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post #1 of 13 Old 01-18-2014, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with wainscoting

Hello, I have been reviewing the forum for about a year now, but never had to post anything in the past. My next stop is the introductions section but for now I am in need of some help with picture frame wainscoting (it's what my wife wants, and probably more suited to my ability than traditional wainscoting).

Anyway, the area that the wainscoting will go is down a hallway to the front door, but both walls are of different lengths. One is 116 inches and the other is 157 inches. I somewhat decided on having four picture frames on the smaller wall. With four inches of spacing in between the frames and the end of the walls it left me with 24 inch wide frames. The problem is when I go to the opposite side of the wall. The only way that I could make those same dimensions work (4 inch spacing and 24 inch wide frames) on the longer wall is by having an 8 inch wide frame at the end of the wall.

As you can see in the pictures I don't have the chair rail up yet, that is going in today. I laid out the frames using painters tape to get an idea of what it would look like. I personally think it will look good, but I'm not sure my wife does. Although she hasn't said so, I don't think that she likes the small 8 inch frame stuck on the end. I crunched some numbers using all different lengths of spacing (4 1/4, 4 1/2, 4 3/4, 5, 5 1/2, 6, 7, 7 1/4, and 7 1/2 inches) but all give me a difference of around two inches wide per frame, which is not something I can cheat. I tried adjusting the number of frames on the small wall to 5 and the longer wall to 6, but I still cannot figure out a way that gives me close to the same frame width.

I tried searching on the internet to find examples of what this type of problem but no luck. Is having that small 8 inch wide frame at the end the correct way of going about this? If it makes any difference, I think the wife wants me to continue the picture frames around more areas of the great room, so I will have more walls to figure out with varying lengths. Do I still just use the 24 inch wide frame for cohesiveness and then put small frames on the ends to fill in the extra space?

Is there some magical way of figuring out spacing and size of frames to make it work on a number of different sized walls?

I hope what I have said makes sense to you, and that your far greater experience in woodworking can lead me to the answer. Thanks for your time in reading this.

Mike
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-18-2014, 05:50 PM
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Don't have an answer for you but I am going to have the same problem down the road so I'm interested in what solution you come up with.

My instinct would be to cheat on the widths to avoid the narrow rectangle on the longer side, But it seems like you have ruled this out.

One thing to keep in mind is that the tape contrasts much more than wainscotting painted the same colour as the wall.

I would look online and see if you could find a picture of something similar and how it was handled. I use www.houzz.com quite a bit. There will be 1000's of pictures of wainscotting on there.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-18-2014, 06:48 PM
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You should not have a smaller panel given your configuration. I suggest buying Gary Katz DVD on wainscoting. It will save you hours of frustration and you will end up with real wainscoting which will be far better than what you currently considering and much easier than you imagine.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-18-2014, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeback dad View Post
My next stop is the introductions section but for now I am in need of some help with picture frame wainscoting (it's what my wife wants, and probably more suited to my ability than traditional wainscoting).
Why not do the introduction first.






.

