Making my own trim for my windows

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Forum topic by Illinoiswoodworker posted 04-09-2013 12:26 AM 1148 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 2398 days

04-09-2013 12:26 AM

I am making my own trim for my windows.

My question is regarding the jambs. The wall around the window is not flat. So, I have to make a decision whether to cut the jambs even to below the wall or even to above the wall.
Previously, I have done this with pine trim that was easily flexed so I scribed the jambs and was able to follow the wall to make the face trim to lay flat.
With solid oak trim I don’t think that I will be able to utilize that method.

If I cut the jambs even to below the wall surface I can cut the back out and it will lay semi flat.

If I cut the jambs even to above I can cut a rabbit to allow the trim to lay semi flat.

Is it better to be above or below with the jambs?

-- I love the smell of red oak in the morning..........

5 replies so far

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3790 days

#1 posted 04-09-2013 12:35 AM

Set the jambs so that they’re even with the wall where there’s the greatest difference. Then use a block plane (because it’s so short) to plane the high spots flush with the wall. It goes a lot quicker than you may think. Rabbeting would be a difficult job and would result in uneven reveal of the edge of the casing.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2457 days

#2 posted 04-09-2013 01:41 AM

from a production view. In trimming houses my experience is to #1 pre finish the trim, jambs, and walls #2 cut the jambs to an average. if the highest is 2 3/4 and the lowest is 2 3/8 cut it at 2 9/16 #3 install the jambs with the cut side towards the window. #4 take a smooth faced hammer and flatten the high spots in the drywall so the casing will sit flat as possible. keeping the hammer marks behind where trim will cover #5 take test cuts of trim and make sure the miters fit. may not be 45, but should be darn close #6 cut casing, use a stain pen/stain on a rag to darken the cut miter joint and so the cut wood is the same color as the face, make a box by pinning the corners with an 18 GA brad gun then tack the top and adjust as necessary and pin it to the jambs first. if the window is way out of wack you may have to trim it one piece at a time. In this case start with the head and then hang the sides only nailing them about half way down, then pin the bottom to the sides in the corners and adjust the reveal as needed. #7 when nailing the trim to the wall stay around 6-8” away from the corners to help the miters from blowing apart

There may be some small gaps at the wall, but line between the trim and wall will hide most irregularities. If you have a gap that you are just not happy with then caulk it and wipe the trim clean with a wet rag (this is where pre-finishing the trim is key the caulk will wipe clean)and paint the caulk the wall color it will never show. even new houses are whoppered and as terrible as this sounds it has become industry standard to do your best and some times just cover up the worst. I stand behind my quality/work and remember you will always be your worst critic.

View runswithscissors's profile


3072 posts in 2534 days

#3 posted 04-09-2013 06:49 AM

I had a similar problem with the crown at the top of kitchen cabinets where the old plaster ceiling was wonky. You couldn’t tell until the crown was up there. So instead of trying to back out the crown to fit the ceiling, I used Red Devil “One Time” lightweight spackle to fill the voids. Fortunately, the ceiling was white, but it could also be tinted to match your wall color. You can’t even tell this was done unless you get really close.

And if a visitor starts squinting too closely at my workmanship, I distract him by doing card tricks or challenging him to a duel.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Illinoiswoodworker's profile


36 posts in 2398 days

#4 posted 04-11-2013 04:35 PM

Just to make sure we are on the same page. Are you talking about the perimeter of the window when you are saying to split the difference between the high and low? Or are you referring to just one side?

-- I love the smell of red oak in the morning..........

View Illinoiswoodworker's profile


36 posts in 2398 days

#5 posted 04-15-2013 01:52 AM

I have the trim all cut and tweaked to fit all my windows and doors.

It worked really well to make the jambs as one solid unit. It took a lot longer but it will make installation easier. I dadoed the horizontal pieces (styles??) into the vertical pieces. It made for a very solid unit.

The face trim was a real Biatch however. My drywaller (me) didn’t do think about the trim as he slapped on the mud.

I’ll send pics when I get everything up. It will take me a while though. I am getting my spray booth built and my spray gun figured out.

-- I love the smell of red oak in the morning..........

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