Cutting Molding: A Guide

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Home renovation can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to cutting molding. To make the first cut, you need to consider a few things. Firstly, the type of trim being cut determines the position of the miter box or saw fence. For baseboard, chair rail, quarter round, and splice miters, the back of the molding should be placed against the back of the miter box or saw’s fence in a vertical position. For window and door casings, the molding should lie flat on the saw table or miter box, decorative side up, in a horizontal position. Crown molding requires a compound position as the back of the molding does not lie flat against the wall. Instead, it creates a triangular space between the wall and ceiling. The decorative side should face down while the top of the molding should be on the saw table base, and the bottom of the molding should rest against the fence.

Secondly, each molding joint has a left and right side, and the type of joint being cut determines the position of the blade. For a left-hand cut, most of the molding will be to the left of the blade. For a right-hand cut, most of the molding will be to the right of the blade.

Thirdly, spliced joints require a 45-degree cut, while coping joints require both a 90-degree and 45-degree cut. Mitering allows for more precise cutting, and detailed charts specify the settings for the saw’s bevel angle and miter angle.

For those who do not like mitering, square trim can be used in corners. Window and door surrounds can use rosettes or plinth blocks, while square block-type manufactured corners can be used in corners created by walls.

With these tips in mind, cutting molding will be a breeze.

FAQ

1. What tools do I need to cut molding?

To cut molding, you will need a miter saw, a coping saw, a handsaw, a measuring tape, and a pencil. A miter saw is used to make precise cuts at different angles, while a coping saw is used to cut the molding to fit around corners and curved walls. A handsaw is used to make cuts if you don’t have a miter saw or coping saw. A measuring tape and pencil are used to mark the molding for accurate cuts.

2. How do I measure molding for cutting?

To measure molding for cutting, use a measuring tape to measure the length of the wall where the molding will be installed. Then, add a few extra inches to the measurement to account for any mistakes or adjustments that may need to be made. Next, use a miter saw or handsaw to make a straight cut at a 90-degree angle to the length of the molding. Finally, use a coping saw to cut the molding to fit around corners and curves.

3. How do I set up a miter saw to cut molding?

To set up a miter saw to cut molding, adjust the saw’s angle and height to match the angle and height of the wall where the molding will be installed. Then, place the molding flat on the saw’s base and hold it firmly against the saw’s fence. Finally, make the cut by pulling the saw down through the molding in a smooth, controlled motion.

4. How do I cope molding for corners?

To cope molding for corners, use a coping saw to cut the molding at a 45-degree angle along the length of the molding. Then, use the coping saw to cut along the profile of the molding, following the shape of the profile with the saw blade. Once the profile has been cut, the molding will fit tightly against the adjacent piece of molding to create a seamless corner.

5. How do I make angled cuts in molding?

To make angled cuts in molding, use a miter saw to adjust the angle of the saw blade to match the angle of the wall where the molding will be installed. Then, make the cut by pulling the saw down through the molding in a smooth, controlled motion. Make sure to measure and mark the molding accurately before making the cut to ensure a precise fit.

6. How do I install cut molding?

To install cut molding, apply a thin layer of adhesive to the back of the molding and press it firmly against the wall. Use finishing nails to secure the molding in place, being careful not to hammer the nails too far into the molding. Once the molding is installed, use wood putty to fill any gaps or nail holes, and then sand the putty smooth. Finally, paint or stain the molding to match the surrounding decor.

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