August 21, 2022
When installing baseboards, you need to attend to the little details to get the best fit and finish. The miter saw, of course, is your go-to tool when cutting baseboards, but given the high price of the miter saw, you can also use the jigsaw for such a purpose. A jigsaw is an incredible tool when it comes to cutting with precision. It also comes with an electric motor and features a reciprocating blade.
Using your jigsaw, you can cut the baseboard by simply marking the cutline and making the cut. Yet, when doing the coped joint, you can use the jigsaw for such an application. Yet, you need to be very skillful in using the jigsaw to accomplish such a good finish.
Things to Bear in Mind When Coping Baseboard Using a Jigsaw
As mentioned above, when cutting baseboard, you only need to mark your cutline and make the cut. Yet, there are different baseboard joint types. So, you need to bear in mind a few things when making different types of baseboard joints.
You basically got two joint-type options when installing crown molding or baseboard. You can either make a miter joint or a coped joint. If you got a jigsaw capable of beveled cuts, you could easily make the miter joint. You can also do the coped joint using the jigsaw or coping saw.
The mitered joints are less tight compared to coped joints. For this reason, when doing coped joints using the jigsaw, you must do a few things before you can begin cutting copes using your jigsaw.
When cutting coped joints using the jigsaw, you would usually have a problem keeping track of the cutline. Moreover, the jigsaw is a bit challenging to hold when cutting coped joints for it bounces. So, you might end up with a scarred surface when making a back cut.
Why Should You Use the Jigsaw for Coping?
As mentioned above, you will face several issues when using the jigsaw for coping. Yet, you can skirt these issues if you know how to creatively use your jigsaw. You can try cutting using an upside-down pattern.
Remember that the jigsaw comes with a blade equipped with fine teeth. This blade allows you to cut curved patterns quickly and accurately compared to saws with a circular saw blade. Hence, using the jigsaw provides you with a faster way of coping.
You can start from the bottom when cutting. Position the workpiece on your jigsaw’s shoe. Then with extra care, you can deliver back cuts onto the material. You can vary the speed of the jigsaw for more precision. As you cut, you will find your jigsaw below the material because you cut upside down. Hence, you will have clear visibility of your cutting line.
For better control and accuracy, you can use your right and left hands when cutting. Hold the workpiece with your other hand as you cut with your jigsaw with the other hand. In this way, you will have a better view of the coping angle. When it comes to blade choice, you can always go for the fine-toothed saw blade. Yet, you can also utilize a stagger-toothed saw blade. Such a saw blade can easily cut through materials. Moreover, it will create an edge in your molding.
If you need a deeper cut, you can utilize a short saw blade of around four inches for crown moldings and a short blade when dealing with chair rail. It will help to remember that the deeper your saw blade, the better cuts you can make. Besides, you can achieve more precision using the jigsaw when cutting curved designs.
Simple Steps to Follow When Coping Using the Jigsaw
When making coped joints, the best tool to use is the coping saw. Yet, you can also use the jigsaw by following these simple steps:
- You can cut a mitered baseboard by cutting your stock at an exactly 45-degree angle for mating with a match at the outside corner.
- Use scrap molding as your guide when cutting at a 90-degree angle. You can outline the profile using your pencil.
- Afterward, you can cut along the cutline using your jigsaw. Remove the material behind your jigsaw as you continue cutting.
- Then, fit the second molding with the first molding. Refine the edges as needed.
- Afterward, fill the rough edges using caulk before you paint the coped joint.
Additional Tips When Coping Using the Jigsaw
Aside from the simple steps you can follow when coping using the jigsaw, you might also learn from the following additional tips:
- It will be best to use a high-speed tool with variable speeds for these coping tasks.
- When cutting a baseboard, you need to bear in mind the tooth count of the saw blade. It must have at least 10 to 14 TPI for optimal results.
- However, if you would install a PVC baseboard type, you can also go for a general-purpose wood blade. Such a jigsaw blade will be an excellent alternative to pricey metal blades for cutting PVC.
- You can cut the baseboard to the appropriate dimensions. You only need to measure from end to end of your cutline using your tape measure. Then, mark the endpoint with your pencil. You can use a T-square or speed square for making your cutline.
- You can cut the baseboard to the desired length using a straight 90-degree cut. You can use this cut for making one side of the coping joint for the room’s inside corner. You can also use miter cuts for preparing the baseboard for the inside corners and outside corners.
- You will often cut using upstroke with your jigsaw. Yet, some professionals prefer backside cutting instead. If you want to cut from the backside, you can use a jigsaw blade capable of reverse teeth finishing.
The coping saw can be slower for coping tasks. Yet, it is the most appropriate tool for the job. If you want a faster way of coping, you can try to use the jigsaw. You can equip your jigsaw with a coping foot for easy coping using the jigsaw. When installing baseboards, you need to be meticulous when making measurements and cutting because you want your baseboard to fit perfectly.
If you’re a beginner, you might get a bit confused about how to install the baseboard. Yet, if you follow the simple steps above and you have the appropriate jigsaw toolset, you can breeze through the installation process without any issue or problem.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.