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Old 12-05-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
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Running baseboards-killin me!


I've got a new 3500 sqft home that I've done most of the work on. I've got flooring down and now I"m starting to put baseboards down. I put it down in the kitchen last night and it took way too long. Corners aren't exactly 90 degrees or plumb at the bottom, so my mitered 45's don't work out and I end up making 10 trips to the saw for every corner I come to.

Any advice or tips on how to speed up mitering corners for baseboards? By the way, my baseboards are 5 1/4" tall.

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Old 12-05-2008, 01:23 PM   #2
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Inside corners should done done with a coping saw. The joint just disapears.

Outside corners are a little more difficult, but only a little. I saw an article somewhere where the installer would make an extra back cut (so to speak). Removing some of the material from the backside of the miter allows the joint to come together nicely. This technique leaves the ends of the joint a little more flexibility so they can be closed up and pinned. If the joint is still open slightly you can burnish the corner with a fine file to close it up.

Good luck

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Old 12-05-2008, 02:48 PM   #3
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No wall corner is ever a true 90* or plumb.

Are you staining or painting the base mold? If you're painting, latex caulk works wonders to fill those gaps, as long as they're not too big.

I do agree with the Able, if your chop saw will let you cut the outside corners at about 47* or 48*, that helps.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Able Hands View Post
Inside corners should done done with a coping saw. The joint just disapears.

Outside corners are a little more difficult, but only a little. I saw an article somewhere where the installer would make an extra back cut (so to speak). Removing some of the material from the backside of the miter allows the joint to come together nicely. This technique leaves the ends of the joint a little more flexibility so they can be closed up and pinned. If the joint is still open slightly you can burnish the corner with a fine file to close it up.

Good luck
Agree with Able, on both. Because you have a whole house to do, another way for the outside corners is to take some short pieces of your base, and mock up corners from 88 to 92. Hold the templates to the wall and set your miter saw to the one that fits the best.
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:16 PM   #5
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To clarify the outside miter plan a little...

What I meant was that the installer cut the angle at 45*, but then removed some extra material from the back side of the miter to help the joint close up. Cutting the whole joint at something other than 45* seems like a bad plan to me. Ultimately the miter at the top most part of the joint if cut too acute would be left open, an be very difficult to close. I'm not a big fan of caulk, so I try to stay away from it.

To the OP, ultimately my advice to you is to really take your time, no matter how you decide to make the cuts. It sounds like you are doing a lot of work. If it were my place I would want to make sure all of my joints were nice and tight. The ideas I stated above are just that. At the end of the day, you are the one that has to look at you work every day. Make it a point to do your best, and you'll be happy with it no matter what.

I still think my ideas above will help you to get there.
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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An angle finder with degree markings comes in very handy for outside corners. If your corner is 92 degrees, set the saw at 46 degrees. If it is 91, set it at 45-1/2, and so on. Using a wood rasp or an aggressive bastard file to remove some of the wood at the rear of the miter sometimes helps them draw together easier.

Don't forget to use wood glue on those joints to keep them from opening up.
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:51 PM   #7
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I alway cope the inside corners, cut one side of the corner straight in and cut the other side of the corner @45 degrees, then follow the resulting finish line with a coping saw - works nice!

For outside corners, I usually just put my pencil down on the saw table under the stock so the the end I'm cutting is up in the air - that puts a slight bevel past 45 degrees so that the finish side of both pieces are the first things that touch.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:40 PM   #8
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Another trick is to really "slam" or rock back and for a few times the first piece in an inside corner. That makes sure the first piece goes all the way in and doesn't get hung on the extra drywall mud you tend to find on the last 3-4 inches of the wall at the bottom.This prevents one 45 from "overshooting" the other.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:41 PM   #9
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On painted baseboard, a shortcut to do on outside corners is to take you measurements, line up the sections, and nail the corners together using a brad nailer BEFORE, you place the baseboard on the drywall corner. This holds the corner at a perfect 90 degrees (two brad nails per side).

Then you nail the arrangement with a 15g or 16g 2-1/2" nailer to the wall. Don't nail too close to the outside of the corner, you want to maintain the 90 degree seam, and not pull it apart. Use caulking to fill any gaps on the topside of the base/wall. Once painted, it looks like perfection.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:45 PM   #10
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Another suggestion: I will carry around several "off" 45 degree cuts of the baseboard (about 8" long), and use these for lining up inside corners, that are not true 90 degrees.

I label each off-cut test piece, in the way that I cut it (example: 42 degrees, 44 degrees, etc). I use these as test pieces to gauge each off-corner, and figure out the best cut for that particular corner. I then set the saw to the degree cut of the marked piece that fits best.

This way, you cut the actual baseboard section to be installed = only once.....
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:05 PM   #11
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Pool; I trust you have all the casing on? This wasnt mentioned. cope,cope cope that is the answer. Outside corners use a pc that is a few inches longer,run tight againt
st the other pc of base,tap it in, run a pencil up corner and mark the back, flip it cut to the line, overcut as said 46 47 degrees, DO NOT NAIL, Now make the second pc to that corner same way, then nail em this way much faster,no tape,no measure.
Here I am about to get HELL, you can trim 95% of that base without a ruler.
Trust me Yes.
This is my method for many many years as trimmer.
when you walk into a room,the wall u see straight ahead gets a strait pc, sides get coped INTO that pc. Most rooms have closets, cut pcs few inches longer do copes left or right , put em into place overun the casing smack em tight into the corner, mark em, cut em,nail em 98% perfect 99% of the time and 400% faster and easier than a ruler.Only pcs you have to measure are the strait runs, or full runs corner to corner. That is solved BEFORE you cut. I measure the ROOM first either write on the rock where it is covered or on the floor all measurements are from corner to corner, do not try to compensate for trim thickness, it automatically happens when you cope the cuts.ONLY full runs shorts just run em long and whack em, mark em, nail em
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:09 PM   #12
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Sky, just remember that he was asking for a "quicker/faster" method to install.

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.....Any advice or tips on how to speed up mitering corners for baseboards? By the way, my baseboards are 5 1/4" tall.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:22 PM   #13
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Skymaster's method is excellent. Faster isn't better, that's for sure. Repetition and experience make you fast.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:49 PM   #14
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Skymaster's method is excellent. Faster isn't better, that's for sure. Repetition and experience make you fast.
I agree.

I will say this. When we do custom work, we cope. When we do quick turn-over apt insurance repairs, we do miter-cuts.

Some jobs should be coped, for others, it's overkill....
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:59 PM   #15
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I agree.

I will say this. When we do custom work, we cope. When we do quick turn-over apt insurance repairs, we do miter-cuts.

Some jobs should be coped, for others, it's overkill....
I would disagree. I think coping is still faster due to the fact your measurement does not have to be exact. Where as for a mitered inside corner it needs to be exact for it to look kinda decent. Just my opinion.

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