Step 7: Cut biscuit slots

connecting baseboard joints
Photo: Craig Raine
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To make sure an outside miter joint stays tight, connect the two halves with glue and Number 10 compressed-wood biscuits. First, hold the two boards tightly against the outside corner and pencil a mark in two places across the joint. The marks should be equidistant from each other and from the edges of the board. Then remove the boards, set the biscuit joiner perpendicular to the cut face, and adjust the depth of its fence so the cut will be nearer to the back side of the boards.

Align the tool's centerline with a mark and plunge-cut a slot into the face of the cut. Do the same thing at the next mark.

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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Compound miter saw,
      for straight and angled crosscuts
    • coping saw
      Coping saw,
      for cutting copes in the ends of molding
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level,
      for finding low spots on floor and marking height of baseboard
    • circular saw
      6-inch circular saw,
      for ripping back-bevels in trim
    • speed square
      Speed Square,
      for guiding crosscuts made with a circular saw
    • 30-foot tape measure
      25-foot tape measure
    • pencil compass
      Compass (for scribing
    • block plane
      Block plane,
      for tuning the fit of a scribed piece
    • biscuit joiner
      Biscuit joiner,
      for cutting slots in miter joints
    • chalk line
      Chalk line,
      for snapping the lines that establish baseboard height
    • hammer
      Hammer or pneumatic nail gun
    • nailset
      Nail set

    Shopping List

    1. BASEBOARD MOLDING

    2. CAP MOLDING

    3. SHOE MOLDING

    4. 6D AND 8D FINISH NAILS

    5. NO. 10 COMPRESSED WOOD BISCUITS
    (for holding together baseboard miters)

    6. CARPENTER'S GLUR
    (for adhering joints)