How to scribe trim against a wall

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Strengthening trim joints with biscuits may seem like overkill, but it’s a great way to keep miters tight and prevent misalignment when you nail moldings to the wall. This tip is especially useful for larger casings, which are harder to hold in alignment. But you can add biscuits to just about any joint that’s wide enough to accommodate them. The photos show how.

You’ll need a biscuit joiner and some biscuits. If you’re not familiar with this tool, see How to Make a Biscuit Joint.

Cut and fit the miters first, then cut the biscuit slots. The second photo shows how to cut biscuits on a profiled molding. On new doors and windows that are perfectly square, some carpenters cut and assemble the casings with biscuits and nail the assembly to the wall after the glue dries. Or you can use the technique we show here and add the biscuits as you...

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With the possible exception of cabinets with crown molding, many installers butt upper cabinets to the ceiling without regard for any irregularities in the drywall or plaster. In addition, the top of the cabinet is trimmed with small hardwood molding that’s in contrast to a light ceiling finish. This accents any dips or unlevel sections of the ceiling. You can resolve this irregularity by creating the illusion of a uniform ceiling line. In most cases, the job takes a relatively short time to complete.

Work from a stepladder and remove the trim across the top of the cabinet with a wood chisel. Insert the tip of the chisel in the seam between the trim and face of the cabinet and pry the piece of trim loose. Remove any nails left behind with pliers.

Measure the removed piece of trim, or measure the top face frame of the cabinet from end to end. Cut a piece of 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch pine molding to this length with a miter saw or miter box and handsaw.

Position the...

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What Is Scribe Molding? When installing new cabinets in your home, you will face a dizzying array of choices: door styles, cabinet...

This scribe rail helps your kitchen cabinets sit flush against the rail rather than having ... What Is Scribe Molding? How to...

Cabinetmakers use scribing tools when installing cabinets on rock walls, composite walls or walls that are not square. ... How to Scribe...

Many types of molding are used to "dress up" a home and to add value. Shoe molding serves as a transition piece...

Traditional molding window casing can also have the added ornamentation of corner blocks. ... Another type of window trim is called the...

The base molding on kitchen cabinets is usually a small piece of quarter-round molding, stained or painted the same color as the...

The molding can be nailed to the cabinets and stained or painted any color you like. Does this Spark an idea? Other...

How to Scribe a Cabinet...

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In A Perfect World Of Straight. Plumb and Square You Wouldn’t Need Most Of These Finish Carpentry Tips.

Welcome to the real world of uneven corners, out of plumb walls, up and down floors and wouldn’t it be nice if the trades men before us actually had squares that were square.

Well the true craftsman has a way of dealing with all this kind of crap.

I found this great article over at The Home Handyman and I’d like to share the best finishing tips.

Close The Gap In Miter Joints

Here’s a trick few know about.

Image Source

“Problem: An open miter

This doorjamb protrudes a bit beyond the wall, and the result is that the trim can’t lie flat and the front of the miter joint can’t close.

Uneven walls or misaligned jambs make it hard to get tight-fitting miters. If your miter has a consistent gap at the front, there’s a good chance that putting a slight back bevel on both moldings will fix the problem. If you...

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Ever try to fit a counter top or even a piece of shelving flush against a wall? Chances are it didn't end up exactly right, probably because the wall wasn't straight or it was uneven. Either way, you were left with the choice of leaving that gap (and hoping no one would notice) or applying a bead of caulk to cover it. Experienced carpenters (who can fit things against walls) know the way to fit flush with a wall requires a simple technique called scribing. It's straightforward, easy to learn, and best of all, the tools don't cost much. Here's the basics on how you go about scribing to achieve a nice tight fit, and after a little practice, your work will look like it was done by a pro.

Scribing on a Counter Top

Start by aligning your work piece properly (i.e., be sure it's level), and position it as closely as possible to its final location. Place your compass so the point is against the wall while the pencil is aligned with the widest portion of the gap between the...

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Calculate how many 8-foot-long boards you can get from one sheet and use that to figure out how many sheets you will need to get enough board feet. (A plywood sheet is 4 feet wide, but keep in mind that a saw blade takes off 1/8 inch per rip.) You'll need at least 3 sheets for a 4-by-8-foot bookcase.

2. 5/4x4 TRIM

for masking plywood edges around the perimeter of the bookcase front. Measure the length of the two legs, plus the width of the case, then add 10 percent for waste.

3. 1x TRIM

to make nosing for the front of the shelves. For more support, use thicker stock. Take the length of one shelf and multiply it by the number of shelves (including the bottom shelf). Add 10 percent for waste.



for applying glue neatly to plywood edges


for nailing the supports in place

7. 2-INCH (6D) FINISH...

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Decide whether to miter or cope your inside corners.

For inside corners, the process of mitering is the same as it is for outside corners, except that the angles are reversed. But not all carpenters want to miter inside corners, because the corners are rarely perfectly square and the resulting joint can be sloppy.


If you're looking for a tighter fit or you're installing baseboards which won't take paint or additional caulking, learn how to

cut a traditional coped joint


/e/e9/Install Baseboards Step 9.360p.mp4

The process is actually fairly simple. Start with a 45° inside cut on the baseboard you want to cope. The other end of the baseboard won't need to be cut at all; the coped joint will simply cover up the remaining piece...
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Trimming a window correctly is one job that begins with good design and ends with proper technique, especially if the design is anything more elaborate than picture-framed casing. Stool forms the foundation for every piece of trim around a traditional window, so always begin with a dimensional drawing, even if it's a rough sketch, so you can calculate the length of the stool precisely. To create a pleasing design, make the outside of the window casing plumb with the ends of the window apron beneath the stool.

O.D. Of The Casing

To find the length of the stool, start by determining the O.D. of the casing (O.D. = outside dimension; I.D. = inside dimension). Measure the I.D. of...

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