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075066505 x Carpentry 3

075066505 x Carpentry 3

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Published by: personito on Jun 18, 2012
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(b) Mitred head –
plinth blocks

(a) Mitred head –
droped legs

(c) Corner blocks to head
with droped legs

(d) Corner blocks &
plinth blocks

(e) Pediment head &
plinth blocks

Fig. 8.11Methods of framing an internal door lining or reveal

Shrinkage effect
on mitres (greater
shrinkage with plain
sawn architrave)

Minimal shrinkage
(quarter sawn architrave)


MDF (minimal



Prefixed head architrave
to corner block

Head and leg architraves
housed into corner blocks

Hardwood corner block

Mdf corner block

Gap as a result
of shrinkage

Fig. 8.12Shrinkage at corners




See Fig. 8.12

Fig. 8.13Incorporating decora-

tive features within corner and

plinth blocks

legs can extend to the finished floor level and butted against it. If, on

the other hand, the architrave is thinner than the skirting board or is

of an ornate nature liable to become damaged at about floor level, it

is advisable to incorporate a solid block (although usually shaped

with a chamfer to follow the outline of the architrave allowing the

door to open beyond 90°) of timber or MDF known as a plinth or

architrave block (three examples are shown in Fig. 8.11b, 8.11d, and

8.11e; also see section 8.2.4, Fixing plinth blocks).

The amount (linear metres) required for each door opening will

depend on:

(a)The opening size (this will vary between door sizes, whether they

are imperial or metric sized. So beware of the term ‘Standard


(b)The width of the architrave (generally available from 50 to 75mm

EX) – see Fig. 8.5.

(c)The condition of the architrave. This is very important – use only

joinery quality. Reject any lengths with severe defects, such as

large‘dead knots’, or those which are ‘sprung’ – see Volume 1,

section1.7.8 (Table 1.7).



Timber merchants can supply architrave as ‘sets’ (2 legs, 1 head)

with a small provision of waste – again you must state the door’s size.

For example, an imperial door 6 6 2 6 (1981mm 762mm)

using 50mm wide architrave would require:

2 legs @ 2.1m

1 head @ 0.9m

and would require a standard 5.1m length.

Beware – wider architraves would require a longer head length and

possibly a longer leg length.

Figure 8.14 shows two methods and sequences of fixing architrave

around a rectangular door opening with mitred head and dropped legs.


STAGE 1 – First leg

(a)Mark the margin distance – usually about 4–6mm at intervals

around the edge of the door lining. The thickness of one leg of a

4-fold joiner’s rule (Volume 1, section 5.1.2) or combination

square (Volume 1, Fig. 5.9b) is usually adequate (narrow mar-

gins with non-tapering architraves can restrict the amount the

door is allowed to swing open without catching it. Narrow mar-

gins can also restrict the knuckle of the hinge housing and the

lead-in of a lock striking-plate (see Fig. 4.82). Large margins on

the other hand reduce the width required for fixing, particularly

with rebated casings.

Where several doors are involved it may be worth considering

using a ‘margin template’ like the one shown in Fig. 8.15. It can

be made from either solid wood (preferably dense hardwood),

plywood, or MDF with a rebate formed along two of its edges to

the required depth to suit the margin width and shoulder depth to

allow it to sit up against the door lining.

(b)Position the leg of the architrave against the wall as shown and

mark the point where the internal margin for the leg meets the

head margin.

(c)This is the ‘heel’ of the mitre, which will be cut at 45°from the ‘toe’.

(d)With the aid of a ‘mitre box’ (Volume 1, Fig. 5.96k) and a fine-

toothed saw cut the mitre – avoid using a ‘mitre block’(Volume 1,

Fig. 5.96j) as this can be less accurate. Alternatively, use a propri-

etary hand mitre saw (Volume 1, Fig. 5.97), or electric ‘crosscut

mitre saw’ (Volume 1, Fig. 6.29).

(e)Using 38–45mm oval nails fix (leaving nail heads to draw) to the

door lining.


Wood wall trims and finishes

8.2.2Fixing architraves

(three-sided openings)



Check mark
for mitre

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3


Gauge lines


4 to 6mm

Avoid nailing into wall

Method ‘A’

Extended gauge line


Door lining
(casing) jamb


Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Method ‘B’


Head architrave fixed
(nails left to draw)

Stage 6

Stage 4

Stage 5

Note: Bottom of leg will either be
skew nailed to skirting board
or fixed to a plinth block

Fig. 8.14Two methods of fixing

architrave around a door opening

(see also Fig. 4.67)

Note: If there is any doubt as to the
squareness of the opening, use a
short end of architrave as a gauge
to pencil in cross lines as shown at
each corner. This will allow you to
mark a true bisected mitre for an
accurate heel and toe angle. Any
minor adjustments to the mitre
joint can be made by taking fine
shavings off with a block plane
(see Volume 1, section 5.4.2).

