Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

What is the best way to measure angles when replacing trim?


dqddude's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3
WA

02-02-08, 04:53 PM   #1  
What is the best way to measure angles when replacing trim?

I've decided to replace all of the trim in my home.

Since I have no experience with measuring angles I am wondering how best to do this.

I am using pre-primed mdf board so little mistakes can be hidden with caulk and paint.

I googled my question and came up with a place http://www.compoundmiter.com that seems to have the problem solved for us novices. Not cheap but if it saves time and money on materials it is worth it to me.'

Anyone want to offer their advice before I open up the wallet?

Thanks!

 
Sponsored Links
kcxj's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 924
MO

02-02-08, 07:04 PM   #2  
Miter box and a nice hand saw works well for casing. You may want to look at a coping saw as well for coping baseboards.

 
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39,968
GA

02-03-08, 08:02 AM   #3  
If you're doing the entire house, invest in a a compound miter saw. You can get a not-the-top-of-the-line saw inexpensively enough, and keep it or sell it for most of what you have invested. A coping saw will be necessary for all inside corners, since no room has been built square in history.

 
dqddude's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3
WA

02-03-08, 08:48 AM   #4  
Not what I meant...

I guess I wasn't very clear in my post.

I already have the saw...what I want to know is how best to measure the angles. Clearly 45's are done by sight. It is the other angles that are a problem.

 
czizzi's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,971
VA

02-03-08, 08:58 AM   #5  
Save and Mark the old trim as you take it down and reference them when it comes time to replace that section. That will give you all the angles. then just put it on your saw and turn the blade to match the angles. It also may be helpful with your length measurements.

 
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39,968
GA

02-03-08, 11:31 AM   #6  
Good idea, czizzi. Most of the angles will be 45 plus or minus. Others will be 22.5 in bay windows. If the angle varies a little, that is why you will be coping the ends. Never install inside molding trying to cut it at an angle. You will go mad.

 
jatco's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,045
CANADA

02-03-08, 11:40 AM   #7  
Often the trim/casings around doors/window leave a 1/4" reveal, so what I do (was shown this once) is to use a carpenters pencil, the flat kind or any other piece of 1/4" wood place it against the face of the frame on edge and mark a line on the verticle then on the horizontal - both sides, then you have a mark to measure the length of your 45 degree (short to short as they say). Once the top is in, the side casings would follow that 1/4" reveal down to the floor (doors) or bottom of window..
If that makes sense...!!

 
toolrank's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 14

02-11-08, 01:04 PM   #8  
Coping anything that is paint grade is just silly. Sure if you do it right it will look good, but it is a waist of time, and you can get the same look with a little caulking. Even when we cope in finished wood crown we still caulk the corners, it allows for movement in the wood.

Plus you will get a much better glue surface using miters. I also recommend using some kind of construction adhesive behind all your trim. This will also help prevent your joints from breaking over the years.

As for the angles, you shouldn't have too much trouble. Most will be 45 or 22.5, and sometimes 30. If you run into something that isn't 45, use your scraps to test out the angles.

A quick trick for baseboard. Depending on how bad your walls are.
Cut your inside corners a 44 deg. This will leave a small gap in the back, but will ensure that the front is closed up.
Cut your outsides at 46. This will again leave a gap in the back, but close up the front. Then a little caulking can fill in the gap. This will save you a lot of time.

Good Luck

 
jatco's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,045
CANADA

02-11-08, 08:03 PM   #9  
Good info ..and tips. It all comes down to - how square are your walls, where base meets each other.. and some 'finagling' on the corners.
No wall, that Ive encountered, is perfectly square. So it will take some adjustments/angle cuts, etc. to get it Right.
As mentioned, caulking can (and does) a wonderful fill for the odd joints.....!
'You can do it, we can help' .... (ahem...!!)

 
Smith Brother's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 423
IN

02-12-08, 06:14 PM   #10  
Hey, it ain't so, you CAN MITRE INSIDE CORNERS, and do it with good results.

Use a couple scraps to set your saw to the proper angle. Then after you have cut the first corner piece DON'T nail it into the corner, leave it loose. Nail at first stud out, but NOT the corner stud. Then apply some wood glue to the mitre, of both pieces, PUSH into the first piece, nail the second and let the glue hold the mitre. It will then hold tight and the floating action will keep it such. Caulk any gaps between the trim and the wall.

Been doing it for years.

Dale in Indy

 
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 8,044
OK

02-12-08, 07:06 PM   #11  
This has to be the easiest tool to get your exact angles, but it comes at a $110 price tag. Well worth the money if you do enough trim.

http://www.toolmarts.com/bosch_dwm40l.html

 
Wirepuller38's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,188
TN

02-13-08, 06:12 AM   #12  
Angles

Use an inexpensive device similar to this one:

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=5362

Transfer the angle to your mitre saw and you are "good to go."

I found a similar device at the local home center. Measure the angle and tighten the wing nut.

 
toolrank's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 14

02-13-08, 03:58 PM   #13  
Posted By: HotinOKC This has to be the easiest tool to get your exact angles, but it comes at a $110 price tag. Well worth the money if you do enough trim.

http://www.toolmarts.com/bosch_dwm40l.html
Yes we use these at work. You put it in the corner of the wall, and it will tell you the exact miter and bevel for that 43.8 deg wall. Perfact joints every time. I believe I saw the same thing at Lowes made by Skil and it sells for $60.

Here is the link http://www.skiltools.com/en/AllTools...DAF&cid=193817

FYI. It is $50 less then the Bosch, and Skil is a sub of Bosch, so there must be a reason for it.

 
bcarlisle's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 44
MA

02-13-08, 07:53 PM   #14  
Posted By: HotinOKC This has to be the easiest tool to get your exact angles, but it comes at a $110 price tag. Well worth the money if you do enough trim.

http://www.toolmarts.com/bosch_dwm40l.html
I got the Skil version of this as a bonus with my miter saw. These digital gauges work great, but they're a little large if you have trim or door/window casing in the way.

 
boongie's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 7
IL

04-27-08, 08:19 PM   #15  
Empire makes a little yellow plastic protracter device that I have found to be very helpful in measuring angles. I bought it at one of the big box home stores. The angle markings are a bit on the small side to read, but it does get me in the ballpark. If I am really not sure of the angle, and I am staining the wood, I will use some scrap trim and make a few test cuts. It is time consuming, but the results are worth it.

 
Search this Thread