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Installing a colonial door casing


Doors can be trimmed out with the same traditional components that are shown for windows or they can be trimmed with simple colonial casing boards, which is the standard approach for most new houses. The biggest difference between the two is that this system features mitered joints where the leg and head casings meet. Clam shell” moldings, sometimes called “ranch” moldings, are a common alternative to colonial trim boards. These boards are ever plainer than colonial stock and are best for modern interiors.
 

Step 1. Begin by marking a standard reveal on the edge of the head and side jambs. This reveal is usually 1/ 8 or 3/16 in. It doesn’t matter which one, just be sure to use it consistently on all jambs. Tighten the blade of the square at the reveal dimension and use it and a pencil to mark the reveals.

 

Step 2. Cut a miter on one end of the head casing board. Then hold it in place and mark the other end where it intersects with the reveal mark on the side jamb. Use a sharp pencil to get the most accurate results.

 

Step 3. Tack nail the head casing to the head jamb by driving a 4d finishing nail at both ends of the board. Leave these nail heads exposed so the nails can be pulled easily if necessary. Then cut a miter on one end of a side casing board, set the miter end on a piece of scrap casing (inset).

 

Step 4. Mark the length of the side casing board by running a pencil across the top edge of the head casing. Cut the board to length, and test fit the joint with the head casing. Modify the side casing cut, as necessary, to make a tight miter joint.

 

Step 5. Spread a small amount of wood glue across the miter cuts on both casing boards. Smooth the glue using your finger or a small disposable brush. Then place the side casing against the jamb, and press it up against the head casing.

 

Step 6. Nail the side and head casing boards securely to their jambs and the framing members inside the wall. Then drive a nail through the side casing board into the top casing to lock the miter together.

Step 7. Drive all the nailheads about 1/8 in. below the surface using a hammer and nail set Fill these holes with wood filler. Then once the filler is dry, sand it flush to the surrounding surface.

 

Smart tip

MARK ONCE

AS A GENERAL RULE, YOU ARE BETTER OFF DIRECTLY MARKING THE SIZE OF A TRIM PIECE RATHER THAN MEASURING ITS LENGTH. WHENEVER YOU MEASURE AND MARK A PIECE FOR LENGTH, THERE IS AN INEVITABLE DEGREE OF VARIATION IN THE WAY THE DIMENSION IS TRANSFERRED TO THE WORK PIECE. BY MARKING THE SIZE OF A PIECE DIRECTLY IN ITS ULTIMATE LOCATION, YOU REDUCE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR CARELESS ERRORS.
 

 

 

 

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