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Shim & Trim Confusion

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Forum topic by opalko posted 03-13-2013 01:38 PM 949 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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opalko

135 posts in 2500 days


03-13-2013 01:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shim trim builtin cabinet

I’m working on a “built-in” set of bookcases, my first built-in project. That is, it is not a free standing set of shelves that can be moved around the room, but attached to the wall as a set of cabinets are.

Ok, let’s say the book cases run 8’ along a wall, abutting another wall (corner). (The bookcases are actually 3 separate units attached together, and we’ll call them “A”, “B”, “C”, but effectively one unit 8’ long). Now I plumb and level the first unit “A” with shims and scribe it to the wall it adjoins. I attach the other 2 units “B” and “C”, using shims as necessary.

Over the length of the 8’ let’s say I had to shim the end of the unit “C” furthest from the corner wall where “A” was scribed. To make the entire thing one long 8’ level line, the end of unit “C” was shimmed as much as 3/8”, and the other units a little less so until no shims are necessary at the corner wall of “A”.

Still with me? Ok! Now the units are in place and I am ready to put some trim along the bottom of the units. My question is – does the floor trim follow the floor line or the level line of the bottom shelves of the unit? If it follows the floor, then the distance from the top of the floor trim to the bottom shelf will not be uniform.. if it follows the level line then there will be a gap along the floor. What am I missing here?!

Cheers


10 replies so far

View verdesardog's profile

verdesardog

137 posts in 2075 days


#1 posted 03-13-2013 01:40 PM

scribe the trim so that you have a constant reveal on the cabinets and flush to the floor….

-- .. heyoka ..

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opalko

135 posts in 2500 days


#2 posted 03-13-2013 01:55 PM

I understood about vertical scribing, but didn’t think about scribing the bottom trim.. However – the bottom trim is actually 2 pieces, a piece of 3 1/2” casing and then shoe moulding (similar to quarter round) in front of that. Won’t the shoe molding be too narrow to do a scribe cut on?

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CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3682 days


#3 posted 03-13-2013 01:59 PM

I don’t think you are missing anything…. houses just aren’t square and level.

I have a similar situation in my house. Following the floor line is the way to go. It may be noticeable, but not nearly as much as leaving a gap between the bottom of the trim and the floor.

One other thought: Without seeing a photo of what your wall unit looks like, it’s hard to give advice. But, if you use a standard base molding of some type, and the top of the molding falls slightly below the height of your bottom shelf, your problem is going to be accentuated visually by the line that creates. As an alternative, consider a completely flat piece of trim, scribed to fit the full length of the unit from floor to bottom shelf. In other words, the trim will be narrower at one end than at the other, but this will be much less noticeable than having a base molding that increase in distance from the bottom shelf as the eye follows it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3682 days


#4 posted 03-13-2013 02:11 PM

Scribe the casing to fit, then install the shoe at the bottom as you normally would.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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huff

2828 posts in 2749 days


#5 posted 03-13-2013 02:21 PM

opalko,

I would scribe your 3 1/2” casing to keep an even reveal along the bottom of your bookcases and install your shoe molding tight to the floor. Like Charlie said; houses just aren’t square and level.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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huff

2828 posts in 2749 days


#6 posted 03-13-2013 02:24 PM

Oops! Charlie’s second post beat me! That’s what I get for being slow on the keyboard. lol

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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opalko

135 posts in 2500 days


#7 posted 03-13-2013 02:34 PM

Thanks all – makes sense now! What’s the easiest way to get the scribe line for the piece next to the floor?

View JesseTutt's profile

JesseTutt

853 posts in 1575 days


#8 posted 03-13-2013 02:46 PM

I agree, just make the bottom molding that covers what would be called a toe-kick if it was a cabinet scribed to the floor.

I have found that woodworkers will detect every flaw in a wood piece that others don’t even notice. I suspect that this tendency applies to other professions as well. Most people will not notice the imperfection.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

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huff

2828 posts in 2749 days


#9 posted 03-13-2013 04:09 PM

You really don’t have to scribe that close for the base molding, in fact you could just start at the high point and run your base level to the bottom shelf of your bookcase for your reveal and your shoe molding will hide the gap at the floor. That’s why shoe molding is used; to help hide inperfections.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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waho6o9

7174 posts in 2041 days


#10 posted 03-13-2013 04:22 PM

This is the easiest for me Opalko, love me some accuscribe,
but don’t lose the little metal scribe point, Oops.

It’s from Fastcap.

A compass will work as well.

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