Introduction to Interior Finish Carpentry


This course is offered in partnership with MTCopeland.  This course is designed for construction professionals or entry-level carpenters looking to specialize in this area of the trades and gain new skills to perform quality interior trim work for any job.  With over 100,000 satisfied students and a course catalog of over 1,000 classes, we are here to help you – Invest in Yourself.



aaron butt

Aaron Butt has been in the trades for over 20 years, primarily in the custom, high end architect driven building market on the north shore of Boston Massachusetts. He is passionate about excellence and the craft of custom residential building. Having also spent time teaching a full-time carpentry program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Aaron fully embraces his desire to continue teaching what he knows and learning from others who have gone before him.

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Course Description

Learn how to install baseboard, base cap, and window and door trim from a professional finish carpenter, complete with the essential tools, terminology, and materials involved in interior finish carpentry.

Course Outline

 Introduction – Your instructor, Aaron Butt, is a professional framer and finish carpenter who has been working in the trades for twenty years. Learn why finish carpentry is such a unique trade, and how it’s able to transform rough construction into a beautiful, finished space.

What Is Finish Carpentry? – Finish carpentry is all around us, from baseboards to wall paneling to window trim to crown moulding. Aaron reviews the wide variety of profiles and stocks to choose from in finish carpentry, and emphasizes the necessity of consistency and attention to detail when working with trim.

 Trim: Basic Tools – Finish carpenters are very particular about their tool sets, and these sets often vary greatly from carpenter to carpenter. Aaron reviews a select few of his favorite trim carpentry tools to have on hand, like a rubber mallet, trimmer’s flat bar, spring clamp, and more.

Trim: Process Overview – Finish carpentry is about taking construction work—regardless of the state—and making it look as good as possible. Aaron reviews a general finish carpentry workflow, which involves checking the leveling, laying out the reveals, rough cutting the material, preassembling the cut pieces and installing them, and scribing.

 Interior Door Trim: Marking in Place – Aaron shows you how to lay out your reveals—which means marking the areas for the trim on the edge of the door casing—with a combination square and pencil. Then, learn how to mark up the three casing pieces and safely make miter cuts so they’re ready for preassembly.

 Interior Door Trim: Preassembly – Preassembly is a process by which you cut and assemble all of your pieces at once, before installation. Once the pieces have been cut, learn how to join three door casings using wood glue, a rubber mallet, spring clamps, and an eighteen gauge brad gun.

 Interior Door Trim: Installation – Aaron demonstrates a basic door trim installation, working the eighteen gauge brad gun down the casings so they are firmly attached to the door jam. Learn how to avoid pulling the joints apart with the nails using pieces of shim and an angled finish nailer.

Terminology: Miter and Bevel Cuts – Miter and bevel cuts are some of the most common cuts used in finish carpentry. Learn about making miter cuts in casing and baseboard, and how to make a bevel cut.

 Baseboard Installation: Wall Out of Plumb – If you inherit walls that aren’t entirely straight, you’ll end up with a gap where they meet the baseboard. Learn how to correct this mistake using a speed square and saw for a beautiful, finished space.

Baseboard Installation: Floor Out of Level – To install baseboards along a floor that isn’t level, you’ll need to scribe your baseboard to the floor. Learn how to adjust the baseboard piece to the floor’s slope.

Baseboard Installation: Outside Corner Angles – Sometimes wall corners don’t come together at exactly ninety degrees. Learn how to use an angle finder to measure your wall corners, then adjust your baseboard measurements to fit the wall corner–even if it isn’t square.

Base Cap: Installation – A base cap is a transitional piece between the baseboard and the wall, used for safety and aesthetics. Aaron demonstrates a simple base cap installation using miter clamps and a brad gun.

Interior Window Trim: Introduction – Stool caps and aprons line the bottoms of windows to create a finished look. Learn how to determine measurements and cut for an apron, stool cap, and a return stock—a small piece of trim that fits to another piece of trim to create a ninety degree angle.

 Interior Window Trim: Installation – Aaron takes you through a full window trim installation, starting with the stool cap, moving to the window casings, then finishing with the apron and stock returns. Finally, learn how to measure, cut, and attach an apron stock, creating a ninety degree angle on the aprons and completing the window trim.

Conclusion – Each person finds their own sweet spot within carpentry. For Aaron, it’s interior finish carpentry. Learn how this trade has provided him with a great living, exciting work environment, and a satisfying way to work with his hands to make beautiful spaces come to life.

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