How to Cope a Baseboard Corner

What You'll Need
Sawhorse and clamp
Coping saw
Baseboard pieces
Wood file and sand paper

A coped joint is crucial to the successful fitting of any baseboard corner. This provides your baseboards with a solid fit and a complete appearance and is almost always better than simply butting the ends of two baseboard pieces together at the corner of a wall segment. Fortunately, it is easy to do a coping for your baseboard corner if you have the proper tools. Read on for a brief guide on how to cope a baseboard corner in your home.

Step 1 -- Purchase a Good Coping Saw

The quality of the coping for your baseboard pieces will be directly related to the quality of the coping saw that you have. Go to your hardware store and purchase a good coping saw, as well as several different blades. These blades should have different size teeth to be adept at cutting different thicknesses. You will need to do some experimenting with your baseboard pieces or with spare baseboard pieces in order to find out which blade will provide the smoothest, best looking coping cut for your work.

Step 2 -- Make the Initial Cut

Initially, you'll want to cut each side of the baseboard at a 45-degree cut. Make a mark on the baseboard as to where it will reach the wall at its longest point; do not cut inside of this line. Begin by using your thumbnail to help guide the baseboard and coping saw to the appropriate point to cut. The cut should begin with the coping saw perpendicular to the line of the baseboard. Place the baseboard into a clamp or a vice on a sawhorse in order to ensure that it remains stable. Begin the cut perpendicularly and then twist the saw somewhat so that the cut continues on a 45-degree angle.

Step 3 -- Test Fit

Repeat the cutting procedure for the other baseboard piece. Both pieces should be somewhat too large for the section of the wall in which they will ultimately rest. However, you can still test them for a good fit by placing the ends together. Make sure that they meet at a perfect 90-degree angle. Examine the profiles of each baseboard piece and make marks on any areas that need to be further trimmed down. Use the saw to remove any excess parts of each baseboard to ensure a good fit.

Step 4 -- Complete Detailed Work on the Baseboard Pieces

When you have gotten the fit almost just right, you'll then need to complete detailed work on each baseboard piece. Use a wood file to help remove excess wood in specific parts of the baseboard profile. Sand down the coping sections to ensure a smooth and perfect fit. Check the baseboards with each other and along the wall to be sure that the fit is accurate before installing one or both pieces.