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Old 04-01-2011, 08:18 AM   #1
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


Let me start by say I REALLY do like Craftsman style or Arts and Crafts style molding, and I really do like Colonial sytle (fluted sides and rosette blocks) trim! But (shhhhh don't tell my wife lol) I think "part" of it is because I can not for the the life of me figure out how to cope molding?! I understand the concept, but just can not figure out how to do it? What the angle is? How much to cut off?! I am most likely going to go with a Craftsman style trim, as I said before I really do like it!!! But also because I THINK it will be easier for me. Does anyone have any tips that could help me overcome this fear of coping? Honestly I havent even tried it yet, just because I cant get my head around it!?

Thanks

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Old 04-01-2011, 08:40 AM   #2
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


Try this experiment.....

Take a piece of molding and cut an inside miter.
Now look at the material behind the profile.
You have to remove that.





Does that help?

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Old 04-01-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


I started with two scrap pieces of very simple baseboard and an example of the original that was already there.

One of my early failures was not angling the cut back far enough. This resulted in a profile that looked correct straight on, but did not fit tightly into the corner. It's hard to angle to far back into the cut with the coping saw.

Practice on baseboard, paint grade trim and don't get wrapped around the axle. A nice bead of caulk makes everybody look like a pro.
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


Search YouTube, I’ve seen quite a few good coping videos there using a few different techniques.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:52 PM   #5
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


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Let me start by say I REALLY do like Craftsman style or Arts and Crafts style molding, and I really do like Colonial sytle (fluted sides and rosette blocks) trim! But (shhhhh don't tell my wife lol) I think "part" of it is because I can not for the the life of me figure out how to cope molding?! I understand the concept, but just can not figure out how to do it? What the angle is? How much to cut off?! I am most likely going to go with a Craftsman style trim, as I said before I really do like it!!! But also because I THINK it will be easier for me. Does anyone have any tips that could help me overcome this fear of coping? Honestly I havent even tried it yet, just because I cant get my head around it!?

Thanks
I always recommend testing with scrap pieces. It just takes trial and error.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:47 AM   #6
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


The angle is what confuses me! BUT I will try with some scraps and see if I can get?! THANK YOU EVERYONE! Adding this to my bucket list!
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:34 AM   #7
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


Add a Dremmel tool with a small sanding tube to the cutting bench---You will be able to 'fine tune' your copes easily that way.

Practice--that little back cut angle will come with practice.

One trim guy I met has a battery powered Dremmel---He fine tunes his cuts right where the trim is installed.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:50 AM   #8
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


Don't worry, once you sit down with a couple of scraps and an example you'll pick it up in no time. I was thoroughly stumped after reading several books on it, but by the end of my first day I had retired the manual coping saw for a jig saw. Remember to make relief cut into the detailed (curvy) sections of the profile so you don't snap pieces off as you corner.

Good luck
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:30 AM   #9
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


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Add a Dremmel tool with a small sanding tube to the cutting bench---You will be able to 'fine tune' your copes easily that way.

Practice--that little back cut angle will come with practice.

One trim guy I met has a battery powered Dremmel---He fine tunes his cuts right where the trim is installed.
Small files are handy
Sandpaper wrapped around square stock and dowels works well, too.


or go get another tool you've needed an excuse to buy.....
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:45 AM   #10
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


I've used a Dremel on these before, but I used up too many sanding bits. I prefer rasps/files after undercutting with a utility knife
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:00 AM   #11
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


One trick that helps me get to the point where my back cuts are deep enough that I don't need to ' touch it up' is this...

When you are cutting out the waste, position yourself so you are 90° to the profile.
Look straight on it and picture what will be in the way of the adjoining piece.

Too often, (especially with crown) we lay the stock on the bench and just saw straight up and down, pick the piece up to examine it and you see all this waste that still has to be dremeled or trimmed.....

I started to get " first cut fits " when I started this simple repositioning angle.

Hope I explained it clear enough....
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:09 AM   #12
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


You mean stand the crown up on edge?
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:30 AM   #13
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?




AM I RIGHT? Is the final cut 90 degrees with just the design cut out? I watched this video just now on youtube and that is what it looks like to me? IF SO, that makes alot more sense to me?!! If I am misunderstanding please let me know?!
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:40 AM   #14
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


you got it Scotty !!
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:27 AM   #15
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Coping Trim? I just can't figure it out!?


I can't agree with the video. Especially when we were shown that the fit was WAY off.

My contention is that the coped bevel needs to be very sharp... all the way. The point of this being that when you 'spring' in an over-length piece, some of the sharp edges of the coped line of the profile will actually 'crush' themselves into the flats and curves of the adjoining profile, thus making a much tighter looking fit.

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Last edited by Willie T; 04-04-2011 at 10:33 AM.
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