Miter saw is useful for cutting and moulding the wood into beautiful shapes and sizes. Cutting and moulding with a miter saw isn’t difficult as it seems but one must know “how to use it to cut trim with a miter saws”. If you are a beginner or a D.I.Y lover this article is for your guide to help you learn about how to cut trim with a miter saw?
In this article you will learn the right way to perfectly cut and trim your wood for making beautiful moulds like doors, windows and other furniture. Cutting a proper corner trim requires a moderate amount of mechanical knowledge and preparation. So, if you follow this guide, the piece of trim you will be cutting will fit every time and you will be able to learn how to accurately cut and trim the wood with a miter saw.
Prepare Tools And Materials:
Before starting your work, you must be prepared with all the things necessary for your project. It will help you to manage your work properly and without any hassle. So before starting your work make a list of necessary things.
Material required: trim, glue, brad nails, and moulding.
Personal protection is also necessary before working with machines or miter saws, so you must follow the following steps to ensure your personal protection.
- Wear protective goggles to protect your eyes and cover your nose with the dust mask to protect yourself from saw dust.
- Cover your ears with earplugs to protect from noise pollution. Get an air hose or air compressor. Although having both isn’t a bad idea.
- Wear shoes that can cover all your toes to protect them from accidental drops of any tool on your feet.
- Always wear tight fitting clothes while working with machines. A loose-fitting cloth could be pulled by a heavy machine and could be dangerous for yourself.
- Also, wear gloves to protect your hands from the miter saw blade.
- Get brad nails gun and knife (so in case you need them you don’t have to work out of the workplace)
- Also get a combination square for easy measurement on the go.
- A caulking gun for finishing the trim
- And most importantly, a miter saw. Miter saw quality matters a lot for trim fine edges and a carbide tipped miter saw blade is best for trimming. Saw having more teeth will be good for such a project. Blade with at least 60 teeth is more suitable for this project.
- Keep your working area clean and remove all stock and saw dust on a daily basis. Also remove all unnecessary and unrequired things from the workplace before starting your project.
So, after taking all precautionary measures you are now ready for a fit start and to break out the new big guns. Since there are many different techniques to cut trim, so let’s have a look at them and understand how to cut trim with a miter saw?
What Angles Do You Cut Trim At?
To give a perfect pristine look to your desired project, moulding and trimming at the right angle and with right techniques is necessary. Defective looking corner trim shows unoptimized cutting and this makes your moulding untidy look.
The first step in cutting trim is to identify and select your required angle. For interior trim popularly 1350 and 900 angles are used and each of those angles can be straight on or with a bull nose. If your standard interior corner angle is 90 then you should cut each piece of trim at an angle of 45 so that when these two pieces combine to form a corner, you have 90-degrees angle again.
So, your first step is to set your saw at 45-degrees in order to cut trim for a perfect 90-degrees corner. Now your base for understanding angles is developed so let move little deeper to learn more about fine cuts.
Shimming And Shaving Miters:
It is quite common that when you cut miters for a pair of trim mouldings it will not fit well. The reason behind this is that most of our walls aren’t a true go right angle. So, in that case there is nothing to bother with your miter saw. Only you need to shave your miter cut so that the trim can fit off the angle better.
This can be done easily by slightly altering the angle of the saw manually or by putting the shim against the fence of your miter saw which will slightly adjust the angle of miter saw to make a fitting cut.
Another thing to keep in mind is to cut the both pieces identical to fit them at the corner angles correctly.
Step by Step guide for this procedure is given below:
Step 1: First you will go for micro-adjustments. Use a tiny shim (1/16 inch or even more smaller) against the fence of your miter saw, keep it as far from the blade as possible.
Step 2: Slide the moulding close to the shim and against the fence close to its blade. Keep it this way when you are making the cut.
Step 3: Hold the solid base firmly and keep your fingers away from the blade.
Repeat the process for another identical trim and gently shave off the pieces.
How To Cope Baseboard Efficiently:
Coping the baseboard perfectly with a miter saw is an art and you can’t become pro if you are not perfect at baseboard coping. Coping tall baseboards is hard with coping saw, miter saw are better at coping with baseboards.
Detailed steps to cope baseboard are given below:
Step 1: Start off with standard coping. Use a 45-degree miter on the baseboard.
Step 2: Then, turn the mitered board facing down. Micro-adjust the angle and saw along the straight part of the bevel cut. Hold the blade slightly out of line. Make sure the blade stops before you lift it.
Step 3: Use a coping saw to saw the rest of profiled material. To make it fit easier use a 30-degree angle to make the back bevel.
How To Close Gaps Of Inside Corner?
Closing the gaps well is necessary to give a pleasant look to your project. Follow below given instructions to easily cope with corner gaps.
