Shortcuts for Trim Carpenters

Install trim faster, with better results

Learn better ways to cut and install casing, baseboard and crown molding, tricks for hanging doors and avoiding bad transitions, and other secrets of the trim carpentry profession.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Brad nailer helper

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Measure from the ends to the middle

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Speed coping with a miter saw

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Shim the rough opening

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Industrial-strength hot-melt

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Craft a block for awkward transitions

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Don't mark for studs

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Add continuous backing for crown molding

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Leave crown end loose

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Don't hassle with double copes

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Hammer
  • Miter saw
  • Air compressor
  • Air hose
  • Brad nail gun
  • Coping saw
  • Cordless drill
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • File
  • Hot melt glue gun
  • Safety glasses

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Shims
  • Finish nails
  • 2 x 4s
  • Polyurethane hot-melt glue