STAGE 2 – Head architrave

(a)Mitre the adjoining end of the head architrave – adjust by plan-

ing if required.

(b)Once fitted mark the position of the heel to toe at the other end.

(c)Cut the mitre but do not fix in place.

STAGE 3 – Second leg

(a)Position and mark the top mitre as before.

(b)Cut the mitre.

STAGE 4 – Head architrave

(a)To the margin lines fix to the door lining using 38–45mm oval

nails (leaving nail heads to draw).


Wood wall trims and finishes

50 – 75m


Outer face of

margin template

Inner face

Margin template

Margin depth 4 – 6mm

Margin template


Door lining head

Margin line


set to margin

Note: Rebate formed on two edges –

the template is turned through

90° to Mark both left and right

hand corners


in use

Fig. 8.15Architrave margin template

STAGE 5 – Second leg

(a)Reposition architrave leg – adjust by planing if necessary.

(b)To the margin lines fix to the door lining using 38–45mm oval

nails (leaving nail heads to draw).

STAGE 6 – Final stage

(a)Complete the nailing process at about 300mm centres.

(b)Ensuring that the outer edges of the mitre are in line, from the

top of the mitre drive a nail at an angle across the mitre as shown

(Fig. 8.14).

(c)Punch all the nails just below the surface.

(d)The bottom outer edge will eventually be secured by skew-

nailing to the skirting board.


STAGE 1 – Head architrave

(a)Mark the margin distance – as in method ‘A’.

(b)As shown at ‘a’ (Fig. 8.14) – using a short end of architrave mark

cross-over gauge lines at each corner.

(c)Cut a mitre at one end – as in method ‘A’.

(d)Whilst holding the head architrave in position against the gauge

lines on the lining and plasterwork check the heel and toe of the

mitre for fit – adjust as necessary.

(e)Whilst holding the head architrave in position mark the heel and

toe of the opposite end – check for 45°and cut as before.

(f)Fix (leaving nail heads to draw) to the door lining – as method ‘A’.

STAGE 2 – First architrave leg

(a)Hold plumb against the head architrave – mark the toe and heel

from the extended head gauge lines as shown at ‘a’ (Fig. 8.14).

(b)Check the bisection line with your mitre or combination try

square – if satisfactory cut as before using a mitre box or ‘mitre-

saw’ (see Volume 1, section 6.11).

(c)If it is found to be off 45°, cut by hand and if required fit to head

mitre using a block plane.

(d)Fix (leaving nail heads to draw) to the door lining – as method ‘A’.

STAGE 3 – Second leg

Repeat as Stage 2.

STAGE 4 – Final stage – as method ‘A’.

Where an architrave has to abut an adjacent wall, and it spans a gap

narrower than its width and its abutting surface is either uneven or

out of plumb, it will require shaping to ensure a close fit against its





abutment. Architrave around a rectangular door opening with mitred

head and dropped legs (Fig. 8.16).

Figure 8.16a shows a situation which will require both one leg and part

of its head scribing. Figure 8.16b shows the finished arrangement; col-

lectively Fig. 8.16a–d show methods of achieving this, for example:

(a)Cut the left architrave to full height ‘h’ (Fig. 8.16a).

(b)Determine the scribing width ‘x’ (Fig. 8.16c) by measuring that

portion which overhangs the lining when held plumb against

the wall, plus the margin distance.

(c)Either cut a scribing block (or use dividers or a compass) to

width ‘x’ (Fig. 8.16c).

(d)Temporarily tack the architrave plumb to a distance as shown in

Fig. 8.16c then mark the scribe line down the full length of the


(e)Detach the scribed leg.

(f)Remove the waste wood either by planing or sawing (Fig. 8.16d) –

slightly undercut as shown in Fig. 8.16d to ensure a good fit.

(g)Reposition, check the fit, then mark and cut the mitre.

(h)Cut the head architrave to length ‘w’ plus overhang (Fig. 8.16a).

(i)Position the head architrave at a distance as shown in Fig. 8.16c –

temporarily tack in place.

(j)Scribe to the bulkhead ceiling line as previously described above.


