How to cut trim at a 45 degree angle without a miter saw

If you regularly make furniture joints, one of the most important skills is making accurate mitered cuts.

Even if you aren’t a serious DIY enthusiast, it’s still important to know how to cut trim at an angle of 45 degrees. For example, you may need to cut the architrave around the doorway and windows or skirt boards at the base of the wall. Here are a few methods you may need to follow.

How to cut trim at a 45-degree angle with a miter saw

Also referred to as a chop saw, a miter saw is made in a way that enables it to make fast and accurate angled cuts or at 90 degrees. This too can be a great choice for framing.  While the normal saw tends to cut timber with a maximum size of 4×2, the sliding miter saw features a cutting heat that slides on a railway. This makes it possible to cut timbers with a maximum of 9×3 without the need for a disk with a huge diameter.

There are many miter saw blades with varying teeth. Miter saws with coarse teeth are a good choice for cutting timber fast and also for structural works. On the other hand, the blades that have fine teeth usually cut slower but the results are cleaner with little splintering. This can be essential when you are cutting shelving, architrave, or shelving.

While the best compound miter saw is best suited for cutting 45 degrees angle, there are times when you may not have access to one.

How to cut trim at a 45 degree angle without a miter saw

How to cut a trim 45-degree angle without a miter saw

If you don’t have a miter saw, there are several ways you can use it to cut a trim 45-degree angle. These are:

  • By the eyes

Here are the steps you need to follow to cut a 45 degrees angle without a miter saw

  • Start by marking the timber

A good way of cutting timber is by marking it first and cutting it by the eye. If the task you are handling requires a lot of accuracy, this can be challenging. However, the results will not be very pleasing unless you are very skilled. If you are not keen, you might end up with a crooked cut.

You can use a sharp pencil to make a thin marking line on the piece of wood. Ensure that the tape is held close to the edges and you have marked the right dimensions. Take note that if you bought lumber you might end up with a 90 degrees cut. However, you can use a carpenter square to check it.

  • Mark the top side using a carpenter square

With a carpenter square, you can make some right-angled marks on timber. A triangle or engineers square can also be a good choice. Hold the square’s handle tightly against the wood markings. Ensure the tip of the pencil on the mark you initially made, when taking the measurements. Slide the square in a way that it butts against the tip and mark along that square.

  • Mark both vertical sides

Ensure that both vertical sides are marked.

  • Use a vice to hold the wood

To secure the wood, when sawing, you can hold it using a vice. The other alternative is to use a stool and knee, and a low table. The pencil lines on the timber’s vertical surface should act as your guide to ensure that the saw remains straight.

  • Using a miter box

With a miter box, you can cut 45-degree cuts and 90degrees cut. This can be good for improving your accuracy. This is because a miter box contains slots on the vertical sides that guides the blade and prevent it from moving from the vertical. You can find versions that are made of wood, metal, or plastic.  You can use a hook to hold some or a vice to hold others. You can also use the raised edge on the underside to but against the bench edge.  Take note that when cutting timber, you should cut on the waste side instead of the center.

  • Use of the tenon saw

As compared to the handsaw, a tenon saw is usually easier to use. It features small teeth with a greater pitch that minimize the chances of the blade chipping or tearing at the wood fiber’s edge when cutting. The saw has a rigid spine that prevents the blade from warping and curving when cutting. This ensures better results which can be great for improving the finish and accuracy.

How to cut trim at a 45 degree angle without a miter saw

Safety tip for cutting 45-degree angle trim

For better cuts, you should follow the following tips:

  • If a blade gets damaged, make sure you replace it immediately
  • Wear the necessary protective masks and clothes. This will protect you from inhaling dust
  • Use a sub fence
  • Avoid pressuring the handle of the saw but instead, put it under moderate pressure. This will help to increase its lifespan.
  • Read the instructions of the manufacturer and only ensure that your tools are maintained by authorized saw dealers.
  • Keep your work surfaces stay clean. You should regularly remove the dust in the internal and external parts of the saw. This will ensure that it doesn’t malfunction.

In conclusion

You can see that is possible to make angular trim even without the miter saw.  Therefore, if you don’t have a miter saw, you don’t have to worry as you can use the above techniques.

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