How to Use a Coping Saw for Quarter Round

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If you are remodeling your home, you might want to learn how to use a coping saw for a quarter round. While molding a quarter round is not done exclusively using a coping saw, it is one of the most important tools you can use. Let’s quickly learn how to use it to get the most professional quarter rounds. 

How to Use a Coping Saw for Quarter Round 

While most quarter-round moldings are cut using a miter saw to create a 45-degree angle, they are not applicable to coped joints. These joints are usually found on inside corners that join interior walls and can only be fixed using a quarter round that is cut with a coping saw instead of a miter saw.

This is not as straightforward as when using a 45-degree angle quarter round so it might be challenging for some people. The following step-by-step guide should help you understand how to effectively create coped joints on a quarter-round molding. 

What you Need 

  • Coping Saw 
  • Quarter Round Molding 
  • Tape measure 
  • Hammer 
  • Pencil
Coping saw

Step 1: Cut a Quarter Round Molding

In a four-corner room, measure one length of the wall then cut a piece of quarter round molding of the same length. We recommend using a wall that is next to the one that contains the doorway. This is because we want the adjoining molding to end at the doorway and not at a corner. 

After cutting, install the piece of quarter-round molding at the base of the wall’s baseboard by nailing it in place.

Step 2: Cut Another Quarter Round Molding 

Measure the length of the wall from the door to the adjoining wall then cut another quarter round molding that is a foot longer than that length. This will be joined to the other molding that you installed on the adjoining wall. 

We recommend making the second quarter round a foot longer to cater for any mistakes you might make while cutting with the coping saw in the next steps. This is necessary especially if you are doing this for the first time and might need multiple attempts to get the joint right. 

Step 3: Mark the Quarter Round Shape 

Using a pencil, make the shape or curve of the quarter round on the back of the molding. Be careful while doing this and ensure that you are marking the curve in the right direction. If you are not careful, you might end up tracing the mirror image of the curve. 

If you don’t have a pencil, you can use the tip of a nail or anything else that can leave a visible mark on the molding. 

Step 4: Cut with a Coping Saw

Using a coping saw, cut following the curve you just made on the quarter round molding. For the best results, we recommend cutting at a slight angle, like 60-degrees. 

Person showing how to use a coping saw for quarter round

Cutting at a slight angle will increase the chances that the quarter-round molding will fit into the first molding that you already installed on the wall. If the 60-degree angle doesn’t work, try again with a different angle until you find one that fits the first molding. 

Step 5: Cut the Other End

For the end that fits into the door trim, you will need to cut an angle of 45-degrees. For this, you can use a regular hand saw or a miter saw

We recommend the latter since it is faster and more efficient. This end should perfectly fit on the door trim with the coped end wrapping around the other quarter round. 

Step 6: Repeat the Procedure 

If you need to make additional quarter-round joints for the other walls, just follow steps one through 4. Do step 5 for any end of a quarter round molding that joins with the door trim. 

Keep in mind that for the wall that is not adjacent to the one with a doorway, you will need to cop both ends of the quarter round. In this case, we recommend that you cut the molding into two to make it easier to handle. 

Also, make each end a foot longer than the wall to accommodate errors. 

Safety Tips When Using a Coping Saw

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, hand saws such as a coping saw are responsible for most finger injuries when woodworking. You need to be very careful when using this tool

Coping saw

Below are some safety measures to keep in mind when making a coped quarter round: 

  • Use safety eyewear: The CDC estimates that 2,000 Americans get job-related eye injury that warrants medical attention every day. Like any other woodworking tool, a coping saw produces materials such as dust and shards of wood that may be harmful to your eyes. 
  • Avoid touching the teeth: Coping saws have very sharp teeth that can easily inflict injury. You should avoid touching them as much as possible and if you absolutely have to, make sure to use protective gloves. 
  • Use a holster: Especially when carrying the coping saw to prevent accidental cuts. This might happen if you accidentally fall while carrying the saw. 
  • Sharpen, or change the blade regularly: Sharper coping saw blades are safer to use (as long as you don’t touch the teeth) than blunt ones. This is because blunt teeth need more force when cutting. Changing the blades might be necessary, as broken blades might snap and injure you. 
  • Keep the saw oiled: Apart from sharpening, you should also ensure to regularly oil your coping saw teeth to keep them in good working condition. 
  • Do regular inspection: We recommend that you inspect your coping saw every time before use for any defects. You might have loosened the blade without knowing or the frame might be broken. These and other defects can easily lead to an injury while using the saw. 

Conclusion 

While coping a quarter-round might sound like a complicated process, it’s actually pretty easy when you get the hang of it. Just make sure that you have the right tools, including a well-functioning coping saw then follow the steps in this guide and you will be good to go. 

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.