The miter saw is a modified form of a hand saw. It has a blade mounted on an arbor that swings from left to right. This type of saw can be used to make accurate cross or mitre cuts at the desired angle.
Along with it, the miter saw is most widely used to make baseboard cuts. These cuts are utilized in baseboard moldings used to cover the lowest part of the interior walls. Also, window or door casings can be made by miter cuts.
Nevertheless, there can be situations when your miter saw is not functioning properly. In case of unavailability, there can be several alternatives to have those accurate billboard cuts. This article is a guide to available options for a miter cut other than a miter saw.
Ways to Cut Baseboard Corners without Miter Saw
Use A Hand Saw
A hand saw is a simple saw which functions by one hand. It has a series of some sharp-toothed substance at one end and a handle at the other. Since it is unpowered, you will need to apply aggressive force to cut through the wood.
After the invention of miter saws, the use of hand saw has become out-dated. However, one should learn to operate other alternatives as you might need to practice first or there can be power outage.
Step 1: Construct a Miter Box
To make baseboard corners by a hand saw, you will need to build or buy a miter box first.
You will need:
- 2 wooden pieces having dimensions of 1×6
- A wood glue
- An adjustable bevel
- A carpenter square
- 1 1/2-inch screws
Start by cutting 12 inches of both wooden pieces. Using oak or maple wood is preferable as they are more durable. Also, one should make sure that the wooden pieces are flawless.
Take the wood glue and spread it over the long corners of the first wooden piece. Now take the other part of the wood and squeeze it with the glued corner. Tighten this bond by help of 1 1/2-inch wood screws.
Besides, a router can also be used to route a section in the first wooden piece. If the other piece fits in that section, use glue to strengthen the bond. Furthermore, you can use a right-angle clamp to ensure a perfect angle.
Now take an adjustable bevel and set it at an angle of 45°. Outline the angle by a pencil on the top corners of the wood. Also, mark the perpendicular line at the point where both angle lines intersect by a carpenter square.
Take the hand saw and cut the angled lines halfway through the board. Once done, your miter box is ready to be used with multiple types of woods.
Step 2: Start Cutting
If your wood is narrower than the width of your miter box, you can use a wooden board as a sacrificial bed to adjust the height. On the contrary, for a wider piece, you just need to put the wood in front of the angled marks.
Once the adjustment is done, clamp the board in position with the miter box. Take the hand saw and start ripping at 45° angle. One done at one end; you can shift at the other mating side marked already.
This technique will lead you to get perfect miter joints in controlled conditions. Apart from simplicity, a hand saw offers you the same precision as a miter saw.
Use a Circular Saw
Circular saw is a hand-held power saw. This type of saw comes with a blade mounted on an arbor. They have a tendency to cut various materials at different angles using rotary motion.
Instead of a miter saw, you can use a circular saw to get baseboard cuts.
You will need:
- Carpenter’s square/ Speed square
- A pencil
- Circular saw
- Measuring tape
- Saw Horses
Step 1: Check the ends
Usually, when the lumber comes from a factory, its ends are not finished. For perfect miter cuts, the ends of the board being cut should be perfect squares. For this, you will need a carpenter square to verify the two ends.
In case the corners are not perfectly trimmed, chop them to ensure a perfect square.
Step 2: Take the Measurements
Take out your measuring tape and start by measuring the length of the wood. Mark the point by a pencil where you want the miter cut to be. Make sure to mark a projection of this point along the edge of the board.
Step 3: Mark the Angle
Adjust the base of the speed square along the length of the board. Make sure that the corner edge of the speed square coincides with the point marked for the desired length.
Afterwards, take the pencil and draw a 45° line tracing the speed square.
Step 4: Install Saw Horses
To have a firm base while cutting, use sawhorses. Place the sawhorses in a parallel direction. Adjust the board perpendicularly above sawhorses such that the toe (starting edge) of the miter cut faces toward you.
Step 5: Start Cutting
Check the depth of your circular saw by placing it in line with the work piece on the sawhorse. The blade should be deep enough that it cut completely through the wood.
After that, to prevent kickback, pull the corner to be cut a bit forward from the base of the sawhorse.
Start your circular saw after verifying the preliminary requirements. Hold the board firmly by one hand and pass the saw through the board at a moderate pace.
By following this method, you can trim perfect baseboard cuts with little effort as compared to a hand saw. However, you must practice on a circular saw first to prevent kickback situations.
- As both types of hacks involve a blade, you must wear hand gloves before operating.
- Sawdust can cause serious health injuries. Wear a dust mask while operating to prevent feeding dust to your lungs.
- Wear safety goggles to prevent grains of dust from entering your eyes.
- If using a circular saw, remain patient and operate it carefully to avoid getting your saw out of control.
- Also, operate away from the opposing direction of the circular saw, this will prevent any injury in case of a kickback situation.
DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Electric Brake
Part Number: DWE575SB
Item Weight: 8.8 pounds
Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required
Style: Circular saw
The above-mentioned methods are by far the simplest to adopt. Along with providing ease, these alternatives will lend you the best baseboard corners. So, for some reason, if your miter saw is unavailable, you can go with these alternatives without wasting time.