Making Corner Cuts with a Coping Saw

What You'll Need
Coping saw
100 grit sandpaper
Miter box
Miter saw

A coping saw is G-shaped saw often used to cut the awkward angles that make corner joints so difficult. Unless they are cut to fit exactly, they tend to look like an amateur's first attempt at carpentry. Follow the simple steps below to make perfect corner joints using the saw that copes.

Step 1 – Prepare

Start with a full piece of cornice that hasn’t been cut at all. Place it in position up flat against the wall and install it in position.

Step 2 – Get Your Miter Angle

You are going to make a coped joint with your coping saw to give the appearance that the two pieces of molding are one continuous piece. Fit a fine blade to the saw. The number of teeth on the blade of the coping saw will indicate the fineness of the cut. You are going to need a blade that has at least 20 teeth per inch. If you are going to be using the blade by pulling towards you, fit it that way. If you prefer to saw away, reverse the blade.

Step 3 – Try a 45-degree Angle

Use a scrap piece of molding for a trial run. Before using the intended piece of molding it is best to make a trial run to make sure you don’t cut at the wrong angle.

Place the trial piece of molding in the miter box and choose the 45 percent slit. Make certain you have the molding placed in the correct side or it will be the reverse of what you want. Cut through the molding, and hold the piece up to the already installed mold. If they are very close, all you will have to do is use a piece of the 100-grit sandpaper to rub it in a few places. Use a pencil to carefully mark any high spots on the loose piece of molding. Remove it and gently rub the high spots with the sandpaper. Try fitting it again.

Step 5 – Repeat

Now that you have made sure that your fit is correct, you will need to do the same actions on the piece of molding you are going to install. You want it to look as if it was made in a continuous piece with no joints. Be careful not to rub too hard with the sandpaper. After every rub, hold it up to the other piece of molding to check the fit. Once it is as close to perfect as you can make it, install it and secure.

Step 6 – Fill Gaps

To make sure that there are no gaps showing, put take a little bit of putty on the tip of your finger and gently smooth it in to any perceived gap. Make sure it is 100 percent smooth and invisible to the naked eye.