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post #5 of 13 Old 01-19-2014, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
You should not have a smaller panel given your configuration. I suggest buying Gary Katz DVD on wainscoting. It will save you hours of frustration and you will end up with real wainscoting which will be far better than what you currently considering and much easier than you imagine.
The wife wants the picture frame style rather than a board and batten style. I don't know why she prefers it compared to the other styles out there. Also, I don't have a table saw so it limits the possibilities. Still hoping someone out there with more experience can point me in the right direction. I would prefer not to have the small frame but can't figure it out
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-19-2014, 06:57 PM
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One wall is 116" and the other 157". The difference is 41". When laying out the spaces and panels, if you want 4" spaces between the picture frames, you have to add a half space to each end since you want to start and end with a 4" space. 116 - 4" = 112". 112" divided by 6 = 18.66" this is the picture frame width plus 4", 2" each side for the space. The width of the picture frame is 14.66". You can come down both walls, mirror image from each other starting with a 4" space, then a frame 14.66, then 4" and so on until you reach 116". At this point on the longer wall you have to make up 41" with two picture frames and two spaces. Remember 116" ended with a 4" space. You can increase that and the other two spaces slightly without it showing. Say you decide 4 3/8". That means the 41" is now 40 5/8" due to the increased 3/8" space after 116". Now subtract two more spaces, one between the last two panels and one at the end of 157". 40 3/8" - 8 3/4" = 31 5/8". 31 5/8 divided by two = 15.88". The other picture frames are 14.66" wide. Those last two on the long wall will only be wider by than the others 1.25". Hardly noticeable in that hallway. This method/compromise will allow you to make 12 picture frames the same, stay mirrored down the hall when frames are opposed and the difference made up by two slightly larger finishing panels on the long wall. That's probably how I would approach it. I think narrower panels will be visually better with the doors. You can do essentially the same thing with wider panels but you won't have as many "parts" to make up the discrepancy.

A common approach to solving such problems is to use a story pole. Nothing more than a long enough stick of lumber. Mark the two ends for the overall measurement, then work your way between. You could divide the space in any increments you want but you have to keep in mind the difference between the two wall lengths. If this wasn't a hallway an approach could be to equally divide each wall length separately, attempting to come visually close but that all depends on how the math works out. Sometimes you can cheat in small increments but other times it just won't work. You might end up wrapping around a corner with a half panel each side or you may have to use a center object of some type. It's really dependent on the mathematical differences and each case is different. Hard to beat a story pole for a full scale reference that can be held to the work and used to mark out or verify accuracy.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-20-2014, 01:37 PM
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If it was my house, I would keep the 4" space between the same but increase the width of each picture frame on that long wall so you come out exact on the end. People won't notice the difference in size of the picture frames on the opposite walls if everything else is balanced out. You wrote that you have the extra 8" rectangle plus the 4" space at the end. That adds up to 12" extra to be absorbed by the other rectangles. If you take 12" divided by the 5 rectangles on the long wall, your get 2.4" to be added to each of those rectangles. You could add some of this to the 4" spaces, but the eye can judge smaller distance better than larger distance. That would be your choice.

Last edited by MNsawyergp; 01-20-2014 at 11:18 PM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-25-2014, 04:23 PM
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Ok, this is a fun one, and it's easy to solve once you know :) as someone else mentioned, get the Gary Katz DVD's on wainscot, it's a huge time saver.

The one thing that you will need here is a construction master pro calculator, or the buildcalc app on your iphone/android device. The calculator is (in Canada) between $80-120. The "app" is $20 bucks. I use the app all the time in my business for this type of thing.

The small wall, you want four frames. The "hard" non-variable measurement is the 4" spacing that you would like to use, which means that in order for everything to work out perfectly your frames might be a little bit different size that what you would like.

We need to treat the frame and the 4" spacing as one unit. So in order to get it so that we have 4" at the end, deduct 4" from your overall measurement. 116-4=112"

Now using our calculator divide 112 by 4. this gives you 28.

So now measure on your wall (or story stick) from the (start) corner to the end of the first frame: 28"

Now on your calculator push the "+" button and the "=" button. the next measurement will pop up, and it will be 56". Remember this is a 4" space plus your frame.

Here's the tricky part: do NOT touch the "+" button again!!! only push the "=" button. this gives you your third measurement which is 84"

The last measurement is the same, push the "=" button and your measurement will be 112"

This leaves you exactly 4" at the end.

Subtract 4" from a measurement to get your frame size, in this case it will be 28-4=24".

The larger wall is similar. I would recommend keeping the 4" spacing as I think that is more noticeable than the frame size.

A few things to consider here. How many frames/spaces do you want? as close to the smaller wall as possible I think

Now lets use our long wall measurement, which is 157". We want a 4" space at the end, so we deduct 4" so 157-4=153".

