11-30-2004, 07:51 PM
Not the first time I've done it, but the first time I've actually enjoyed it. I'm talking about trim carpentry, of course. Nothing real fancy, just replacing some base shoe molding after installing new flooring. Imagine that, cuss free trim work. Broke out my old newer model Stanley adjustable miter box. And used my old split nut early Disston and Sons (Early Keystone medallion) 14 inch back saw and had a blast. It cut wonderfully in that miter box, and the joints fit like a glove.
Even used my little jeweler's saw to cope an inside corner.
I've done tons of molding work before, with that old miter box and the junk saw that came with it, and using my tailed miter saw, but never had the success I had with these man powered tools.
12-01-2004, 11:51 AM
I hear you. I started my most recent trim project with a miter saw. It's loud and messy so you have to use it inside and haul a 16' piece of molding in and out of the house, banging it up in the process. It tears out, it doesn't cut as straight as maybe it should, and I found out that the lock knob doesn't lock, well, really at all. At ALL. This means I can only cut an exact 45, 90, or 22.5. Which my walls ain't.
Got out my trusty old hand-miter box. It's one that has a dedicated saw. Looks a little like a hacksaw but with a 1" wide blade and a crosscut blade. It was only about $50 but it works so good. So quiet and clean that I can use it inside. Cuts a very thin kerf so there is little dust and unlike a powered saw does not fling it everywhere. And I can lock it to ANY degree I want. And it'll cut anything up to about 6" tall (my powered one, more like 4")
Used block a block plane this last time too, and a few chisels to aid with fitting. The profile of my piece did not really go well with coping so I mitered the inside corners. The molding was flat with just a little edge detail at the top. If I was doing a superb job I would have mitered just the bottom bit and cut and coped the top bit, but, well, I wasn't doing that good of a job.
I quickly figured out which parts of the molding you can trim without it showing, and how easy it is to do with a block plane and a chisel, compared to a powered tool. For example, the inside corners in my house are not sharp, they're rounded. The ONLY part of the corner that will show on the inside corner is at the top. The rest you can hollow away as much as you like, and just lightly trim the top until you can mash it into the corner. That's it. Same with the inside bottom edge. It doesn't get shown so I beveled it all with a plane so that I didn't need to worry about the 90 degree angle between the floor and the wall. In fact, the only part of the molding that touches the floor is a 1/4" strip at the front of the molding. Again, if I was going for real pretty points I would have scribed it to my (non flat) floor.