Questions about choosing lumber for finish trim


Old 11-30-08, 05:02 PM
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Questions about choosing lumber for finish trim

I am about to purchase the lumber for the finish trim on my project and have several questions.

The lumber will be for the door trim and baseboards. The material will be VG fir and it will be finished naturally. I will be using 1X5 (3/4 in by 4 1/2in) for the verticles and 5/4 X 6 (1 in by 5 1/2 in) for the head trim. The baseboard will be 1 x 6 (3/4 in by 5 1/2 inch).

My first question concerns the edges of the lumber. I notice that the VG fir pieces come with the edges slightly rounded instead of a square cut. Is there a term for this? Is there a purpose other than cosmetic?

There are a couple of places where I will need to make a custom size piece what is the preferred method for rounding the corner.

The next question concerns finishing - what are the pros/con of pre-finishing (with touch up later) the lumber prior to installation or finishing in place.

Finally, what is the general practice for selecting the lumber. Do you typcially select each piece yourself or have people had good luck giving a list to the lumber yard and having them kit and deliver?

Thanks for the help,
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Old 12-01-08, 03:16 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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If you have the time, it is better to hand select your lumber. The store's help, usually just loads what is on top unless they run into a really bad piece. A perfectly square edge would be more likely to splinter. A little sanding will give the edge of a ripped piece the same look.

As a painter, I definetly think it is better to stain [if used] and apply 1-2 coats of poly/varnish prior to installation. Not only is the method quicker, it protects the wood from fingerprints or anything else that might discolor/dirty the wood. If you apply 2 coats of finish [sand in between] and then install, putty, sand lightly, dust and apply the final coat of poly, you should end up with a great looking finish.
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