet a 1/4″ deep on each side of the stock with a couple of rabbet planes.

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I then beveled the edges about 1/8″ with my block plane.

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After the bevels were created, I used a small palm gouge to chisel a shallow channel down both sides of the molding.

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This channel allowed my No 2 round molding plane a place to ride to create the cove on the sides.

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I then used a couple of hollow planes to create the bead on top of the molding. After the bead was created, I sanded the piece clean to remove any tool marks.

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The final step was to miter the piece to see how it looked. I used my small miter box and miter trimmer to create perfect 45 degree angles.

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I have to say, it’s pretty damn close to the display piece at Lowe’s. Now I’ll have to figure how many linear feet Anita will need to create the rectangular boxes down the hallway. I’m glad I figured out how to create the molding as it’s a bunch of fun to make.