Splicing Into Existing Trim
I love rules of thumb and quick tips! Here’s a quick tip that can be used when remodeling and you need to cut in a miter or splice along a length of existing trim board.
Why would you need to use this, well here’s a few examples:
- Cutting out rot and installing a new piece of exterior trim board, window casing or water table trim.
- Cutting into baseboard trim when closing off an opening or adding a wall
- Rounding a new corner and cutting existing base trim for a new miter joint [see photos]
- Installing a scarf joint in anything existing
When installing moldings—particularly baseboard, shoe, crown, and chair rail—it’s always better to use a single length to span the room, but that is not always the case. There have been many cases where existing trim is custom, antique, or to involved to simple rip it out and install a full length.
When you do have to splice together molding pieces, we like to use a scarf joint. A scarf joints hides better when panted and leaves a less conspicuous gap when wood shrinks. To make a scarf joint, we bevel-cut the molding ends to 30 degrees, apply glue, then secure the joint with finish nails.
Scarf Joints and Miter Jig
When cutting trim in place we use a jig with the bevel desired on it. We cut the bevel for this jig on a miter saw and then use it as a cutting guide with our multi-tool.
In the photos depicted we had cut an opening in a wall and decided the save the trim. In order to install a mitered look we used our jig to cut a 45-46 degree bevel. Works like a charm!