In Part 1 of this article, we reviewed the details of casing joinery and how to measure for new casing around a door frame. We also reviewed the necessary cut list, so that you can cut your casing right the first time. In Part 2, we’ll move on to the details of baseboard.
Chapter 2: Part 2
A serial publication of excerpts from Trim Made Simple by Gary Katz
Training techniques for apprentice carpenters and serious DIYers
Preparing the Jamb
Measuring, marking, and cutting molding takes patience. Proper jamb and wall preparation takes patience, too. In fact, the more care you take preparing the jamb and the wall for new casing, the easier, more rewarding, and better the job will be. To speed the process, always use the right tools in the proper sequence.
|1. Cut caulk joint. Use a sharp utility knife, angled between the wall and the casing, to cut through old caulking and paint. That’s the first step in breaking the casing loose.|
|2. Work 5-in-1 tool. A 5-in-1 tool is a hybrid scraper/prybar/can-opener and is a must for removing moldings. Rock the sharp, stiff blade back and forth, working it under the casing.|
|3. Wiggle in small prybar. Use the 5-in-1 tool to lift the molding away from the wall just enough to wiggle in the small prybar. Then work the tools in opposite directions—use one to pry against the molding; use the other to pry against the wall.|
|5. Clean wall. Cut or remove all nails with wire cutters or pliers, then scrape clean any caulking or paint buildup using the 5-in-1 tool.|
I frequently install new casing without changing the baseboard. When the new casing is wider than the old casing, the baseboard must be cut back farther from the jamb. That cut must be perfectly straight, at exactly the right distance from the jamb. If the baseboard isn’t very tall, I use a handsaw; if the baseboard is big and there are a lot of doors, I use a power tool.
|1. Mark baseboard. Use a short piece of casing to trace a line on the baseboard at exactly the right location. Be sure to allow for a reveal on the jamb—hold the casing 1/4 in. back from the edge of the jamb.|
3. Use a power tool. If your project involves more than ten doors, the Fein Multimaster is the ideal tool for cutting back baseboard. This power tool is very easy to control and cuts with little noise, dust, or vibration. The tool and the blades are expensive, but the Multimaster is handy for a variety of difficult chores, such as scraping adhesive, chipping out tiles, cleaning grout, or cutting metal, concrete, and drywall.
Keep an eye out for Part 3 of “Casing Doors,” coming soon from THISisCarpentry!