Step 8: Assemble the biscuit joints

Tom Silva installing baseboard
Photo: Craig Raine
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Squeeze carpenter's glue into both slots and over the face of each half of the miter cut. Then slip a biscuit into each slot on one board and bring the two boards together.

Place the boards back on the wall and drive two 8d finish nails into the wall on each side of the miter. Between these nails, drive a 4d finish nail through the joint and into the end grain of the opposite piece. Tap nail heads below the wood surface with a nail set.

Where two boards meet on a straight run, make a scarf joint by mitering the ends in opposite directions at a point where there's a stud. Glue and overlap the miters, then nail through the piece that covers the joint (not through the joint itself) and into the stud.

For inside corners, simply butt the baseboard ends together, then nail them to the wall.

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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)