Mitering large baseboard

Chris StrombergerJuly 30, 2007

We have some baseboard that is 5 1/4" tall. Our compound miter saw is not tall enough to cut it upright, so our carpenter is cutting it with the baseboard flat on the saw, and the saw tilted to 45 degrees. For some reason, the miters are not coming out nicely and he is thinking that in order for the 45 deg miters to work, he needs a saw that has enough clearance to cut the baseboard standing up.

Does this sound right?

This is stain-grade material, so no room for sloppy cuts (no caulk!). Any tips appreciated.


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Sounds like the saw is out of adjustment, or the board isn't being held in the right position for the cut. It also sounds like he could stand to learn to use a block plane.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 3:13PM
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The problem with cutting 45 degree miters flat is that the wood moves. There are holddown clamps sold as accessories for most miter saws that might help.

Another solution is to only miter outside corners and cope cut all inside corners. Coping does not need a good miter, just one close, as the back cut miter and any filing necessary makes the fit.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:15PM
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Chris Stromberger

So theoretically, cutting miters "sideways" with a compound miter saw should work fine?

I read elsewhere that you should cope inside corners with stain grade so no gap opens up. Sounds like a good idea.

Will try cutting with clamps also and see if that helps.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:18PM
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Any of the above are possible. In the end, the miter should be the same whether it's cut upright, flat, upside down or on a tilted table.

The other assumption is the corner is twice the measure of the tilt of the saw. That is, even is the saw is cutting a perfect 45, I've yet to meet a corner that was a perfect 90.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 7:26PM
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"I've yet to meet a corner that was a perfect 90."

I have measured a few in plaster walled houses, but hardly any in drywall houses.
The mudding of the corner bead and feathering out messes up how the corner fits for molding.
It needs to bend to follow the variation in the drywall, and the resulting corners are often sharper than 90 degrees because of the 'flare' produced by mudding the corner bead.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 8:03PM
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