Here is the estimating part, we know that we want roughly a 24" frame, so how many frames do we want on this wall?

Ok, lets assume we want 5 frames, well divide 153/5 that gives us 30 5/8", and if we subtract 4" from that it means that our actual frame size will be 26 5/8" Seems a bit big, so lets try another amount.

Assume now that we want 6 frames, so Divide 153/6 = 25 1/2". Subtract 4" from that and your panel size will be 21 1/2". Now this seems a bit small. What needs to happen here is you using your judgement, what would look best to you? slightly larger frames? or slightly smaller?

I am going to assume slightly larger as the wall is longer and you don't want it to look too busy.

So that means that we are going to have 5 frames.

Now to the fun part:

153/5= 30 5/8" this is the first measurement from your corner/wall. Remember this is a 4" space plus our frame size. Don't worry about the frame size at this point, we can find it when we are done. Actually we already did this but anyway.

Next measurement hit your "+" button and "=" button, and the result will be 61 3/16". Remember this is one space(4") and one frame(26 5/8")

Ok, now hit the "=" button again and we get 91 13/16" (hands off of the "+" button!)

"="next one is 122 3/8"

"="next one is 153"

Right dead on!!! :) and exactly 4" left over at the end.

Figure out your frame size by subtracting 4" from 30 5/8", which we already know is 26 5/8".

Your spacing will be accurate within 1/16`1/32 either way depending upon what setting you have used in your calculator.

The calculator program (and app) figures out these measurements to something like 9 decimal places, then rounds up or down to the nearest 16th or 32nd. Each measurement is INDEPENDANT of the previous measurement, so you do not have "cumulative" error.

We've all tried to measure out a space, then using a spacer block marked it off- usually with about an inch error at the end. This calculator option solves all those problems.

There's a lot more to wainscoting, I highly recommend that you purchase Gary Katz dvd's on Wainscotting, he explains this in a very easy to understand way.

Show us the results when you are done :)

Laurie
aka MrMac204

http://www.lauriescustomfinishing.ca
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-25-2014, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MrMac204 View Post
Ok, this is a fun one, and it's easy to solve once you know :) as someone else mentioned, get the Gary Katz DVD's on wainscot, it's a huge time saver.

The one thing that you will need here is a construction master pro calculator, or the buildcalc app on your iphone/android device. The calculator is (in Canada) between $80-120. The "app" is $20 bucks. I use the app all the time in my business for this type of thing.

The small wall, you want four frames. The "hard" non-variable measurement is the 4" spacing that you would like to use, which means that in order for everything to work out perfectly your frames might be a little bit different size that what you would like.

We need to treat the frame and the 4" spacing as one unit. So in order to get it so that we have 4" at the end, deduct 4" from your overall measurement. 116-4=112"

Now using our calculator divide 112 by 4. this gives you 28.

So now measure on your wall (or story stick) from the (start) corner to the end of the first frame: 28"

Now on your calculator push the "+" button and the "=" button. the next measurement will pop up, and it will be 56". Remember this is a 4" space plus your frame.

Here's the tricky part: do NOT touch the "+" button again!!! only push the "=" button. this gives you your third measurement which is 84"

The last measurement is the same, push the "=" button and your measurement will be 112"

This leaves you exactly 4" at the end.

Subtract 4" from a measurement to get your frame size, in this case it will be 28-4=24".

The larger wall is similar. I would recommend keeping the 4" spacing as I think that is more noticeable than the frame size.

A few things to consider here. How many frames/spaces do you want? as close to the smaller wall as possible I think

Now lets use our long wall measurement, which is 157". We want a 4" space at the end, so we deduct 4" so 157-4=153".

Here is the estimating part, we know that we want roughly a 24" frame, so how many frames do we want on this wall?

Ok, lets assume we want 5 frames, well divide 153/5 that gives us 30 5/8", and if we subtract 4" from that it means that our actual frame size will be 26 5/8" Seems a bit big, so lets try another amount.

