A while back, we published a post about selecting douglas fir lumber from the odd lot section at our local lumber yard to use for window trim. That lumber sat for a while in the basement while we worked on other projects.
We (or should I say the husband) decided it was finally time to get to work on it. It went something like this: “The lamps, the pillows are nice and everything, but maybe you 3 could work on some projects that will get the house done.” He’s so practical (and right).
Just as a reminder, we had 9 windows without trim. The windows came from Loewen, a company from Canada. They make beautiful SDL (simulated divided light) windows – you can check out their website. One thing they do in their fir windows is mix a vertical grain (vg) fir with a less costly flat grain to make them more affordable. To save costs, that is what our plan entailed as well for the trim and we saved even more money by going to the odd lot section. We told ourselves that we would be ok with imperfections such as knots, and once everything was up, the knots did just become a natural part of the window.
Here is one example of window sans trim:
Our craftsman trim design was pretty simple – we talk about it in our post Installing Door Trim. Window trim has 4 different parts: head casing, side casings, stool, and apron. Our plan was to use 5/4″x6″ for the headers and the stools and 1″x4″ for the side casings and aprons. The 5/4″ dimension is a great option for the head casing because it creates dimension and a nice shadow line against the 1″x4″ side casings.
- Sort and label the wood into 3 batches: stools and headers (5/4″x 6″), side casings (1″x4″), and aprons (1″x4″).
- Measure (working around imperfections of odd-lot lumber) and rough-cut the wood an inch or 2 longer than we needed.
- Final measure/cut, finish and install stools.
- Final measure/cut, finish and install head casings.
- Final measure/cut/fit and finish and install side casings.
Sanding/Finishing Window Trim
For sanding, we used a random orbital sander and started with 100 grit and moved to 150 grit. We used a block sander for better control for the eased edges. For finishing, we used Daly’s Benite for conditioning, then hand sanded with 220 grit and used 3 coats Daly’s Satin Profin for finishing, hand sanding lightly with 220 grit between each coat.
The stools went on first. Husband Dave nicely offered to cut them as it involved ripping the 5/4″ x 6″s on the table saw (I’m not really comfortable with the table saw, I’ve seen a lot of people that have had fingers go missing after using a table saw and I’m really accident prone). He came up with a clever (I think!) solution to cleanly and invisibly attach the stools to the existing window frame. To create the stools, he ripped the 5/4″ lumber to the correct width and cut them to correct length on the chop saw. Then he used a router to create a channel in both the edge of the stool and the edge of the window frame. Then he cut a “spline”, a strip of strong, good quality, 1/4″ birch plywood and inserted/glued the spline to the stool. When that was dry, he glued and clamped the “splined” stool onto the frame. It is really strong and there are no attachments to be seen. While it was clamped, he wiped off the excess glue with a damp rag.
Headers, side casings and aprons
After going through a somewhat complicated process of cutting, measuring, fitting, cutting, finishing – all involving running up and down the stairs and swearing every once in a while – we used the nail gun to install the trim.
Click on the images below to see a slideshow of the completed windows. We still need to caulk the gap between the casings and the wall and fill in the nail holes with wood putty, but that will be later. Much later. Do you have any projects you are putting off?
See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.
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