Step 1: Check the base first. If it fits properly or not. Straight sections usually don’t fit great.
Step 2: Remove the square base at the bottom and close the gap with drywall screws. It should go ½ inch deep in the wall. Check if the screw moves, fit it to make a perfect cope.
Step 3: Finally, mark the excess wood using a tiny compass and file it to the line to make it perfect.
How To Fit The Outside Corner:
Perfect measurement matters a lot for outside corners. You need to make precise baseboard marking for outside cuts and corners. Step guide for this procedure is given below:
Step 1: Make the marking on outside corners with a utility knife. Using a knife will give you more visible markings. Also mark the opposing baseboard.
Step 2: leave 1/8 inch after each mark and cut the boards at 45-degree angle.
Step 3: Increase the angle for cutting by a degree or two, if your miter is open at the front and then then cut again. Carefully remove excessive parts from both boards.
Step 4: Slightly decrease the angle, if your miter is open at the back and then cut again on both sides only a little outside the marks. Nail the board back into their place.
How to Fix Dead Ends:
Let us tell you the better way to fix the dead ends on chair rails, windows etc. Rather than spoiling their look by chopping them and using nails on them you can follow a few below given steps to give a perfect look to your project.
Step 1: slightly leave the cut incomplete. You can cut the angle with your miter saw with the slight mitered return. Don’t cut off the trim completely.
Step 2: use a knife to get through the remainder of wood. This helps to prevent tear out and accidental flying up of wood.
Step 3: Use glue to glue in the return wood. It is better to use specialized wood glue for quick and effective sticking of wood pieces.
By following the above instructions, you can fix dead ends without any difficulty and give an excellent finishing look to your project.
How To Cut Trim Angles Without Cutting Corners:
Cutting trim with a miter saw is an interesting art which requires practice and experience. Cutting trim angles without cutting corners can be intimidating or challenging for a craftsman depending upon his skills. Below given steps would be helpful in this regard.
Compound miter saw would be ideal for this type of cut trimming.
When it comes to cutting the trim, using a regular miter saw can be difficult, or in some cases, impossible. With a standard miter saw, you’ll need to make your cut vertically through the trim. For thicker pieces of trim, this may not be realistic.
But, with a compound miter saw, you’ll be able to lay the trim flat against the fence of the saw, and adjust the head of the saw to the angle you need to cut. This makes cutting trim significantly easier.
When we’re cutting trim for a 90° inside corner. You’ll need to cut each piece of trim at a 45° angle so that when the two pieces butt together, they’ll create the perfect 90° angle you need to create a polished look.
Now, you’re going to repeat the process with the other piece of trim you’ll need to complete the corner. However, instead of holding the top of the trim against the fence, you’re going to do the reverse of that with this second piece. Place the trim against the fence so that the bottom of the trim butts up against the fence.
How to Cut Window Trim with a Miter Saw?
Window trim is the decorative wood slats that frame a window, giving it a bit of style. It provides a nice alternative to plain or undecorated windows. In order to cut the window trim to size, a miter saw is necessary.
Cutting Window Trim with a Miter Saw:
In order to make the proper cuts in the window trim, the miter saw must be fixed at a 45-degree angle. When loosened, the whole blade turns and can be aligned with one of the hash marks that indicates the degree of the cut.
To trim a window, you should end up with 4 trapezoidal pieces of wood. Make the right measurement of length by measuring along the inside edge of the trim.
A miter saw is the tool of choice when cutting wood for window trim. It lets you make precise 45-degree angle cuts, so the windows are perfectly framed.
3 Tips for Removing Dried Paint from Interior Window Trim:
If the paint isn’t applied layers, you can opt for sanding your trim. If you feel it is going to be difficult with only muscle power, you can buy or rent an electric sander from your local hardware shop.
A heat gun, also known as a hot air gun, loosens the paint and makes it bubble so it can be easily scraped off. Be sure that you are not using this tool on lead paint, as the fumes are toxic, and the room must be well ventilated.
Chemical removers, or strippers, are very thorough in cleaning the paint off. They also clean the wood underneath the paint to be sure all debris is removed. This remedy also requires a well ventilated area because chemical releases fumes.
How to Cut Trim Window without Miter Saw:
Draw a pencil line along the cut edge. This will be the contour of the baseboard. Cut along this pencil line 25 degrees away from the miter. This is called coping because it was traditionally done with a coping saw, but any rotary tool with a cutting blade can replicate the cut.
Miter saws are extremely safe if you’re careful and you know what you’re doing. This article covered everything you need to know to cut and install trim with a miter saw, including dead ends, outside corners, inner corners, coping baseboard, shimming and shaving miters and trimming jambs. By using this knowledge one can try to achieve excellence in his projects.