Wainscoting on Small Walls

Posted by John on June 3rd, 2012

Finally back to a normal work schedule for the time being!  Last week, I only managed one real honest to goodness post.  Unfortunately, I was working 12 hour shifts trying to get a project done.  It ended up working out well, but my writing and project time paid the price.  Oh well, it is what it is.  OHFS doesn’t pay the bills if you know what I mean.

After last week’s frantic work pace, I took most of Saturday off to recoup and catch up with the baby and Lisa.  I did manage to get a few hours of paneling time in on Sunday evening, so I do have an update on that project.  As of the last time I wrote about the dining room wainscoting, I had one more long wall to frame up and then the three smaller wall sections.  I decided to get the smaller walls out of the way first and leave the longer one for another day.  The longer ones tend to be a bit more involved with multiple panels and spreadsheets and a whole lot of carpentry/nerdery.  Wainscoting on small walls is a little easier than the long ones.

Here’s the other long wall and the three short wall sections I have left…

The nice thing about these three smaller sections is they are one offs.  I don’t need to do any extensive panel sizing spreadsheets or any real math.  I make the panels for these sections as large as the wall allows.  I managed to make all three around the same time.  The only thing that varied among the three sections was the length of the top and bottom boards.

The first section went in fairly quickly…

I just flushed up the left side with the wall edge and made sure it was level.  Then I took it off, added glue and nailed it right back into place.  Since the right side edge was going to be covered by the adjoining panel section, I didn’t need to worry about it being dead flat against the wall.

The other two sections were a little more tricky.  Both of these two pieces need to be flush to an outside wall AND tight to a panel section.  That means any variation in the wall shape or panel dimension will need to be taken into account.

There were a couple mistakes made here though and they’re going to set me back a couple days.  The larger of the two pieces I cut too long…

Can you spot my mistake?  Right away I knew it was too long and at first I thought the wall was waaayyy out of square.  I though it was so out of square that I could slip a 1/2″ thick piece of scrap in the top gap. Yikes.

But, then I put a level on it and realized it wasn’t so bad.  To level it, I just had to push that gap closed!  Nice!  But, the piece is still 3/4″ too long because….. I forgot to subtract the thickness of the panel section on the adjacent wall.  I made the panel thinking it was the whole wall length.  Oops.  What made matters worse was the panel broke when I tried to take it apart since I had glued my pocket hole joints!  Now I need more material!  Crapola!

The third panel section will probably be okay.  I say that because I haven’t finished it yet either.  It’s built, but it needs to be trimmed to sit flush with the outside wall edge.  I’ll show you how I do that hopefully this week.  I’d like to be done all the panel frames by the end of the week.

Anyone else having trouble finding time to balance work/life/family/blog?  Seems to be the biggest challenge of this whole blog thing.

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