Cutting Small Moulding

Advice on ways to get clean, accurate miter cuts on 3/8" moulding pieces. November 13, 2009

I'm putting an applied molding - about 3/8 x 3/8 - on cabinet doors. I am having a hard time making the miter cuts without having it tear out frequently. What's the best blade to use for something like this? Or a different approach?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor L:
What I would usually do is put a backer board on the miter fence so there is only a blade width of open space. I cut all my left cuts first, making a pile of cuts that are long enough for each cut needed. Then switch over to my right cuts and make a new backer board. This way you get very little blowout or small pieces being chucked around the shop.

From contributor J:
Use a miter saw and only cut the moulding square and to length, no backer board required. Next move to a disc (best) or stationary belt sander with a vee fence (jig) to sand the miter on the ends of the moulding. Much faster and way safer and infinitely easier to get more quality.

From contributor H:
I use a lion trimmer (mitre knife).

From contributor A:
Contributor L has got it right if using a miter/chopsaw. That is a pretty small moulding. You might consider going old school with a homemade hardwood miter box and a very fine tooth handsaw.

From contributor K:
Contributor J has it right.

From contributor R:
We use a Morso, very nice machine, bought used when a frame shop was closing.

From contributor B:
I have a lot of success using a dedicated 45 miter sled on the table saw, using a 60 tooth blade.

From contributor D:
I fit thousands of wood stops for windows in the 90's. I'm with contributor J on this one; cut square and sand at 45 degrees to fit.

From contributor M:
This would be a great place to use a shooting board... Chop ~ 1/32" long at 45 and then trim on shooting board for a great miter fit and chip-out removal.