I'm adding new trim to all the doors in my house. The material is flat
1x4 MDF. Since the trim is flat, I thought it would look cleaner with
no reveal. But that means I need to cut back the trim around the
I'm wondering about a couple of things the collective experience may
a.) How important is the reveal? Is my clean approach stupid for some
reason other than the fact that you need to cut around the hinges.
b.) What is the best tool to get the cleanest cut out for the hinge.
I don't think your approach is "clean". Are you planning on using a
cove bit to follow the hinge barrel radius? Are your casings and other
trim totally featureless? Do you like the squeaking sound that a
closely conforming "clean" cut will make as the wood rubs on the metal?
The gaps that you'll have to build in to keep the hinge from rubbing
will be far more objectionable than a uniform reveal.
If you go ahead with the cut to fit plan, how are you going to remove
the hinge pins when you want to take off the door? Hint - not. You're
now in for removing the screws which is much more of a pain in the ass.
The reveal adds detail (in architectural woodworking, you pay for
shadow lines - they add visual depth) and makes it _much_ easier to fit
Thank you for your reply. You're clearly an *A*dvanced *A*rchitecture
*S*cholar. Yes, my trim is featureless. I like it that way; nice and
simple, clean square lines. But that's just my opinion and taste of
which you obviously possess better of each. And the scraping sound you
are referring to and the hinge pin problem is why I intend to cut out
the trim around the hinge. I'm thinking about using a router with a
raised panel cove bit and to recess the trim around the hinges.
Thanks for all your help!
Quite possibly I do have better taste than you do, but that's entirely
besides the point. It's your house and you'll obviously do as you see
Your trim is not featureless, it stands proud from the wall. If you
want modern, eliminate the casing entirely. I worked on the old
Central Savings Bank renovation in NYC and collaborated with the
architect on designing exactly that sort of feature. I also fail to
see how three notches constitutes clean lines. I'd call that a kludge.
You could rethink your hardware - butt hinges ate not necessarily the
way to go.
I would love to see how cutting out around the hinge will enable you to
remove the hinge pin. The hinge pin needs to slide up 3.5" before it
pops out. Are you planning to extend that clean notch that far?
Do yourself a favor. Make a mockup. Pop for the $5 in trim and cut it
until it works for you. I think you might find the effect is not quite
what you're imagining.
I forgot to mention one thing. Have you ever tried to line up casing
with the edge of a door frame? About ten or fifteen years ago I did
exactly what you intend to do (not with MDF though). If I wasn't
embarrassed about how it looked I'd run over and take a picture for
you. This is one of those seemed like a good idea at the time type of
The reveal is there for a very functional reason. Lining up along the
whole edge is difficult. Not impossible, just a pain in the ass. The
tiniest discrepancy shows up. So you're either left with a lot of
sanding and/or filling, or a little bump in what is intended to be one
It's not the reply, it's the suggestion that ones personal taste is so
far superior to another's. Of course, it is my time of the month so
maybe I just took it that way. In either case, I got a laugh out of it
so I guess that would make me an *A*prentice *A*rchitectual *S*cholar.
Seriously, to R and all, thank you. I thought I had a great new twist
on an old thing and all of my OOB thinking has landed me back to square
one. I'm going to do the mock up thing.
Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention what I think is the funniest part: in
my attempt to be clever, I misspelled the word which by itself would
cause this post to not happen. TWICE! What an idiot. I hope no one
your here knows me. :)
When I was in school, taking an architectural studio, I
half-apologetically confessed to a friend in another school's arch
program, that I thought I had the best project in my studio. She
straightened me right out - "Of course you do, otherwise you'd be doing
a different project!" Opinions are like that - if you don't feel you
have The Opinion, you probably should change it. That, of course, is
different from foisting your opinion on others.
I stated quite clearly that I didn't think the
no-reveal-but-cut-out-hinges design was "clean" - still don't. You're
trading off and not really gaining anything except a big pain in the
ass. You did take it wrong.
Consider the mock-up research. I was just trying to save you some
trouble and point out the main issues. I found it pretty interesting
that the rec.woodworking replies were mainly about the MDF, although a
couple did mention exactly what I said. Some people have to reinvent
the wheel for themselves. Before you go taking _that_ the wrong way -
I'm one of them.
Well taste aside, the reveal will look far better than the notches
(yes, they will be notches) in an otherwise clean installation. I did
that once and hated the looks until I replaced all the trim.
A final note and reason for the reveal is that the seam between the
casing and jamb will likely form a crack in the paint line unless you
glue the joint together. By setting the trim back 1/4" or so you
create an inside corner out of the joint that can be caulked and is
far less likely to show a crack line since the caulk will flex with
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.