Learn how to get tight miters and crisp details when casing doors and windows, running baseboard, and putting up crown molding. Trim Carpentry and Built-Ins shows you how to get professional results with all of your common trim projects. Among the latest in Taunton's Build Like a Pro series, Trim Carpentry and Built-Ins is filled with trade secrets and tried-and-true methods from carpenter and author Clayton DeKorne's 25 years in the industry. Detailed instructions with hundreds of photos and drawings can help you overcome challenges like out-of-square walls, floors, and ceilings. You'll also learn how to design and build custom built-in bookcases and cabinets to enhance any room in the house.
This book brings you:
professional tips and trade secrets for installing trim with precision
advice on common trim projects, including window and door casing, baseboards, crown molding, and wainscoting
detailed instructions for built-in bookcases and cabinets
About the author Clayton DeKorne worked alongside his tradesman father until he became a full carpenter at age 17. Over the next decade, he advanced from lead carpenter to trim contractor before taking a position as senior editor at the Journal of Light Construction and later as founding editor of Tools of the Trade. He lives in Burlington, Vermont.
Table Of Contents
How to Use This Book
1. Project Planning Sketching a Design Material Take-Offs Pricing Materials
2. Trim Materials Choosing Finish Lumber Choosing Millwork
3. Trimming Windows Trim Styles Jamb Extensions Picture-Framing a Window Traditional Casing
7. Materials for Built-Ins Plywood Composite Panel Stock
8. Basic Bookshelves Bookshelf Design Building Cases Installing Bookshelves
9. Built-In Cabinets Designing Cabinets Building Cabinet Cases Drawer Construction Countertops Doors
This book is written for anyone interested in becoming a good carpenter. I have set out to provide readers with a sense of what to expect when they gather the tools and materials to undertake an interior trim job. I have poured into these pages my insights about how materials behave over time, collected design details that will look good over the long term, and disclosed many trade tips that other professional carpenters have shared with me during the past 25 years.
Carpentry books often fail, I think, when they try to cover every conceivable way to accomplish a task. The result is a mass of information that is boiled down into neat but irrelevant categories or tucked into bland generalities that wander away from the actual experience of completing a carpentry job. In this volume, I have tried to avoid giving too much general information. Instead, I've focused on a few methods that have worked well for me as a professional trim carpenter.
Trim carpentry, as I address it here, refers to any kind of interior woodwork in a house, including door and window casings, baseboards, crown and ceiling moldings, wainscoting and other wooden wall paneling, cabinets, and built-in furniture. This book covers most types of 'finish' woodwork -- the carpentry details that are addressed before the painting and decorating begins. This book does not include specific details about the installation of doors and windows (which are better handled as part of the building envelope) or stairways (which are complex enough to comprise an entire book).
Overall, this edition focuses on the mechanics of how trim fits together. However, I feel strongly that no carpentry work can ever be separated from design or from building science. Carpenters must constantly make aesthetic decisions concerning proportion, scale, texture, color, and pattern, and like every other aspect of the trade, successful trim design is the result of conscious, informed effort, not accident. Equally important, carpentry is always closely tied to the physical properties of wood, which govern how it behaves in a changing environment. Wood trim mechanics must always be addressed from the perspective of dimensional stability. How much a board moves dictates how tight a joint will remain.
With this in mind, I hope that anyone interested in becoming the best carpenter possible strives to become a student of the house building trades, including mechanics, aesthetics, and science in equal measure. When you understand carpentry, there are no strict boundaries among these perspectives -- they are each part of a whole way of thinking that is inseparable from the actual work. Above all, carpentry requires a way of thinking about the constructed world that cannot be learned in a book. At some point, a reader must pick up the tools and actively work with the materials. At that point, I hope the principles and methods described here will make that practice a richer experience.
As you read this book, bear in mind that I have written it from the perspective of a professional carpenter, adopting a 'trade' perspective that equally values production and quality. Quality is always a relative term. You can go nuts with quality in carpentry. I have done jobs for customers who actually inspected miter joints with a magnifying glass and for others who didn't particularly care what the joinery looked like, as long as they could list 'natural hardwood trim' in a rental advertisement. Doing each job 'well' meant discerning completely different levels of quality.
The balance between production (getting the job done as efficiently and inexpensively as possible) and quality (executing it as elegantly and precisely as possible) sets a baseline for building practice. It's a baseline that works equally well for aspiring carpenters who wish to pursue the trade for its own sake and for homeowners who want the work they do to last for the next generation. That said, I feel confident that the methods described in this book will allow you to satisfy that person holding the magnifying glass, be it yourself, your supervisor, or your customer. But more important, the methods described here will allow you to get the work done.
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