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What is Finish Carpentry?

Finish carpentry is the final step of the whole carpentry process. It involves the setting up of finish woods and plastic trims. Finish carpenters carry out tasks like the installation of crown moldings, windows, baseboards, stairs and other parts of a building that needs to be aesthetically appealing. In order to master finish carpentry, it would take years of practice and you need to familiarize yourself with a wide variety of woodworking tools.

In woodwork, the finishing touches are the ones that would elevate the end product; this is where finish carpentry comes in to play. Finish carpentry covers each and every carpentry task done to finish a woodworking project. While rough carpentry would be covered up all throughout the building process, finish carpentry would emphasize the visible details of the project. If you wish to improve the aesthetic of a structure, finish carpentry sure is the best place to start.

Let’s take a deeper dive into finish carpentry:


Cutting, fitting and installing of molding and fascias requires a lot of finish carpentry work. Installing molding is a very straightforward task that does not need a wide range of tools. Hand tools are commonly used to cut and fit moldings, however, some woodworkers make use of power tools to make the job easier and finish the job faster.


Finish carpentry plays a huge part in setting up the trim and frames surrounding the doors and windows, as well as assuring that each unit has been leveled and installed properly for it to function correctly. As soon as the door or window has been set up, the trim is then cut and nailed into place. Most door and window is set up with the same method as making a picture frame by linking each core and a 45 degree angle.


The finish carpentry field requires a lot tasks that only experts in the field could carry out, like stair-building, cabinetmaking, and other parts of home-building that may be done by one person or small group. Stair-building and cabinetmaking are examples of the more complex woodworking tasks, wherein at least some of the original tasks needed to be carried out in a woodworking shop. Once the stairs are built and the cabinets are made, the finish carpenter would have to have these items installed on-site.


Finish carpenters utilize a wide range of tools. Some power tools that are commonly used in the trade are the electric screw gun, electric drill circular saw, router, table saw, and power miter box. Power miter box is one of the most vital tools that every finish carpenter should have in order to make angular cuts the job entails. Finish carpenters also make use of measuring tools like, rulers, tape measures and scribes, which are need to measure curvatures.


Not only does finish carpentry requires a skilled hand, it also entails a good eye for intricate details. Some of the most common tasks include trimming, molding, installation of hardware (drawers, door knobs), roofing, or gutters. Basically, any visible part of a structure needs finish carpentry. A skilled finish carpenter could also make the most out of the available storage space when putting up cabinets. They could design and construct comfy and cozy furniture and add tailor made inlay to flooring and shelving units.


Finish carpenters do their job at the end of the project, and like any other carpenters they have to be competent in order to get the job done. In addition, they need to have a good and critical eye for aesthetics. Finish carpentry requires setting up items accurately and evenly and assure that they are of matching sizes, colors, and patterns. Finish carpentry that is not done well is much easier to spot than rough carpentry, so it is a must to have exact measurements and precise executions to assure quality work.


Trim and molding accessorize a building, and could make quite a powerful design statement. Finish carpenters could accomplish trimming and molding jobs for your interior, exterior, window or door casings. Below are some of the most common molding types:
Crown molding – an angled, ornamental capping that is installed between the gaps of the ceiling and the wall.
Cornices – the topmost part of a crown molding that builds the trim’s profile.
Cove molding – is just like crown molding, but instead having an outward profile.
Chair rail molding – a molding used to protect the walls from the back of the chairs.
Panel molding – large hollow frames that extend above the height of a chair or from the floor to the ceiling.
Baseboard – molding installed at the base of the walls that defends the wall from any type of damage and connects the wall and the floor.

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