Joe Milicia, my old partner,
CT. - not me. I'm
the handsome guy who shaved that morning.
years ago I stepped yet again onto my mud bucket to test fit the
head piece of a cased opening located a few feet upstream of a
short flight of stairs. Miliseconds later, I felt my feet describing
an arc about my head, and proceeded down the stairs like a graceless
otter wearing tennis shoes. Amazing how such a short trip made
me feel I had been riding inside a concrete mixer filled with
A few months
later, I worked with James Chambers, a talented trim and cabinet
man from Old Saybrook, CT, who was pre-cutting, clamping and biscuiting
his casings together on the floor prior to installing them as
a complete unit. His miter joints were perfect, yet my skepticism
regarding doors and windows with sheetrock proud of the jamb remained
- until after I saw the casings installed.
By the next job,
I had abandoned the mud bucket shuffle, and converted to the pre-assembly
method of casing. This has resulted in improving the quality of
the work, shortening the manhours needed per job, reducing the
level of skill and experience required for the job and extending
the useful lifetime of all our lower backs.
a frequent member of our crew in subsequent years and our casing
method evolved into a fairly standard proceedure. In the ensuing
paragraphs I will attempt to share what we've learned after wrestling
miles of casing over the years and pinning them every time.
Setting up Shop
must use the real estate concept "ownership by adverse possession"
when selecting a fabrication room on the jobsite. A large trim
crew or a small crew comprised of large men is a huge plus. The
chop saw station itself takes up about 18'; our glue up table
is 4' x 8'; we need room to lean glued up casings against the
wall; and we need room for the stock itself. Ocassionally, we
have to use two rooms- one for cutting and slotting and one for
glue ups. Normally, there would be a huge pile of 16' casing perpendicular
to the chop saw stand all oriented with the outside edge toware
the camera so it need not be spun before cutting on the saw.
chop saw is screwed to a piece of plywood which is clamped into
a work mate. Each extension wing is supported on the other end
by a roller stand which is screwed to the hardwood flooring or
subfloor, and is approximately 8 feet long.