How To Cut Baseboard Corners Without Miter Saw Like a Pro

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Pixel perfection

Especially in non-Agile environments, up-front design tends to be one of the largest line items; you spend a lot of time making something pretty, in part to convince yourself that you should spend even more time and money building it.  The early stages of product development should be words on a page and rough mockups, backed by a healthy amount of research and reasoned argument. The user experience is crucial but can be iterated; doing visual design up front is often wasteful.  And visuals and flows can always be improved, even post launch.

This is not to say that design is a lesser partner to product and tech in the development process — it absolutely is not!  But pixel perfection is also something which matters more to stakeholders than to customers, and as such can often be trimmed without negative product impact.  Make something that feels a little rough but works perfectly, and you may find that looks don’t matter as much as you thought. Note: this is more of an upfront adjustment — doing less monolithic design at the beginning of a project can create room for you to absorb scope creep, and you can add that design effort back in later if schedules allow.  

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Process overhead

Sometimes teams will complain about paperwork, or about too many meetings, either with others in tech or with the business.  This is one of the key tensions in Agile — the rituals exist in part to push back on deadline pressure and free teams to do their best work, but teams can chafe when they know a milestone is important and feel they know what to do to get there.  Process is not always greater than progress. That said, processes exist for a reason, and process waivers should be explicitly temporary. Cutting off contact with customers or your stakeholders may sound like a great way to gain hours in the day, but when you resurface to a different set of requirements, you may wish you had taken the meeting.

How to Cut Coped Joints

This method is much harder than a miter cut. Still, it provides a better fit, so it’s definitely worth the effort. A baseboard serves as a half of a coped corner, which fits flat against the wall, without bevel, and the jigsaw is the perfect tool for this cut. 

Follow the steps to cut a coped joint or coping corner cut joints: 

  1. First, you need to cut the baseboard in length, using a bevel cut would be best, so it exposes the grain end of the baseboard. That way, the jigsaw has more working material.
  2. After that, you need to do a back-cut using the jigsaw, alongside the decorative baseboard’s curve.
  3. Then, ensure the workpiece is safely clamped down on a bench, ideally by making use of bench vise.
  4. Make a curved, 45- degrees angle cut with the jigsaw, to the baseboard’s backside, alongside its surface.
  5. Use sandpaper to finish or file the baseboard. Make sure the other corner fits as well. Ensure that the socket from the back cut is fitting the face of the other side of your baseboard.
  6. Use some brad nails measuring around 1 1/2 inch (with some glue) to install and secure the baseboard securely.
  7. Finally, add paint and caulking around any slight gaps or joints if necessary to pretty your new trim up. 

Corner Triangle Instructions

  1. Determine the size of the triangle needed by multiplying the finished block size by 1.41.
  2. Divide the answer, the finished diagonal, by 2.
  3. Add .875 inches and round up to the nearest 1/8 of an inch to find your parent block size.
  4. Cut two parent blocks that size and divide each in half once diagonally to make a total of four corner squares.

The tiny bit added when you round up is rarely noticeable when you sew the triangles to the ends of rows.

Fabric Grain Matters

To minimize stretch, it’s best to assemble quilt components with the fabric’s straight grain along edges that will be on the outer perimeter of a block or quilt, so there’s less chance of stretch as you work. This difference may not seem important, but it actually makes a huge impact on the stability of the outer edges of your projects. 

How to Cut Baseboard Corners with a Hand Saw

If you don’t have a circular saw, don’t worry. You can still cut baseboard corners using a hand saw and a miter box, instead of forking out the cash for circular saw or a high-priced sliding compound miter saw.

However, you’ll need some glue, an adjustable bevel, some wood screws, a screwdriver, a carpenter’s square, and 1×6 and 1×4 lumber.

Follow the instructions closely: 

  1. Cut two 12-inch lengths of 1×6 lumber and 12-inch length of 1×4 lumber. The type of wood doesn’t matter, but if you can, get oak or fir. It’s more important to get wood which is warp-free, and completely straight.
  2. Apply wood glue along the two long edges of the 1×4 lumber and place it flat on the work table. Place the 1×6 lumber upright against every edge and use a screwdriver and ½ wood screws to screw the 1×6 in the 1×4 lumber. When finished, you’ll have a four-inch open box. 
  3. Place the bevel to 45- degrees and mark the top edge angles on the two sides of the box with a pencil. Use a carpenter’s square to draw a perpendicular line on the outside of the box, from the angled line intersection to the bottom of the makeshift box.
  4. Align your handsaw with the angled marks at the boxes’ top edges, and cut through the sides top to bottom. Make sure the ends of the hand saw are aligned to the perpendicular lines on the side.
  5. Using the box and the handsaw to cut the baseboard. Keep the baseboard up against the side of the box, using the mark on the baseboard to show you the length of the kerf in the box. Hold the saw within the kerf as you cut the baseboard. 

Note: If this is too complicated for you, simply buy a miter box at a supply store which can produce similar results to using a miter saw, but without the added financial investment.

Also, the best type of saw for this job is dovetail or backsaw, but pull saws will also work. 

Demand Better Documentation and Wait

All dependencies are resolved and the code looks clean, but you still don’t understand how to fix the problem or implement a new feature. It’s too complex. Or maybe you just don’t know how this library works. Or you’ve never done anything like that before. Anyhow, you can’t continue because you don’t understand. And in order to understand, you will need a lot of time—much more than you have from your project manager or your Scrum board. What do you do?

