Cutting Molding on a Table Saw

Molding being cut
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Table saw
Scrap molding pieces

If you are interested in cutting molding, you should be aware that there are many ways to do it. While using a miter saw is a very popular option, there are many reasons to choose other methods. If you do not have access to a miter saw, but you do have your own table saw, you can use this tool to cut your molding instead. However, using this method does present you with a few extra problems. What follows should give you the information you need to cut your own molding on a table saw.

WARNING: Anytime you use a table saw or other powered cutting machine, wear safety glasses, gloves (and in some cases a face mask) to keep splinters or sawdust from getting into your eyes.

Step 1 - Measuring the Molding

To begin, measure the area you plan to install molding into with your tape measure. Next, measure the piece of molding that you plan to cut. Finally, mark it with a pencil. While your measurements are probably correct, you may need to adjust them later.

Step 2 - Testing the Measurements

Place the molding against the wall in the configuration you actually plan to place it in once you have cut it. Your goal is to figure out exactly how your molding fits. While there is a good chance that everything is configured and measured correctly, this is a good way to avoid making easy mistakes that you will regret later. Chances are, your measurements and markings are accurate, but if not, correct them now, replacing your old marks with more accurate ones..

Step 3 - Testing the Angle

Get out 2 pieces of scrap molding. Set up your table saw, and cut them at 45-degree angles as if you were going to install them in the corner where you are actually planning to install molding. Most table saws will have mechanisms that you can use to cut at angles other than 90 degrees. If yours does not, you can make your own out of scrap wood to do so.

Once you have cut the pieces of scrap molding at 45-degree angles, so they can fit together perfectly in a 90-degree angle corner, test them out in the actual corner you plan to install the finished product in. If they fit perfectly, you are ready to cut your actual molding.

However, if they do not, you will have to adjust your cut. Use 2 more pieces of scrap molding to make a new test cut. If the 45-degree angle you cut was too big, try a smaller angle, and if it was too small, try a bigger one. Do this until you have a perfect fit.

Step 4 - Making the Final Cut

Now that you know the proper angle that you actually need to cut your molding to, you can cut your actual pieces of molding. Luckily, since the last cut you made was the correct angle, your table saw is already configured to cut at the angle you need. Cut your actual sections of molding at the appropriate angle. You are now ready to install them.