Wood wall trims and finishes











Vertical section Y-Y

Scribed to

Scribed to wall



Scribing width

Scribe slightly undercut

Scribed to shape of wall






Suited to
slow curves
(100 mm
scribing block)

Suited to
acute curves

section X-X

Fig. 8.16Scribing architrave to

an uneven surface of a wall or




(k)Remove the waste wood either by planing or sawing – slightly

undercut as shown in Fig. 8.16d to ensure a good fit.

(l)Reposition, check the fit, then mark and cut the mitre.

(m)Repeat the procedures as described in section 8.2.2.

As shown in Fig. 8.17a, where the architrave is thicker than the skirt-

ing board there is, unless the lower corner of the architrave needs

protection, no need for a plinth block. If, on the other hand, the skirt-

ing board is thicker than the architrave, and/or protection is required

(Fig. 8.17b), a plinth block is usually the answer (Fig. 8.17c).

8.2.4Fixing plinth

blocks (also known as

‘Architrave block’, see

also Fig. 8.13)







Architrave thicker than skirting

board – provides a stop end

Skirting board thicker than

architrave – unsatisfactory finish

Plinth block provides stop end for

both architrave and skirting board

Horizontal section

Approx. 6mm

(depends on width of ‘X’)



Bare faced tenon

housed glued and

screwed to back of

plinth block

Door lining

150 mm


Housing skirting board into

plinth block conceals any

shrinkage across plinth block


Fig. 8.17Using a plinth block

As shown in Fig. 8.17d, plinth blocks are traditionally first fixed to the

architrave via a bare faced tenon glue and screwed to the back of the

block – the legs are fixed in the normal way. The block will then form an

end stop for the skirting board, the profile of which is usually housed into

the block. In this way any shrinkage gaps that may occur are shrouded.

Alternatively, both the architrave and the skirting board can be butted

against the block. In this way the block is fixed first, followed by the

architrave, then the skirting board.

The relationship between the architrave and the plinth block can

vary. An example is shown in the horizontal section in Fig. 8.17e.

Figure 8.18 shows a method and sequence of fixing architraves

around a wall serving hatch or ceiling access trap.

STAGE 1 – Marking out

(a)Mark a margin distance of about 3–5mm around the opening;

(b)If there is any doubt as to the squareness of the opening (pay par-

ticular attention to ceiling openings), use a short end of archi-

trave to gauge the width at each corner to enable the true mitre

angle to be formed.

STAGE 2 – Left-hand architrave (a).

(a)Cut the bottom mitre;

(b)Hold firmly into position whilst marking the heal point of the top


(c)Nail into position – leave nail heads to draw.

STAGE 3 – Head architrave (b)

(a)Cut and fit the left-hand mitre;

(b)Hold firmly into position whilst marking the heal point of the

RH mitre – cut the mitre and put to one side.

STAGE 4 – Bottom architrave (c)

(a)Cut and fit left-hand mitre;

(b)Hold firmly into position whilst marking the heal point of the

right-hand mitre – cut the mitre.

(c)Nail into position – leave nail heads to draw.

STAGE 5 – Right-hand architrave (d)

(a)Cut and fit bottom mitre;

(b)Hold firmly into position whilst marking the heal point of the top

mitre – cut the mitre.


Wood wall trims and finishes

8.2.5Fixing architraves

(four-sided openings)

Note: This procedure can be used
to find the mitre angle of any angle
(both acute and obtuse)

STAGE 6 – Final assembly

(a)Hold (b) and (d) in position – check mitres (a–b, b–d, c–d) for fit –

adjust if required;

(b)Nail ‘d’ into position, then ‘b’;

(c)Ensuring that all the mitres are fair-faced, carefully nail across

each mitre;

(d)Complete the nailing pattern then punch all nail heads just below

the surface in preparation to receive any filler;

(e)Using a block plane remove a small arris (sharp corner) all round

the framework.

We have already seen how skirting boards form a decorative finish

between the wall and floor, and how they offer protection to the wall

against everyday activities like vacuuming the carpet or sweeping the

floor. The skirting board size (in particularly its depth) and moulding

details usually reflect the period in which the property was built.

A selection of commonly available moulded sections is shown in

Fig. 8.19 (also see Fig. 8.5). If wood is to be used, available lengths are

as forprocessed timber, for example, lengths will start at 1.8m then

upwardsin increments (multiples) of 300mm up to a maximum

of 6.3m.

Skirting boards


Stage 6





Stage 5





Stage 4



Stage 3



Stage 2


Stage 1



Bisected angle
produces a true mitre

Fig. 8.18Sequence of fixing architraves around wall and ceiling openings

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