What do I really need to cut trim?


Hi,
I would like to install a few stationary panes of glass myself and I'm dissatisfied with the selections of trim that I find at Home Depot or Lowes.
What do I need to cut my own window trim? Would an inexpensive router table be sufficient or would I also need a planer? Is there such a thing as a cheap nail gun? I saw an electric version at HD for $70. Finally, the panes that I will install first are quite high at 70 inches. What tool do I use to make sure that I'm installing the trim perfectly straight and that the glass will fit tightly against it?
Many thanks in advance!
Aaron Fude
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For trim selection or custom manufacture, I suggest that you contact a cabinet shop. If they don't have trim you like, you can pay for a custom molding cutter and have them make up a few lengths out of whatever wood you want to buy. For finish nailing, it's going to be pneumatic, not electric, and they are rentable. Typically a 16-guage finish nailer will work and not leave an oversize hole to fill with putty. As far as ensuring that the glass is plumb and not cocked in the opening, simply measuring from the inside wall should make it sufficiently even on all edges. Will the glass be insulated (double-paned) glass or just ordinary window glass?
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Thanks for all responses!

How about something like this: http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc%2fsearchResults.jsp&BV_SessionID=@@@@1542274154.1151148811@@@@&BV_EngineIDfkaddieehedihcgelceffdfgidgll.0&MID76

Can you elaborate on this a little? What do you mean by the inside wall? Right now all I have is a door with a square hole. I'm assuming I'll have to install the trim on one side, then put in the glass, then trim on the other side.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have one of these, made by Arrow I believe. It's certainly got its place, but this is probably not the tool you want to be using around glass. Firstly, to get it to countersink the nails you typically have to put a lot of pressure on it with your hands. If you don't, it'll leave the nail heads sticking out and then you've got to do it manually with a hammer and nail set. The other problem with these electric nailers is they need plenty of current to drive the nails. If you've got it on an extension cord that's either too long or too narrow a gauge, or plugged into a circuit that's having to supply too much power to other devices, the nailer is not going to countersink the nails.
Since getting one of those Porter Cable compressor/nailer combo kits, I've not used the Arrow electric nailer much. It is still handy though for some things and that's typically when I need to drive a few nails fast and it's not a problem to have to press the thing hard against the work to be nailed together.
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On 23 Jun 2006 12:32:19 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hi Aaron,
Looking at your followup post as well, I've got a better idea of what you're doing here.
If you take apart a steel door with a glass panel, there are two pieces of plastic gunk that screw together to hold the glass- I'm assuming that this is what you're going for.
On that assumption, I'd suggest you buy or borrow a table saw- doesn't have to be a huge one, just something to do a couple of the steps. You'll need to get all the stock to the same width, and then cut a rabbet in each side. One of them will set the into the door, and one of them will be where the glass fits in. Try and make the pieces so that they meet in the center of the door for the best hold and least bowing.
The table saw is also good if you want any grooves or angled planes in your milled trim. Everything else can be done with a router- you can rout freehand, buy a cheap table, or use a bit of plywood. It's nice to make the top out of two layers of plywood, but I got by with a hunk of 3/4" plywood c-clamped to a bench for quite a while. Use a straight piece of wood clamped to the table top for a fence and a featherboard (important when milling trim- don't skip it, or you won't be happy with the results. It's not just safer, it keeps the cut consistant)
As far as the nailgun goes, you might want to forget that one. Nailguns are great for trim, but you're talking about windows. I'd carefully drill and countersink screws into the trim so that the glass can be replaced later if it get broken or gets foggy inside. If the screw heads are an aestectic problem for you, invest in a plug cutter and cover them up.
This can be a fun project- good luck!
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Rout freehand?
Only with a pilot bearing :-)
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