• 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • 9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
  • Inside a Model Remodel
    Inside a Model Remodel
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Ultimate Deck Build 2015
    Ultimate Deck Build 2015
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
    Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence

Quick, accurate shims

comments (0) January 31st, 2011 in Project Gallery
Click the thumbs up button above to vote for this tip. Help us choose Fine Homebuildings top-10 window and door tips. Click To Enlarge

Click the "thumbs up" button above to vote for this tip. Help us choose Fine Homebuilding's top-10 window and door tips

Photo: Drawing by Chuck Miller

Obtaining the right-size shims for a job can be quick, easy, and precise if you put in about 10 minutes’ preparation. Begin with the shim stock.

A proper shim has grain running its entire length—no end grain allowed. To that end, I glue 3-1/2-in.-long 2x4 blocks together edge to edge, as shown in the drawing. The number of blocks depends on the length of bar clamps available for gluing. I label the glued pieces “Shim Material” so that this wood isn’t used for something else.

Next, on a piece of masking tape affixed to the miter-saw fence, I draw index marks exactly 3 in. left of the blade. These marks represent both sides of the sawcut. If I wanted to cut a shim 13/32 in. thick, I would mark the shim material at 3 plus 13/32 in. from the right end, as shown. Then I would align the mark on the wood with the right index mark on the miter saw. When I cut the wood, a piece exactly 13/32 in. thick is the result.

It’s also easy to cut wedged shims this way. A useful rule of thumb is that for every mitered degree you cut through a 3-1/2-in.-wide piece, the wedge becomes 1/16 in. thicker on one end than it is on the other.

Nils Omholt, Sterling Heights, MI 
From Fine Homebuilding 184, pp. 26


posted in: Project Gallery, windows, doors
Back to List
Next Article
Next Article:

Comments (0)

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.