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Is there a special way i should do this so when the house settles,the joints stay in tact? Someone was telling me that i should run the sides higher and then the top between. ... I'm not even sure what they were talking about since i would just ... wait let me see if i can show a pic what i might do with this. I'm not sure if this will look the same because i haven't seen the job yet,but it may look something like this pic ... Sorry i couldn't get a better pic of the whole window but the top is basically the same as the bottom. The sides butt into a shelf and then a flat stock on top with a piece of crown around it. Does anyone have any pics of different designs i may be able to use. What i really need is a whole site with pics of all finish carpentry because i may be doing alot of this. thanks
 

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Not sure if I know exactly what you're talking about, - - but you would rarely, if ever run the sides higher and the top in between, - - if you're not 'mitering' the top joints, - - you would either run the head casing 'over' the side casings, - - or you would butt both the sides and the top to rosettes.

Your probably talking about 'shrinkage', - - not 'settling'.

Don't know which design you're using, - - but there are ways to avoid future problems.

Without knowing your method, - - all I can say for now is to glue your joints, - - and on your head casing favor your nails toward the bottom (that way as the wood shrinks in width the top of the head casing will be the section free to do all the movement).
 

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The more 'victorian' looking windows and doors are cased like that. (At least thats what we call it at work).

If you're worried about it coming apart you can biscuit the side pieces to the flat stock that sits on top of them. This is how I would do it in my own home, but in a production setting this usually isn't a very good way of making money. If the job is all window and door casing maybe bid the job on a T&M basis, and biscuit join everything.

Of course always use glue on all the joint and use nails big enough for the job. (I just recently saw a house where all the window casing was held in place by 18ga 2" brads) Use a 16ga gun, preferably a 15ga gun.

If it's getting painted, caulk all the seams and you'll be fine. :Thumbs:
 

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Yeah, if its being painted you have room to cheat. I've been on jobs where its all painted pine casing where if your mitre isnt perfect I've been told not to waste time fussing with it, grab a chunk of the sheetrock I had to beat down and rub it into the mitre. It was totally "hack" but it was what I was told to do by "da boss" and damn if it didnt fill nicely....and for free.
 

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Until the sheetrock crumbles out after they paint it. That only looks good for about a week.

You can buy a small handheld tube of paintable caulk for 2 bucks. At least fill your joints with putty or caulk. I do my best to make all my miters perfect, but as everyone knows sh*t happens. Dont use sheetrock...please.
 

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Sheetrock is a garbage solution indeed, but the guy I was working for at the time was a cheap you-know-what. I never did hear what became of that. I've heard a painters cloth does a nice job though. Haven't needed any hack solutions so I havent tried it though.

I did a window replacement on an older home several months ago and had to match the older style wookwork in the house by casing the windows with 1x and outside corner, select pine as it was getting painted white like the rest of the woodwork. Everything looked great and nice n tight until 2 days later when we got to the dining room window, removed the window and found electrical flex conduit running through the window weight cavity between the sashes. Needless to say the hole being open for as long as it took to figure out what to do about that little glitch in late November dropped the temp in the house by 20 or so degrees and opened all of the mitres on the other windows we had done.

I ran to the local ACE Hardware and picked up some filler product made by Elmers that did a nice job, felt alot like a mildly sticky sawdust and was fairly cheap.
 

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The 3-step method that I use to assure tight miters and casings that "fit the wall" are:

1. I cut my miters 1/16" longer and "finish" trim them with my miter trimmer (a guillotine style cutter that shaves off paper thin slices of wood and give a perfect finished edge to a miter or butt joint.}

2. I biscuit join all the miter joints for a tight fit, and the biscuits assure proper alignment front-to-back.

3. I scribe the casings to the wall. Scribing assures me that there are no gaps, due to wavy walls (especially with the walls in older homes.) If there are any minute gaps, I use glazing compound to fill them. Glazing compound will not shrink or crack and is paintable. Works great!

I also have guage blocks ranging from 37 - 45 degrees miter cuts. In older homes the walls are not plumb or straight, and neither are most of the window openings 90 degrees. The guage blocks let me quickly figure the angles at which I will need to cut the miters on the casings. I mark each location with the corresponding degree marking. This gives me a quick reference at the time of cutting. Saves a lot of time.

On the 18th & 19th century homes this is not a problem, due to the fact that the casings are generally a 3 or 4 piece casing with some sort of rosette in the corner to which the head and side casing adjoin. Even with these types of casings I use biscuits to assure a good tight fit and proper alignment.
 
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