Window Jambs - Material Type?

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  #1  
Old 04-08-09, 06:19 PM
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Window Jambs - Material Type?

I recently moved into a property with unfinished basement windows - drywall meets and covers all studs but the studs themselves are showing on the inside on all four sides.

I'd like to finish the windows exactly as the upstairs windows are finished - jambs on all four sides and casing on all four sides with an approx 1/32" reveal.

The depth of the opening (and thus widths of the jambs) range from 6" to 7 1/4".

What is the best material to use for the jambs? Should I buy 1"x8" pine and rip it to fit? I was also told by someone to consider plywood but I do not want the texture of plywood to show through the paint.

All jambs and casing will be painted white.

I'm open to all advice! Cheers.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-08-09, 07:22 PM
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Home Depot has something that's already white. Even if you cut it, it's white on the inside. It's more of a plastic but it looks like painted wood. I can't remember what it's called. It will be near but not in the moulding aisle.
 
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Old 04-08-09, 08:04 PM
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a basic trim will work.. cheapest is primed fingerjoint.. wether it is a 3' or 4' or more.. but home depot has all kinds.. in the trims section. Also primed mdf works fine too.. but using pine is way too much work
 
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Old 04-09-09, 03:48 AM
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Home Depot has 1x8 finger joint pine that is pretty good. I would use that for the jambs. Chances are you wiill not find anything you do not have to rip to size. They also have primed finger joint casing, if you like colonial. Why 1/32" reveal? I usually go no smaller than 1/8", typically 1/4".

Bill
 
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Old 04-09-09, 05:17 AM
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I've painted a lot basement window returns that used plywood. I agree with Bill about using a wider reveal - it makes it easier to caulk
 
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Old 04-09-09, 07:19 AM
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Thank you for the tips.

Re: the reveal - the upstairs windows have a small reveal. I haven't taken my tape measure to it but it looks smaller than 1/8". I'll measure and see.

Re: the material - I thought MDF was a bad choice for window jambs. They're basement windows and so the jambs may see some moisture. MDF won't rot?

I'll see what Home Depot has. Buying something already white (even if it's just a primer?) should be okay. The 1"x8"x8' pine is like $20/sheet. I was hoping that this would be a cheap project.
 
  #7  
Old 04-10-09, 08:08 AM
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Just a follow up question.

The windows have a groove (or channel) into which the jambs can be inserted. The channel is only 5/8" wide so 1" pine (which is really 3/4" thick) will not fit.

I do not have access to a planer to get the stock down to 5/8".

My local Lowes and Home Depot only sells 1" pine but they do have 1/2" MDF.

Again, is MDF a bad choice for basement window jambs?
 
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Old 04-10-09, 09:05 AM
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Any way of finding the manufacturer of the window? Check in the corners of the glass and on the sides/top/bottom of sashes.

You could probably rabbit out the part of the jamb that fits in the groove, if the overlap wouldn't interfere with operation. Or just butt it up to it. Sounds like its actually a drywall return, for 1/2. Though it could be for jambs as well.
 
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Old 04-10-09, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Any way of finding the manufacturer of the window? Check in the corners of the glass and on the sides/top/bottom of sashes.

You could probably rabbit out the part of the jamb that fits in the groove, if the overlap wouldn't interfere with operation. Or just butt it up to it. Sounds like its actually a drywall return, for 1/2. Though it could be for jambs as well.
Actually, I haven't even bothered to look for the maker of the windows. Good tip. I'll check and if it's available, I can try to contact them about jambs.

Unfortunately I have very few tools to work with. Rabbiting a tongue with the tools in my garage will be tricky! We'll see.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.
 
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Old 04-10-09, 12:43 PM
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Are the windows metal? I know some had a channel for the jamb stock. I would use AC plywood - 1/2". Be sureto paint the end grain as it butts the window, and all sides. I put a small bead of caulking on the edge before butting the window, to act as a thermal and water break. Don't push it up tight, leave a small gap to later caulk (so the wood is not in contact with the window). Be safe, GBR
 
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Old 04-10-09, 03:49 PM
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No, the windows are vinyl (I think). Is it abnormal to have a channel on vinyl windows?

I like the idea of using plywood. It's easy and cheap. Thanks, BGR.
 
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Old 04-10-09, 03:54 PM
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It may work...and look ok...but easy and cheap don't normally go hand in hand with quality. It is a basement though..never had one, so can't comment too much.
 
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Old 04-10-09, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
It may work...and look ok...but easy and cheap don't normally go hand in hand with quality. It is a basement though..never had one, so can't comment too much.
I'm confident that painting it appropriately will make it look fine. I guess "cheap and easy" doesn't get my point across. I was comparing plywood to pine which I found to be quite expensive.
 
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Old 04-10-09, 04:26 PM
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Plywood should work fine. Be sure to get one of the better grades so you will have a nice slick finish. A cheaper grade will work but will need extra sanding and maybe some spackling to get it to look nice.
 
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Old 04-10-09, 04:56 PM
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adam..I wasn't raggin on the suggestion or you....just what I've found to be true. As mark said...get one oth the grades with a nice smooth finish. Don't forget a bit will be exposed though.
 
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Old 04-10-09, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
adam..I wasn't raggin on the suggestion or you....just what I've found to be true. As mark said...get one oth the grades with a nice smooth finish. Don't forget a bit will be exposed though.
Oh, I know! I never took your comment that way. I'm very open to all thoughts.

I was worried about the reveal if I use plywood. Does the better grade plywood have such a rough look on the butt end of a cut?
 
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Old 04-10-09, 05:10 PM
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You can sand the edge some but basically you need to cover it with caulk or spackling. Once painted, very few will be able to tell it's plywood.
 
  #18  
Old 05-05-09, 02:44 PM
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Just a follow-up.

I found some 5/8" finger joint pine at Home Depot that fit perfectly into the window channel. Finished product looks great.

Thanks to everyone for the advice.
 
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Old 05-05-09, 03:07 PM
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Better late than never. With the plywood, since it is made of of several plys ( hence that name) the edge will need to be finished with something, caulk will likely shrink and need to be done again, and spackling woud probably separate when the wood expands and contracts. I would have recommended edge taping the plywood with a self adhesive veneer tape. Its simple to use, relatively inexpensive and easy to trim to fit.
 
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Old 05-05-09, 04:04 PM
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instead of caulking you could use silicone as it is alot more resistant to shrinking and is more durable
 
  #21  
Old 05-05-09, 04:15 PM
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I was torn between finger joint pine and plywood but as an amateur DIY'er, I thought finger joint pine would be easier material for me to work with.

It was already primed and it took a coat of paint very well. I just cut it to length and shimmed it level.

Picture of the final product (taken with my cell phone).

 
  #22  
Old 05-06-09, 06:40 AM
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I must be out of the loop, I've never seen fingerjointed flat stock. Was it with all the other trim and moldings?

Glad you found something to work. Looks just fine from here...lol.
 
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