Assume now that we want 6 frames, so Divide 153/6 = 25 1/2". Subtract 4" from that and your panel size will be 21 1/2". Now this seems a bit small. What needs to happen here is you using your judgement, what would look best to you? slightly larger frames? or slightly smaller?

I am going to assume slightly larger as the wall is longer and you don't want it to look too busy.

So that means that we are going to have 5 frames.

Now to the fun part:

153/5= 30 5/8" this is the first measurement from your corner/wall. Remember this is a 4" space plus our frame size. Don't worry about the frame size at this point, we can find it when we are done. Actually we already did this but anyway.

Next measurement hit your "+" button and "=" button, and the result will be 61 3/16". Remember this is one space(4") and one frame(26 5/8")

Ok, now hit the "=" button again and we get 91 13/16" (hands off of the "+" button!)

"="next one is 122 3/8"

"="next one is 153"

Right dead on!!! :) and exactly 4" left over at the end.

Figure out your frame size by subtracting 4" from 30 5/8", which we already know is 26 5/8".

Your spacing will be accurate within 1/16`1/32 either way depending upon what setting you have used in your calculator.

The calculator program (and app) figures out these measurements to something like 9 decimal places, then rounds up or down to the nearest 16th or 32nd. Each measurement is INDEPENDANT of the previous measurement, so you do not have "cumulative" error.

We've all tried to measure out a space, then using a spacer block marked it off- usually with about an inch error at the end. This calculator option solves all those problems.

There's a lot more to wainscoting, I highly recommend that you purchase Gary Katz dvd's on Wainscotting, he explains this in a very easy to understand way.

Show us the results when you are done :)

Laurie
aka MrMac204

http://www.lauriescustomfinishing.ca
Hey there Mac...I was looking at this on my CMP the other day as well...but then something shiny grabbed my attention and I left it hoping to get back to it.
I didn't get nearly as far as you did, and I think this should be posted somewhere else as well for posterity...maybe in tips and tricks? Great method, simple after you do it once or twice.


By the way...you the same Mac from CT?
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-26-2014, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asevereid View Post
Hey there Mac...I was looking at this on my CMP the other day as well...but then something shiny grabbed my attention and I left it hoping to get back to it.
I didn't get nearly as far as you did, and I think this should be posted somewhere else as well for posterity...maybe in tips and tricks? Great method, simple after you do it once or twice.


By the way...you the same Mac from CT?
Hey! ya that's me. I can't take the credit for this though, I learned it from the Gary Katz DVD's. Probably the best 3-400 I've spent. He also shows you how to do wainscot going up stairs, fairly complicated but if you understand the stuff above you will get it.
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-26-2014, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeback dad

The wife wants the picture frame style rather than a board and batten style. I don't know why she prefers it compared to the other styles out there. Also, I don't have a table saw so it limits the possibilities. Still hoping someone out there with more experience can point me in the right direction. I would prefer not to have the small frame but can't figure it out
If the local HomeDesperate has a rental center they rent table saws.
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-26-2014, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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All,

Thank you very much for all the advice! I got everything finished up today with the exception of going back and finishing the nail holes and caulking. Here is what I ended up with...my wife loves it so that's what is important. As you can see, she wanted me to keep going around the hallway.

I ended up going with slightly larger last two panels on the longer wall with slightly longer (4 3/8") spacing to deal with the different wall lengths. As I wrapped around the wall to where the computer desk was, I kept the spacing the same 4" and adjusted the widths of the frames slightly to make it work.

Let me know what you think. Also, I will have another question coming up, having to do with an electrical outlet, so look for that post in the near future...

Again, thanks for all the input. I know my work pales in comparison to all of you but I'm trying to learn.

Mike
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-26-2014, 07:20 PM
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Looks great. I have always liked that treatment but have not had a home I could do that.
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