Finish Carpentry Tips

Table Saw Horses

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Raised work surface

I’m not the tallest person around but I’m smart enough to not want to hunch over a set of sawhorses all day

Submitted by @selectaprime

A post shared by Don Challis (@don_challis) on Nov 13, 2017 at 12:16pm PST

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Shim a little bit

This is one operation that I won’t do without a sacrificial fence in place. You’re not going to hang doors with these shims but they are indispensable when setting treads and risers. A little bit of shim between the stringer and the tread to level it or the same with a riser makes all the difference. The same thing can be done to cut large shims for a housed stair.

Submitted by Don Challis (@don_challis)

A post shared by Modern Oak Construction (@modern_oak) on Nov 29, 2016 at 5:18pm PST

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Your legs are numbered

You know you're OCD when you number your table saw legs in the order they should be collapsed so it will ride in the rolling toolbox correctly.

Submitted by Andy Moore (@modern_oak)

Miter Together

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Pre-packaged problems?


Most kitchen cabinet packages come with pre-finished crown molding. In my experience much of this molding is of varying sizes (+ or - 3/16"). This means when you make your miters on different lengths and try and join them together, there is no way to get the miter to line up perfectly. On a pre-finished product such as this, you can't sand down or caulk the imperfection and the supplied touch up kits don't always match the paint color exactly. This method helps overcome this problem to some degree. I cut the two miters as close together as possible on the same piece of molding, especially on outside miters where it is most obvious.

Submitted by Zach Dettmore (@dettmore101)

A post shared by I'm From Japan (Tomo) (@tomohisajinno) on Nov 28, 2017 at 1:54pm PST

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Old carpenter trick

Customer asked me to fix newly installed “haunted” plantation shutters.  Old carpenter trick save the day!

Submitted by (@tomohisajinno)

Carrot Mark

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Make a carrot

This is one of those little things that make a big difference. When you have a skirt exactly where it needs to be it needs to be able to go back into that exact same spot. Mark a carrot on the wall and the skirt with a line on the wall. If you need to sand the top still just transfer the carrot to the back side of the board. Transfer it back to the top, but lightly to make it easier to get rid of after install.

Submitted by Don Challis (@don_challis)

A post shared by Lundgren/TrimCorp (@lundgren.trimcorp) on Oct 7, 2017 at 8:34pm PDT

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Get Jiggy With It

Depending on your specific situation, a jig can make things a lot easier. Here's a video of me explaining one of my methods.

Submitted by Paul Lundgren (@Lundgren.Trimcorp)

Trim Clamps

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All Clamped Up

When I glue up my miters I like to use some tape to help keep the alignment spot on. Then I use one or more Collins clamps to hold the miter tight while the glue sets ups!

Submitted by Brandon Adams & Co. (@revolutionbuildersltd)

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Slick Miter

The fronts of these treads have to have a good clean miter on them. The hold down block on the fence helps keep the material from rising up

Submitted by (@Don_Challis)