Pennsylvania Limestone Farmhouse Renovations to an 1863 farmhouse built of limestone

April 13, 2014

A Digression… Finish Carpentry

Filed under: Dining Room,Living room,Stone house restoration,Uncategorized — Duane Diefenbach @ 8:42 pm

One of the things that has slowed my progress on this house has been moving from modern power tools to the hand tools that were likely used on our home. Because of this “disease” of mine I decided to do the finish carpentry in the downstairs rooms with hand tools. This post shows what I did and maybe (partially?) explains why it took so long!  😉

This window used to be a door… from the old kitchen to the basement. Soon it will be a window again. However, the finish carpentry first required that a stool be constructed that was about 18″ deep and 42″ wide.  Then side casing was added, then head casing across the top, and finally an apron underneath completed the woodwork.

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To make the stool I started with a piece of white pine about 22″ wide and 45″ long. I planed the board using hand planes. First a #5 Stanley to remove the coarsest imperfections and I finished with a #8 Stanley to smooth the surface. The underside was left unfinished.

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Then a rabbet was needed to fit into the window frame so that notches in the stiles of the frame allowed the stool to nicely meet the lower sash.  To make the rabbet I used a rebate plane that I bought on eBay and restored.

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I then cut the stool (using crosscut and rip saws) to fit the window so that the distance from the sash to the “wings” on each side (that will be underneath each side casing) was correct.

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This is how the stool fit at this point.

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Once the stool was fit to the sash then I could finish the “wings” to length and depth (with respect to the side casing).

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Fitting the side casing at this point was relatively simple. The side casing is nailed to wooden blocks installed in the stonework as well as nails that come up from underneath the stool.

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The next step was to install the head casing. To hide any imperfections (and later movement of the wood, or house), the carpenters for our home cut a rabbet in the head casing to join the side and head casings. See photo below. I used a different approach to hide imperfections in matching side and head casings in the new part of the house (see this post).

 

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So here’s the window with stool, side casing, and head casing installed.

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The final carpentry required is to install the apron, which is nailed to the two blocks that support the stool.

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Now “all” that’s left is for the plasterers to finish the wall! (and that would be me)

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