No Cutting Corners: Tips for Tight Miters and Coped Joints

No Cutting Corners: Tips for Tight Miters and Coped Joints

Tips for tight miters and coped joints.

installing door frame trim

Family Handyman

Miters rarely fit on the first attempt. More often than not, you ’ ll brush out-of-square corners, walls that aren ’ triiodothyronine plumb and wallboard that has bumps. The secret to making tight-fitting miters is knowing how to adjust your cuts for these real-world conditions. We ’ ll picture you tricks you can use to cut door and window case and baseboard joints to fit perfectly, even when you have less-than-perfect walls and jambs.

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Shim and Shave Miters

shave and shim miters door trim Family Handyman
How many times have you set your miter saw precisely on 45 degrees and hack miters on a pair of moldings, only to discover they don ’ triiodothyronine fit ? Well, don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate worry. There ’ sulfur nothing incorrectly with your interpret or your proficiency. Miters about constantly have to be shaved to fit absolutely .
One method acting is to merely adjust the slant slenderly on your miter meet and recut both moldings. The trouble is that making bantam adjustments to the cutting angle is unmanageable on many saws. A quick and easier method acting is to place a shim against the miter saw fence to slenderly change the angle. Move the shim aside from the blade for smaller adjustments and closer for larger ones, or vary the thickness of the shim. Remember, both pieces need the demand same cut to fit precisely .
Plus, check out these Tips for Tight Miters and Miter Cuts .
micro adjust miter saw

1 .Micro-Adjust a Miter

close a col on the top of a miter by placing a scraggy shim ( 1/16 in. or less ) against the parcel of the fence farthest from the blade. Slide the mold tight to the shim and against the fence near the blade. Hold it in this place while you make the cut. caution : Keep your fingers at least 6 in. from the path of the blade .
treat both trim sides the same miter saw

2. Treat Both Sides the Same

Trim the other half of the miter using the same proficiency. Use the lapp shim and home it the like distance from the blade. Drop the blade slowly through the wood to shave thin slices .

Tilt Trim on Inset Jams

door trim Family Handyman
occasionally you ’ ll run into a door or window jamb that isn ’ t quite flush with the wall. On a start jamb, you can nail the trim to the jamb, slip a shim between the trim and the wallboard, and then nail the tailored to the wall. Caulk and key will hide the break. An inset jamb demands a different overture. First remove adequate wallboard so the tailored can span the jamb and wall without rocking ( Photo 2 ). This solves half the problem. But even now a regular 45-degree miter won ’ thyroxine equip because the molding has to tilt down to meet the jamb. Correct this problem by tilting the clean-cut on the bed of the miter box to match the angle at which it rests against the wall. then make standard 45-degree miter cuts. Photo 1 shows how to determine the chastise thickness for the shim used in Photo 3 to tilt the shape .
custom cut a shim door trim

1 .Custom-Cut a Shim

Cut a shim merely slurred enough to slip under a straightedge spanning the wallboard corner. Use this shim to elevate the outside edge of your molding ( Photo 3 ) before cutting it .
slice the drywall trim a door

2. Slice the wallboard

Trim back the wallboard with a abrupt utility program knife until the molding no retentive rocks when it ’ randomness set in plaza against the jamb and wallboard. Use a hammer to mash and flatten the wallboard if necessary .
tilt trim with a shim miter door trim

3 .Tilt the Trim With a Shim

Raise the outside edge of the molding with the shim and cut the 45-degree miter. Repeat the process for the opposite miter. If early modest adjustments to the angle are needed, follow the tip in Photo 1 .

Cope Baseboard Faster

cope baseboard Family Handyman
cope is better than mitering at inside corners. But on tall baseboards, cutting the long, straight section of the header with a collar witness is difficult, and the cut is normally crinkled. rather, start the cope as usual ( Photo 1 ). then tip the mold top down in the miter see and saw true gloomy to the profile department. last, complete the header by sawing out the profile ( Photo 3 ) .
miter cut 45 degree bevel baseboard

1. Start With a Miter Cut

As with any hook joint, begin by cutting a 45-degree miter on the baseboard. The miter cut provides a profile to guide your cope cut .
make the straight cut mitered baseboard

2. Make the Straight Cut

Turn the mitered baseboard top down. Adjust the angle to about 15 degrees and saw down along the straight segment of the bevel cut. Keep the blade slightly to the outside of the pipeline. Let the blade stop before lifting it from the cut .
cut the corners baseboard trim

3. Cut the Curvers

see out the remaining profile section with a hook saw. Tilt the see to at least a 30-degree lean to create a back bevel for easier match .

