Today was the day for the trickiest part of the finish trim work.

I made biscuit slots in the entire upper area, including along the top for the long trim piece. I prepared with all the clamps I would use to hold it in place while the glue dries.

biscuits cut and ready for the top piece

With a bit of figuring, I realized my (almost) thirteen foot trim piece was too wide, and my clamps would not fit between the top of it and the ceiling and still be able to turn down enough to clamp. So I trimmed off about 3/4 of an inch.

trim and offcut

With help from Teresa I verified the length for the trim, and used my saw hook and hand saw to trim both ends to the right length. The left side has a slight angle, as the wall isn’t totally vertical.

trimming the left end

left end with a slight angle

right end trimmed

Happily, I realized I could use the long cutoff as a story stick. Since I’m using biscuits to join the trim to the case (“Look, Ma! No nails!"), I needed to know where to biscuit the back of the trim piece to align with the biscuit slots I’d milled in the edges of the cases.

I cut the piece to precise length and marked where the centers of the biscuit slots in the case fronts are. I then took that to the workshop and used it to mark the back of the trim piece so I knew where to cut slots.

story stick and trim piece with biscuit slots

This allowed me to locate the slots precisely along the entire length of the board.

entire story stick and trim piece with biscuit slots

Thank goodness for hide glue. It has an open time (how long it will still adhere after you apply it) of about twenty minutes, which is good. I needed to apply glue to 22 biscuit slots, 22 biscuits, the front edge of the cabinets, the back of the trim, and twenty two biscuit slots in the back of the trim. At fifteen seconds per slot that’s eleven minutes just for the slots. So I had to work faster than that.

The biscuits swell as they absorb water from the glue, and some of them didn’t want to seat completely into the slots in the trim piece. I should have known things wouldn’t go on with a bit of persuasion, but I didn’t think of it up front. So there was a tense couple of minutes while I dashed to the workshop for a deadblow mallet and a scrap of wood to bang the trim flush with the cabinet faces. But everything came together in the end.

trim piece attached and clamped