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Old 10-28-2012, 08:09 PM   #16
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Trim is never Square


painted work should still be tight. the only larger gaps shoiuld be where wood meets plaster because the plaster isnt perfectly flat and the base cant flex to it..

dap shrinks and creates shadow lines, keep it tight by fitting your peices.. guys that let anything more than 1/8 " go as acceptable dont have any place on my job when trimming

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Old 10-28-2012, 08:24 PM   #17
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Trim is never Square


What is mitre? For corners you usually have to angle the cut to make them come together right?
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cowead View Post
Hey I have a gerat question here I have a New Dewalt DW718 Miter Saw and when I use a Square to check the blade its straight when I check my Piece its Straight but when I go to install my trim its always off Now this is an 1890 home and I guess Where I am having problems is my baseboard trim on the corners its like the walls aren't level because its always tight on the bottom and gaped on the top or vice versa now my walls aren't exactly level on some spots and i think its because its on a new foundation and its settled and well its 120yrs old so what can I do to help ease this problem and having to putty every damn corner?
In older homes a torpedo level helps find inaccuracies at the base of the wall, especially if square butting one piece of base against another-just set the level against the baseboard and tip it out at the top or in at the bottom while reading the bubble to find plumb. The difference of how much it is out of plumb/level will show in the space between the edge of the torpedo level and the baseboard. outside corners can be dealt with in much the same way.
for the floors where the baseboard sits, prop the baseboard up temporarily and if hardwoods or sub flooring use a scribe block and pencil and scribe along the floor against the baseboard to find any floor unevenness.
When making your first cuts - to find the right cut, cut the piece long and recut as many times as needed to get the fit. With baseboard that is cut a bit long you can use a pencil to scribe along the vertical plane of the wall at the backside of the baseboard too, tip the pencil in a hair while scribing to get exactly on the corner .
Are you putting base cap on top of the baseboard?

Last edited by hand drive; 10-28-2012 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:29 AM   #19
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using a torpedo level is a complete waste of time. .just test fit your cuts..
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:58 PM   #20
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WoW, torpedo is just a way to get a start, test fitting finishes the process...
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:59 PM   #21
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using a torpedo level is a complete waste of time. .just test fit your cuts..

WoW, torpedo is just a way to get a start, test fitting finishes the process... I've used my torpedo thousands of times, each to his own. forgot to mention, torpedo mostly on older homes as the OP talked about in the first post and re construction- I keep the topedo put up if running trim on new walls...

the torpedo is a means to an end anyway, just trying to find how much to take out of the square cut to adjust to the wacky wall.

Last edited by hand drive; 10-29-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:07 PM   #22
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if its open by 1/4" on 5 1/2" base at the top from but hard to on bottom its typcially 1.5 degees... and so on.

ive run thousands and thousands of feet of baseboard and used multiple methods.. most were very innefficient and just waste time others are a super productive, especially when working in old homes.. using a level just adds another step which slows things down
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:52 PM   #23
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Well I guess I am not 100% sure on how to use a torpedo level to get my angles.. I guess I understand using a T Bevel and than just lining it up against a protractor and divide by two to get my proper cut angle Right? And as far as being in a hurry to get it done Im not because i just want to take my time and do it right on the other hand the better half is in a hurry so I guess im not sure whos side im on ha ha all great ideas to and i will start trying some different things and I will have to invest in a coping saw... any particular brand of blade or saw that works best?
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:17 PM   #24
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typically coping saw blades are pretty generic in my experience.. stanley, irwin or nicholson will do.. though i dont use a coping saw to cope.. i use a jigsaw with very fine wood blades..


if you can locate them.. rasp saw blades for coping saws work amazing. it cuts in all directions
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:50 PM   #25
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A fine wood blade on a jigsaw now your talking my language ha ha Im sure that can take some getting used to go and how do you clamp it down so it doesn't jump all over the place??
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:49 AM   #26
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i cut from the backside so the blade cuts on the downstroke, no tearout on the face plus the base of hte saw wont leave black marks on the trim which is harder to cover with paint
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:45 AM   #27
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" how do you clamp it down so it doesn't jump all over the place?? " Build a L shaped clamping jig, couple of feey long, with a vertical and horizontal clamping faces, couple of speed clamps. You can use that with coping saw too. basically like the bed and fence of power miter saw. After a few times you won't need the jig though.
A coping saw may be easier to use on thin limber stuff. Some of the sanding drums for Dremils are perfect matches for some quarter round and other moldings, two or three seconds and a perfect cope.

The torpedo level idea is to check "verticalness" of wall, "if its open by 1/4" on 5 1/2" base at the top from but hard to on bottom" You can use any straight edge or a square with one leg on floor. You might need to shave some off back of molding to get it to rest flat against wall, or even cut a compound angle on outside corner.

"guys that let anything more than 1/8 " go as acceptable dont have any place on my job when trimming" Back when I was only semi-retired I hired on with a friend to run one of his trim crews in a "high end" development. Builder supplied all materials. First morning, first house, friend looked at coping saw hanging on my belt, said you won't need that. Went out to garage to check materials delivery, ( other crews were known to "borrow" materials), there's the base, shoe,cornice etc and a half case of adhesive caulk. Long story shorter, friend admitted my crew did best work but we were too slow, other 3 members were almost my age, long time friends, but slowness wasn't due to us being unable to keep up, but jobs were extremly tight bids and we were wasting time fitting corners, he said, even without coping. Toured a few homes of other crews, apparently no need for 1/8 inch markings on tape measures. 1/4 inch, filled with caulk was "good enough." Two other members and I lasted almost two weeks, then quit in disgust, we just weren't "good enough." We'd taken to eating lunch outside, one friend said he couldn't eat inside where he could see those corners, they turned his stomach.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:09 PM   #28
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ive seen some pretty scary stuff as well.. 1/2 " gaps in scarf joints in long hallways both for crown and base... along with guys who simply butt baseboard with a profile into each other.. how does a profile line up with a square cut.. it doesnt
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:31 PM   #29
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1/8" --- 1/2" wow.
I try an get em tight. then again I started on stained trim and cabinet work.
Now with painted I may accept 1/16th.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:16 PM   #30
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1/2" is truly scary. the 1/8" is usually left for inside closets.. its hard enough trying to get the peices in there let lone tight when using thick baseboard in tight quarters.. its they only time i let my trim get a little slack.. by the time someones got clothes in there the only time their ever gonna see the baseboard again is when they move

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