Synopsis: Finish carpenter Joseph Laskey describes a project in which he trimmed out a series of casement windows in a round bump-out to surround a soaking tub. The bay includes all the elements of a conventional multiunit cased window, but the parts must be cut and fit individually to match the curve. Laskey describes each part of the process, from cutting and fitting the stool segments to adding extension jambs and casing before fitting the mull covers and curved apron.
I’m a finish-carpentry subcontractor for Bayview Builders, a custom home builder in Annapolis, Maryland. This affluent suburb of Washington, D.C., provides plenty of interesting carpentry projects for me to work on. Recently I had to trim out a series of casement windows in a round bump-out for a luxury master bath.
The windows, which surround a soaking tub, were trimmed with mitered casing and a traditional stool and apron.
A project like this requires patience, attention to detail, and a good millwork supplier. Here we used a mix of materials, some radiused, some square. A custom millwork shop provided the laminated mahogany apron and head casing with the correct radius, but I had to fit and install them. For the stool, we started with square poplar stock, and I rough-cut the curve for these pieces on my bandsaw. To guide that work, I created a template, which I marked with the location of each extension jamb and decorative bead that surrounds the windows.
In the end, it took a little over three days to finish the job. It was a fun project and I think the finished space is among my favorite in the house.
Start with the stool
The stool segments, made from 5/4 by 8-in. poplar, are the first component to cut and fit. Each stool segment has one straight side and one curved side. The straight side butts against the casement window frame and the curved side matches the 6-ft. radius of the bay window. The oversize blanks are field-trimmed before the individual segments are joined together and fastened to the framing.
Add extension jambs
The casement windows require extension jambs to fully conceal the bump-out’s 2×6 walls. The reveals for the side extensions are all 1⁄4 in., and I use a laser line to ensure all the extension-jamb tops are at the same height so the casing reveal is consistent.
Casing comes next
The curved head casing and apron are made from hardwood laminations by a specialty millwork shop. They’re made oversize and must be field-trimmed. Like anything made from wood laminations, they won’t hold a perfect curve for very long after being unclamped from their forms. The parts must be coaxed up and down as they’re fastened to keep them perfectly horizontal.
Mull covers made from 1⁄4-in.-thick bending plywood hide the framing between windows. The plywood fits between decorative bead that hides the plywood’s edge and ties into the bead on the head and side casing. The final step is to fit a curved apron beneath the stool.
Joseph Laskey is a finish carpenter in Crownsville, Md. Top Photo: Julie Carlisle. Drawing: John Hartman. Photos by Patrick McCombe, except where noted.
From Fine Homebuilding #294
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