Need Help: proud jambs thwart novice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-29-2012, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Need Help: proud jambs thwart novice


First-time poster here and I need your advice or suggestions if you have a moment.

I am (finally) taking on the project of converting our small 2nd bedroom into a library / reading room. If you ask my, shell tell you its something I should have started long, long ago, and shed be 110% right. Anyhow, now that I am in the midst of moving out all the books and temporarily storing them in our ever-shrinking bedroom, I need to paint the walls and trim out the windows. I have provided some links to the pictures so that you can see what my dilemma is:

Obviously, the problem I have is that all the window jambs are proud of the wall. The amount that the jambs stick out modulates, as the walls are plaster and not entirely flat. Additionally, the window treatments (shutters) are mounted such that the edge of the blades are pretty much even with the exterior edge of the jambs so if I plane down the jambs too much, the shutters will protrude slightly from the wall (not the worst thing in the world, but not ideal).

So the questions boil down to:

1. Assuming that Ive got the right tools and the guts, is this something that I should be able to fix?; and if so

2. How should I go about doing it?

My assumption is (at the moment) that the correct thing to do would be either to: a) plane down the jambs a bit so that they are closer to the level of the wall; or b) tap shims around the perimeter of the window jambs and then nail in the trim to that, and then caulk up the left-over gaps / cracks.

If this isnt something that you think a non-pro can do, I am definitely willing to hire someone to do this (and my wife is even MORE willing!). But since there are so many windows in the house that need this work done, Id love to learn the skills to tackle it myself. If I do hire a pro, I will be watching over his shoulder so that I can learn how to fix the rest.

Thanks so much for your advice in advance.
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-29-2012, 07:22 PM
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i you have a way to plain down whats there now thats not a bad idea, i would remove all the trim inside, and then re trim the hole window. if you remove the plastic trim around those windows you will probably find a gap. i would never do a retrofit with vinyl windows. you may even find the old aluminum frame under there.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-29-2012, 08:49 PM
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If you are a novice then no you should not attempt this. I would plane the window jambs slightly, rabbet the molding and scribe to the wall.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-29-2012, 09:22 PM
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I would not do either your a or b.

The first thing that you need to do is level the area around the entire window frame. Then I would get some wide, probably 6" boards will do, boards. How much does the jamb stand proud of the window? If it is 1/2" or less then a 1x6 board should do fine. Route out the back of each board by the amount of the jamb protrusion. Taper the outboard end of the board so that it is only about 1/8" at the edge. Place these boards as trim around the window.

You may be able to use less than 6" wide. Just get a width that looks proportional.

At some point it would be good of you to re-size the pictures you posted so that this post does not take up more space than normal.

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-24-2012, 03:20 PM
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No old timers here, huh? If there were they'd say, "It's s'posed to be that way." See how that stool ( bottom) is proud of the jamb? That was done on purpose. The head jamb is often proud of jambs too. Notice the rounded corners. This house from the 30's? They did it that way so they didn't have to trim and/or the plasterer didn't have to make a nice square corner all around every window. The plaster didn't have to be perfectly nice and flat and square to the jamb. But looks like they went a bit over board here, or under, mebbee the plaster man got plastered B4 he showed up at the job. You can get somebody to even out and feather out some plaster or skim coat if you want it to look perfect. Personally i think it adds character.But that's just the sort of character i am. Looks like there's a 1/4" or more of paint on there, mebbee if you get it down to bare wood it'll turn out to be all flush with the wall.
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