Baseboard Install Issues

Old 08-26-20, 10:56 AM
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Baseboard Install Issues

Hi All,

Installing some wooden baseboards now that I've finished laying tile. I'm having two main issues. One is that I can't seem to get the baseboards to blend nicely where they meet. I'm making clean angled cuts on the mitre saw but having issues. Here is an example:

The other issue is that my nail gun is not always driving the 1.5" finishing nails flush into the baseboard. I have metal studs and am checking to make sure I avoid them with a stud finder. Using the NuMax SFN64 nailer around 90 PSI (max suggested in manual) and I have played with the wheel adjustment on the tool. Some go flush or just below the surface while others protrude out. I have an image for that but having an issue attaching it for some reason.

Appreciate any suggestions.

Old 08-26-20, 11:58 AM
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It looks like it might be a tad long along with the angle ever so slightly off. Sometimes it's better to cut the trim slightly short and use filler to make a smooth transition.
Are you holding the nail gun tightly against the base? It's not uncommon to have a nail every so often that needs to be set. If you are getting a lot of unset nails I'd turn the air pressure up a little.
Old 08-26-20, 01:31 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

I keep the mitre saw at the max 45 degree setting. Maybe I'll try to cut them slightly shorter. This particular section will be behind my AV cabinet so less of an issue but I need to dial in the right process for other more visible areas that I do.

Should I be using wood filler or caulk for the transition seams? Any brand/type recommendations?

I am holding the nail gun firmly against the baseboard when pressing the trigger. I know it's a cheaper model nail gun but it has gotten good reviews online. I looked at the manual again and apparently 90 is the "recommended" PSI setting but range is from 70-110 so I will try cranking it up a little higher. I will also order a nail setter to see if that helps with some of them that aren't as flush.

Old 08-26-20, 01:44 PM
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When you splice a joint like that make sure you glue them together then you can fill any gap and they wont crack when the wood shrinks/expands
Old 08-26-20, 02:20 PM
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A couple things. Take some scraps of base and make a sample scarf joint. Lay them both on a flat surface and see how they match up. They should match perfectly. If they don't there are 2 possibilities. The most likely is that it's a quality of saw or saw blade issue. Cheap saws are low quality and it's common to get these kind of results from them. It could be anything as simple as the left fence and right fence not being aligned. A 45 left miter not being exactly 90 degrees to a 45 right miter, when you swing it the other way. Or a low quality or dull blade that does not cut true.. or that vibrates slightly during the cut... the bearings of the blade arbor... or the crudeness of the arm as you bring it down to cut. All these factors have to be precise.

It could also be the profile of the wood. It's not unheard of to go to the box store, pick out trim, and buy 10 pieces that are similar but actually from 2 different mfg's or lots. If the profiles dont match EXACTLY even a perfect saw wont be able to match them perfectly. A second factor is that wood warps. If one piece was slightly warped, it's not laying flat against the fence when you cut it. Another reason they wont match.

Or as mentioned, you might have just not lined them up. If they are the same thickness, and cut the right length, the front of that seam would be flat, not have a bump where the sharp point is sticking out slightly. If the piece on the left is too long, it will ride over the piece on the right. A shorter piece would lay flat.

Your pieces also dont appear to line up. As if the left one is slightly lower. Unless that is just an illusion because it sticks out further than the one on the right. You have it all caulked now, but if there was a gap behind the top of the left one, that would also explain it. The one on the right is tight to the wall and the left one was not tight to the wall... because it was slightly too long.

And then there is operator error. Not holding the pieces tight to the fence or flat on the saw table, letting them slip as you cut, or what have you.

As for the brad nailer... I sure hope you put in wood blocking between your steel studs for the baseboard. If that blocking isnt secured, it might cause the nail to not set properly, because if the blocking moves, it absorbs the shock from the gun. Gun pressure should not be an issue as long as it's set at 80 or above. Your depth of drive adjustment should be consistent as long as you dont move it once you have tested it on a sample piece. The only other thing would be the angle at which you hold the gun. It should be square to the piece you are nailing. And nail guns need to be oiled daily to operate correctly. And there is a difference in gun quality. So hard telling. But if you are just nailing into drywall that's pretty crummy.

Baseboard usually needs to be nailed in pairs. One nail to the stud, one nail in the bottom plate. I realize you have steel studs but unless you put 2 nails in the base, especially at a scarf joint, it's pretty hard to get them glued together and laying flat against the wall.

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