Trim & Baseboard Installation

Trim Tips

Outside and Inside Corner

  • Measure around room and round up to calculate how much trim to buy.
  • Purchase long lengths to avoid splicing and reduce waste.
  • If you must splice try to use trim with similar grain & colour.
  • If using a light coloured stain match wood grains.
  • Fit outside miters first.
  • Inside miters are next.
  • Cope joints.
  • Against doorframes trim should butt up against it.
Installing Baseboards – Coped Corners

Coped Joint

  • Cut baseboard pieces to approximate lengths (a little extra on each) and put in place.
  • Holding trim against an inside corner mark the length of the other end (the outside corner). Using a steel miter box cut the baseboard (clamp the baseboard down to ensure accuracy).
  • Using finishing nails, nail into the wall stud. Counter sink the nails with a nail set so they don’t show.
  • On the inside corner (butt the next piece of trim up against the existing trim from second step) you will cope this end to fit against the other piece of trim.
  • To cope this joint you need to trace the shape of the trim and cut it out so this piece will fit snugly against the other.
  • Place the trim against the wall, at the opposite end of the coped joint mark where the next cut will be, make it a little longer to allow for any fitting or adjustments.
  • Bowing the trim slightly (because it is a bit long) fit the trim into place and release. The slightly oversize length will make the coped joint fit snugly against the other trim. Nail in place.
  • Using finishing nails, nail into the wall stud. Counter sink the nails with a nail set so they don’t show.
  • Against doorframes trim should butt up against it.
  • If trim isn’t long enough to cover a whole wall two or more pieces of trim can be spliced together, to do this you must make a scarf joint.
  • A scarf joint is an angled cut that is 8 times longer than the height. Cut both pieces on the same angle, fit together, and sand to make sure of a tight fit. Glue together and clamp until dry.

Scarfed Joint

Mitered Corners

Mitered Corners

  • Cut baseboard pieces to approximate lengths (a little extra on each) and put in place.
  • Starting on an inside corner cut the end at a 45-degree angle using a steel miter box (clamp the baseboard down to ensure accuracy). On inside corners the 45-degree cuts will expose the end grain; on outside corners the end grain will be towards the wall.
  • Holding miter cut trim against the inside corner, mark the length of the other end (the outside corner) and cut on a 45-degree angle.
  • Using finishing nails, nail into the wall stud. Counter sink the nails with a nail set so they don’t show.
  • Continue throughout room.
  • Trim should butt up against doorframes.
  • If trim isn’t long enough to cover a whole wall two or more pieces of trim can be spliced together, to do this you must make a scarf joint.
  • A scarf joint is an angled cut that is 8 times longer than the height. Cut both pieces on the same angle, fit together, and sand to make sure of a tight fit. Glue together and clamp until dry.

Scarfed Joint


Joining Handrails

Joining Handrails

To join any handrail part to a straight rail, as at Section A, use an HW105 hanger bolt. When using an up or down easement, either between straight rail and a handrail part (as in the drawing which shows an H31 up easement with an H4 small symmetrical volute), or between two sections of rail, (e.g. when making a gooseneck), the other face of the easement is simply joined with the two 3” x #12 wood screws as shown.

To insert the bolt, the following tools are required:

  • Drill
  • 1-1/8” , ½ & ¼ drill bits.
  • ½” closed wrench

In the straight rail to be joined, drill a 1-1/8” hole in the recess for the filler strip, 1-1/2” in from the end. Drill as deep as possible but take care not to let the point of the drill come through the rail. (If using a speed bit, it may be necessary to file the point down to a stub.)

Then, with the ½” bit, drill from the center of the joint face in the position shown, through to the hole just drilled. A ¼” hole, 2” deep, is made in the corresponding position on the handrail part. The hanger bolt is screwed into this.

Dry assemble the two parts and check that you can get the washer onto the bolt as shown. When gluing together, align the parts carefully while tightening nut. The 1-1/8” hole will be hidden by the filler strip.

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