A coping saw is great tool. It allows for minute adjustments to cutting wood especially with mouldings. It makes difficult joints possible. This saw was invented back in the days when ancient Greek and Roman architectural elements were first applied in interior design as ornaments that separate walls from ceilings.
To this day, the coping saw is still used for the same purpose. While it’s easy to assume that a molding with curves and corners will eventually meet with another at a 45-degree angle, the reality of it is much more intricate. Ceilings and walls are not perfect and often not connected at precise angles. In such cases, you have to cut joints to fit with together without gaps.
The coping saw is also strong enough to slice through metal such as aluminum tubing. It is mainly used to cut crown mouldings. Here are a few tips on using a coping saw:
Always put your safety first. Use the right and properly maintained tools. Check your coping saw before you start hacking away. Make sure that it’s attached correctly and tightly. Cut wood in an angle away from your face.
Use the power of gravity when cutting with a coping saw. Push the saw down as you stand above the wood piece and over the work bench. Keep it properly secured onto the work table. This gives you more control over the cut and requires far less effort than pulling the saw toward you. You’ll also find no jagged edges ruining the moulding’s finish because of the downward technique. All the jagged edges are visible only at the back of the moulding.
Cut in Segments
Mouldings are sold in long spans. This is why it’s necessary to cut and shape them with a coping saw. Measure the ceiling perimeter where the moulding will be installed. Estimate how much you will need to cope out of the moulding. Remember that each corner or joint may be different from the other. Cut the moulding with a few excess units of the measured length. This will allow you to work with smaller pieces of wood. It will also prevent too much stressing on the wood due to bending and handling. You get to maintain the moulding’s quality of shape and finish including the quality of work.
Patience is a Virtue
Coping crown mouldings requires attention to detail. Take the time and care to cut the wood and form those intricate joints. When you’re done with the cut, test it out on the ceiling with the connecting moulding. If it’s not a perfect fit, carefully cope the necessary shape. Don’t try to cut the entire joint in a single pass. That will only stress the blade. It will eventually leave you with more work due to the damage to the moulding. Not to mention the need for more resources such as wood putty for filling the gap. That leaves you with unimpressive work.
Cope One End then the Other
This will allow for more compatibility between the two parts. Finish coping one corner joint. Before you begin with the next joint, place the finished joint at its intended corner and lay out the other. Use the first end as your guide for the coping saw.