Archives: Finish Carpentry

How To Build Wood Countertops

By Todd Fratzel on Finish Carpentry

Make Your Own Wooden Countertops Wood countertops are beautiful and add a warmth that other materials have a hard time matching. While not suitable  for extremely wet conditions there are situations like island counters, bars, and serving hutches that make great sense for wood countertops. In this article I want to share my recent experience…

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Save Money On Interior Trim

By Todd Fratzel on Finish Carpentry

Buying Pro Paks at The Home Depot Saves Money Whether you’re building an entire new home or just doing a renovation the material costs are enough to make any grown man cry! While our economy has been anything but inspiring, the cost of building materials has continued to climb without regard to our stagnant economy.…

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WoodTrac Ceiling System Review

By Todd Fratzel on Basements, Finish Carpentry

WoodTrac Ceiling System I’m a huge proponent of using suspended ceilings (drop ceilings, acoustic tile ceilings) for finished basements because they allow easy access to electrical, plumbing and heating utilities that are typically suspended from the floor framing above.  Lots of my customers cringe when I make this suggestion because they don’t like the appearance…

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Custom Colonial Style Fireplace Mantel

By Todd Fratzel on Finish Carpentry, Interior Decorating

Custom Fireplace Mantel There’s something about a beautiful fireplace and mantel that really makes a home feel warm and inviting. A fireplace mantel can also be a beautiful prominent architectural feature. I’ve built a couple custom mantels over the years and the one featured in this article is my latest one in our new home.…

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Miter Joint Shrinkage Explanation

By Todd Fratzel on Finish Carpentry

Miter Joint Shrinkage – Why Miter Joints Open Up I’m sure everyone has seen a miter joint that has opened up similar to the one in this image. I’d like to explain why this type of miter joint shrinkage happens so that you can try to avoid this unsightly problem. To understand this problem you…

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Window Casing – Using Pocket Screw Joints

By Todd Fratzel on Finish Carpentry

Window Casing – Tight Joints Every Time So we’ve all seen window casing that looks terrible because the joints have opened up over time. This even happens with the most forgiving joint (the butt and pass joint). This can be totally prevented by pre-assembling your window casing with pocket screws! Using pocket screws is so…

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Colonial Style Fluted Window & Door Trim

By Todd Fratzel on Design, Doors, Finish Carpentry, Windows

Window & Door Trim Today’s mass produced homes rarely use architecturally pleasing window and door trim. Most homes today are built with a very basic colonial trim with mitered joints. Obviously this is done in an effort to reduce building costs while providing a basic look. Older homes traditionally featured very ornate and detailed window…

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Custom Stairs

By Todd Fratzel on Finish Carpentry, Framing, Interior Decorating

Custom Brazilian Cherry Staircase In our new home we built the custom stairs with Brazilian Cherry treads, handrails and newel post. The risers and stringers are made from poplar. Brazilian Cherry is a really beautiful wood and extremely dense. I’m told it’s about 100 times harder than red oak. As you can see in the…

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