Again, think positively and don’t blame yourself.

Again, think positively and don’t blame yourself. If the software is not clear enough for a total stranger, it’s “their” fault, not yours. They created the software in a way that’s difficult to digest and modify. But the code is clean; it’s not spaghetti anymore. It’s a perfectly cooked lobster, but you don’t know how to eat lobster! You’ve never ate it before.

The chef did a good job; he cooked it well, but the restaurant didn’t give you any instructions on how to eat such a sophisticated dish. What do you do?

You ask for a manual. You ask for documentation. Properly designed and written source code must be properly documented. Once you see that something is not clear for you, create new dependencies that ask for better documentation of certain aspects of the code.

Again, don’t be a hero and try to understand everything yourself. Of course you’re a smart guy, but the project doesn’t need a single smart guy. The project needs maintainable code that is easy to modify, even by someone who is not as smart as yourself. So do your project a favor: reveal the documentation issue, and ask someone to fix it for you. Not just for you, for everybody. The entire team will benefit from such a request. Once the documentation is fixed, you will continue with your task, and everybody will get source code that is a bit better than it was before. Win-win, isn’t it?

cut corners

This phrase comes from cutting (off) the corner , which means ‘taking the shortest course by going across and not round a corner’.See also: corner, cutFarlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

disable the feature

sometimes the unit test technique won’t work, mostly because a bug will be too important to be ignored. they won’t agree with you when you show them a unit test that proves the bug doesn’t exist. they will tell you that “when our users are trying to download a pdf, they get a blank page.” and they will also say they don’t really care about your bloody unit tests. all they care about is that pdf document that should be downloadable. so the trick with a unit test won’t work. what do you do?

it depends on many factors, and most of these factors are not technical. they are political, organizational, managerial, social, you name it. however, in most cases, i would recommend you disable that toxic feature, release a new version, and close the ticket.

you will take the problem off your shoulders and everybody will be pleased. well, except that poor end user. but this is not your problem. this is the fault of management, which didn’t organize pre-production testing properly. again, don’t take this blame on yourself. your job is to keep the code clean and finish your tickets in a reasonable amount of time. their job is to make sure that developers, testers, devops, marketers, product managers, and designers work together to deliver the product with an acceptable number of errors.

production errors are not programmers’ mistakes, though delayed tickets are. if you keep a ticket in your hands for too long, you become an unmanageable unit of work. they simply can’t manage you anymore. you’re doing something, trying to fix the bug, saying “i’m trying, i’m trying …” how can they manage such a guy? instead, you should deliver quickly, even if it comes at the cost of a temporarily disabled feature.

Conclusion

This is way of How to Cut Baseboard Corners without Miter Saw, Introducing baseboards in your house is a moderately clear approach to tidy the spot. While it might seem like the general procedure is simple enough for a DIYers, cutting baseboards can be a daunting task.

Best cordless miter saws with handy stands are very effective in cutting boards or metals. However, in a situation whereby there isn’t a miter saw, the guidelines above, when properly followed will undoubtedly help you cut your baseboards to your utmost satisfaction.

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reproduce the bug and call it a day

now the code is clean, the documentation is good enough, but you’re stuck anyway. what to do? well, i’m a big fan of test-driven development, so my next suggestion would be to create a test that reproduces the bug. basically, this is what you should start every ticket with, be it a bug or a feature. catch the bug with a unit test! prove that the bug exists by failing the build with a new test.

this may be rather difficult to achieve, especially when the software you’re trying to fix or modify was written by idiotssomeone who had no idea about unit testing. there are plenty of techniques that may help you find a way to make such software more testable. i would highly recommend you read working effectively with legacy code by michael feathers. there are many different patterns, and most of them work.

once you manage to reproduce the bug and the build fails, stop right there. that’s more than enough for a single piece of work. skip the test (for example, using @ignore annotation in junit 4) and commit your changes. then add documentation to the unit test you just created, preferably in the form of a @todo . explain there that you managed to reproduce the problem but didn’t have enough time to fix it. or maybe you just don’t know how to fix it. be honest and give all possible details.

i believe that catching a bug with a unit test is, in most cases, more than 80% of success. the rest is way more simple: just fix the code and make the test pass. leave this job to someone else.

Say No

OK, let’s say none of the above works. The code is clean, the documentation is acceptable, but you can’t catch the bug, and they don’t accept a unit test from you as proof of the bug’s absence. They also don’t allow you to disable a feature, because it is critical to the user experience. What choices do you have? Just one.

Be professional and say “No, I can’t do this; find

Be professional and say “No, I can’t do this; find someone else.” Being a professional developer doesn’t mean being able to fix any problem. Instead, it means honesty. If you see that you can’t fix the problem, say so as soon as possible. Let them decide what to do. If they eventually decide to fire you because of that, you will remain a professional. They will remember you as a guy who was honest and took his reputation seriously. In the end, you will win.

Don’t hold the task in your hands. The minute you realize you’re not the best guy for it or you simply can’t fix it—notify your manager. Make it his problem. Actually, it is his problem in the first place. He hired you. He interviewed you. He decided to give you this task. He estimated your abilities and your skills. So it’s payback time.

Your “No!” will be very valuable feedback for him. It will help him make his next important management decisions.

On the other hand, if you lie just to give the impression you’re a guy who can fix anything and yet fail in the end, you will damage not only your reputation but also the project’s performance and objectives.

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