Sunday, March 24, 2013

Eeyore Nails Up Trim

Where we came from (2003)
    After I got home from church early this afternoon, I stood in the hallway looking at the new casing for the doorway to the kitchen.  It looked-- off.    In fact, the right end of the head seemed to be sloping downwards.  But how could it?  The jamb pieces are exactly the same length.  The head piece is nailed into them square.   A check with the level-- several checks with the level.  Oops, it was true:  The right end of the head was a quarter inch lower than the left.

    Huh.  The new casing may be straight and level in itself, but that doesn't mean the floor is.  I guess this would explain why the righthand jamb trim seemed to extend 1/4" too high with the original notch.

    Knew I had to get that right side raised up or it would look hideous once the lintel was reinstalled.  Problem: the foot of the casing was wedged against the plywood over-floor.  Hard to pry it off without destroying the joint with the head piece and maybe tearing up some wood.  Possibility: I'd put only two nails in that jamb casing, and they were towards the top.  And flexible.  So I got the little pry bar in under the piece and jacked the assembly up (a flashlight revealed that the nails were bending).  Once it was high enough, I cut some pieces of paint stir stick and shoved two layers thereof under the bottom.  And one piece to go under the plinth to bring it up a bit.  Funny, that's all it took.  And interesting, too, that the enlarged notch in the face trim still seemed to be needed.

    So I got the casing secured in its new position and nailed the face trim up.  But for some reason, I simply could not get the wall trim at the end of the bench to snug up to it.  Still has the same damn gap.  Was it cut at an angle such that the back side is broader than the front?  I can't figure it out.  And I wasn't in the frame of mind to do any more sawing.

     Why?  Because Thursday something possessed me to decide that the lefthand face trim to the kitchen was about an eighth of an inch too tall.  And I cut it down.  And from the floor it looked fine, like it matched the portal trim perpendicular to it.  But when I got up on the stepstool to check where the top of the righthand face trim was hitting, I discovered that now the trim on the left was, yes, an eighth of an inch too short. 

    Good reason to keep the light levels down in that hall . . .

    On to the next bit.  Cut the shims to go under the long baseboard.   (No, wait, I did that before.  N'importe!)  Three quarters of an inch high to bring it up to meet the baseboard on the south wall.  Not for the first time am I giving thanks that the quarter round is a nice substantial 3/4" high.  And oh, boy, you can see how that floor slopes as you follow the pattern of the wallpaper along with baseboard.  (It's straight at the top.  Really it is..)

    So the baseboard is nailed up.

    And then I got ambitious.  Not excited or energetic or thrilled, just ambitious.  Decided to see if I could put the lintels back up by myself.  Turns out I could.  Portal lintel up first, for the kitchen doorway lintel butts into it.  But oh, boy, when I cut down that lefthand face trim I sure added to the already-full list of things to caulk.  The lintel can't sit on it; since the lintel's height and level are determined by how the cornices come together.  Clear caulk (touched up with shellac) is my only hope.

    And you know how they say "Measure twice, cut once?"  I did on the new chair rail that'll go to the right of the doorway to the front room.  Made sure I had the cut on the correct side of the line, too.  But for me, it should be, "Measure twice, cut once-- a sixteenth of an inch bigger than you think it needs to be."  Because that's what I was lacking, that or a fuzz more, when I tried the cut piece in place.

    Bugger.  Right there at eye level.  And sliding it away from the corner didn't look too good either.  In this case I cut a sliver off the waste piece and glued it on.  I'll touch it up and hopefully it won't be too obvious.  If it's made the piece too long, I'll sand it down, no more saws for this.  But the glue bottle says don't stress it for 24 hours, so I won't.

    Should be really thrilled the major hallway trim is back up.  It's looked like hell for years.  The neighbors must have thought I was a real bum every time they glanced through my hallway window-- how pleased they will now be.  I hope for a time when I will be very pleased, myself.


Jayne said...

Your post title makes me laugh!

You've made a lot of progress on that trim. Still in awe of your skills.

Kate H. said...

Thanks. The next campaign is cutting, coping, and mounting all the new quarter round. And the rest of the chair rail. Fiddly, not as impressive, but essential.

Sharon @ Laurelhurst Craftsman said...

Your enthusiasm overwhelms! LOL
You sound like me when I "had" to make table runners. I've been trying harder to find a happy place when I'm working on projects I don't feel like doing, and it seems to be helping. =)