Master bedroom remodel

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Project by Gary posted 01-04-2009 05:31 AM 3425 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some weeks ago, I asked for some feedback on window trim. This project is what that was related to.

When Judy decided we should repaint our bedroom, I said we should also remodel while we’re at it.
When we first built the house about 10 years ago, we trimmed the doors, windows, and base boards using rough sawn, red western cedar. With solid wood floors and no carpet or rugs, dust aggregates quickly.
It collects on the rough sawn wood like nobody’s business.
Having grown tired of dust bunnies and other little things WRT the trim, we decided the master bedroom would look more formal and elegant with Black Walnut trim albeit we agreed we like the raw beauty and combination of heart and sapwood in the walnut.
There are multiple parts to the remodel. The first thing I needed to tackle was the box beam. John, my Father-in-law and I created the beam so it’d run along the peak of the vaulted ceiling. Rather than taking down the beam we’d built, I thought it’d be easier to make and attach thin walnut boards to the existing beam.

I’m including three photos of the walnut box beam here. For more photos, you can look at my picassa album Remodeling

The walnut I’m using has been air-drying for several years and originally came from St. Louis, MO.
To make the new box beam, I first took three 8’ 8” wide 4/4 black walnut boards, planed and resawed each in half along the 8’ length. Then I planed each to about 5/16” each. On each face of the beam, I planned to attach the long bookmatched pieces. First I ripped the bottom to width. I attached clamps to the sides of the existing beam with a large gap below and slid in a 2” x 4” caul. Above the caul, I slid in the walnut then pushed the clamps up tight on the sides. Finally I drove some wedge shaped shims in between the clamps and 2X. Then, I let the glue set overnight. I used a couple of 18 gauge 1/2” brads to make sure nothing moved while clamping it up. I repeated this process for the other half of the 16’ beam, except I had to cover the first half so as not to smear glue on the already attached walnut face.
Once the bottom face was glued on, I dry fit each side and marked a cut line in pencil. Then, I cut just outside the line, glued the sides in place and waited. When the glue had set, I used a low angle block plane to bring the sides even with the bottom face. Finally, I applied another finish of shellac followed BLO.

The other components of this remodel includes picture rail, window trim, doors trim, and base boards.
We’ll have picture rail molding around the perimeter of the room about 12” above the windows.
The window trim is the most complicated part of the job as in nearing completion. One window is dry fit and looks good. I’ll have pics of that soon.

Thanks for viewing and for offering any constructive comments and/or criticisms.

-- Gary, Florida

3 comments so far

View Gary's profile


1281 posts in 4289 days

#1 posted 01-04-2009 05:45 AM

I’m not sure if the Picassa photos will show correctly when linked here:

From Bedroom Remodeling
New Black Walnut window trim being dry fit on window. Raw walnut without any finish; straight off the tools—pre-final scraping and finishing.

From Bedroom Remodeling
Close up of new window trim being dry fit.

-- Gary, Florida

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4365 days

#2 posted 01-04-2009 05:54 AM

Gary: a great job. The Walnut looks great.. My home has cedar boards on the walls of the family room and they are 16’ long but they are o\put up with the smooth side visable.

I could imagine the rough cedar and dust.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Gary's profile


1281 posts in 4289 days

#3 posted 01-04-2009 06:23 AM

Thanks Karson.
I’ve been following most of your recent posts but haven’t posted much as I’ve been working hard on this.
I really like Savannah’s barn.
The window trim has been harder than I’d imagined. I’ve run into many difficult issues.
The ogee profile along the window has a backcut rebate leaving a 3/8” reveal around the window jambs.
The extension jambs are longer than they need to be and they protrude unevenly beyond the drywall.
The 4/4 walnut wasn’t thick enough to mill the profile and create the reveal. And, Judy was adamant that I not try to cut the extension jambs back to the drywall. Her instincts were good, as trying to do that would’ve created other problems.
Here’s the challenge I ran into:
The windows are square but not plumb and true to the drywall anymore due to minor settling.
To use the milled 4/4 walnut with the ogee profile AND create a reveal, one option would’ve been to angle the walnut back to the wall creating the need for a compound miter to make the corners meet tightly. The angle changes as the distance from the extension jamb to the drywall varies, so each corner would’ve required a trial and error fit. As far as I’m concerned, that opens the door for mistakes and the opportunity to overcut something on the last tweak, causing the need to remake trim. I opted against that.
So long as I keep the new trim in a single plane, the miters could all be cut at 45 degrees and be tight.
However, this means I have to rip and plane walnut to build up the gap between the drywall and the new trim. Hence, the need to dry fit the trim as pictured so I can create a story stick for each side of the window.
I’ll be ripping and planing walnut that’ll be glue to the back of the new trim at the outer edge so there’s no gaps between the walnut and drywall.
Who knew something so simple could be so complex???
So far, mama’s really happy and that’s a great measure of success as far as I’m concerned.

Kudos to the folks who do finish remodeling all the time and don’t have any gaps! Y’all are good.


-- Gary, Florida

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