Close Gaps at Inside Corners

white baseboard Family Handyman
Uneven walls or floors that are out of level can cause even perfectly coped inside corners to look dirty. Check the fit of your cope before you nail in either base mold. That way you ’ ll placid have the option to shim out the buttocks of the square-cut ( uncoped ) piece to close a col at the bottom of the cope ( Photo 2 ). Photo 3 shows marking a cope that ’ s candid at the top. You then file or plane to the line .
check the fit baseboard

1. Check the Fit

Check the fit against the square-cut piece of base before nailing either of the two baseboards. The straight sections rarely fit absolutely .
gap at bottom of baseboard add a screw

2. Add a Screw

close a opening at the bottomland by removing the square-cut base and driving a wallboard screw into the wall about 1/2 in. from the floor. Test the cope and adjust the prison guard in or out until the header fits compressed .
baseboard gap at top scribe and trim

3. Scribe and Trim

close a gap at the top by scribing the break with a small compass to mark the wood to be removed. then file to the line .

Avoid Trim Collisions

avoid trim collisions
here ’ s one of the easiest ways to make your solve look better : When sections of trim meet at joints or corners, match the wood tone and grain pattern. It lone takes a few seconds, and you ’ ll avoid despicable mismatches like this .

Overcut Outside Corners

baseboard outside corners Family Handyman
Getting away corners to fit tight is trickier than it looks. The key is to make accurate marks with the baseboard in place rather than relying on measurements. And then cut the piece a little hanker thus you distillery have the choice to shave a little from the slant if it doesn ’ metric ton fit. Since gaps on the back of the corner are barely noticeable, while gaps on the front man are glaring, it ’ s a good idea to start by cutting slenderly steep 45-1/2-degree angles inaugural. then if there ’ mho placid a gap in the presence, cut a slightly steep angle on both pieces. You ’ ll need a compound miter saw or sliding intensify miter saw to well cut tight-fitting miters on wide baseboard .
mark baseboard corners with a knife

1. Mark With a Knife

Mark outside corners with a sharply utility tongue. It ’ s far more accurate than a pencil mark. Repeat the commemorate process on the opposite baseboard. Cut 45-1/2-degree angles on both boards, leaving each an extra 1/8 in. long .
check the baseboard fit

2. Cut the Fit

If the miter is open on the front, increase the cutting angle to about 46 degrees and recut both sides. Be careful to remove alone a hair’s-breadth ’ s width from each board. Reduce the slant if the stinger is open at the back. When the slant is correct, recut each board good to the outside of the marks before nailing them into space .

Make Dead Ends Look Good

window trim Family Handyman
When pare comes to a absolutely end—on window aprons or professorship rail, for example— some tailored carpenters just chop it off and nail it up. But there ’ s a better room : Add a miter “ return ” for a finished search .
window trim leave the cut incomplete

1. Leave the Cut Incomplete

Cut the slant for a minor miter reelect on your miter see, but don ’ t completely cut it off from the trim stock. rather, cut through the remaining splinter of wood with a utility knife .
glue in return window trim

2. Glue in the Return

Choose a fast-acting cyanoacrylate glue formulated for wood ( Krazy Glue is one brand ).

Get a Pinner

get a pinner for window trim
even if you entirely do casual trimming jobs, you need a 23-gauge micro pinner in addition to your 18-gauge brad nailer. The scraggy pins fasten returns and other bantam pieces without splitting. In most areas, you don ’ thymine even have to fill the smash holes— paint or finish will hide them. ( If the holes are at center level, though, it ’ sulfur good to putty them. ) many pin nailers cost less than $ 100—you can even find one at harborfreight.com for about $ 30. cordless models are available as well ( the Ryobi costs about $ 130 ). Grex makes a adaptation ( about $ 280 ) that shoots pins up to 2 in. retentive .
tool hacks normally happen on the vanish, when you ’ re in a situation that calls for a joyride to be modified slenderly or used in a way that ’ s different than its intended aim. so check out these 20 cool instrument hacks .

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