Learning to ‘cope cut’ a joint by rhoing

Learning to ‘cope cut’ a joint

We're putting a chair rail in our dining room. I googled “chair rail” for installation hints-and-tips and discovered the *technique* of "cope cutting" moldings. I asked my wood-working and home-renovating BIL about cope cuts. He said, “It just depends on whether you want to experience using a coping saw. Coping is the traditional method at corners for any trim. Until maybe 1975 or 1980, baseboard and other trim was coped. But then time savings became more important … and nowadays most builders and others miter the corners. Successfully coping a joint is satisfying but time-consuming, especially for the novice…” I'm definitely a novice! Indeed, I had to buy a coping saw!

This is my second joint and, as you can tell, I didn't match the grain very well on these two adjoining pieces. Also, the wood is obviously unfinished at this point. I wanted to measure, cut, fit and make sure all the pieces were level before they were stained and varnished. It took *far* less time than the first and turned out surprisingly well (even if it doesn't look very good). As to the quality of the photo: I have to remember that I cannot hold the camera still for 1/15" anymore…

The posted image tends to be an ETSOOI but the good news is that you were spared another praying mantis photo!

1 year ago (“Damselfly”): http://365project.org/rhoing/365/2014-09-18
2 years ago (“My first ‘?’”): http://365project.org/rhoing/365/2013-09-18
3 years ago (“‘Chlorochlamys phyllinaria’ (Geometridae)”): http://365project.org/rhoing/365/2012-09-18
4 years ago (“‘Finally!’ — my first Monarch butterfly”): http://365project.org/rhoing/365/2011-09-18

[ IMG_5581ATsTsS12x9tm :: f/2.8 (+1) :: 1/15" :: ISO-400 :: 60mm ]
This brings back memories of when when we built our home 15 years ago. Our builders weren't happy with me when I kept asking what they meant by coping the trim. Mitering was all I was a familiar with and they had me worried it wouldn't turn out like I wanted. Your cut looks pretty good!
October 5th, 2015  
@genealogygenie You don't have to lie — it was only my second attempt. I wish there had been another corner to fit, but I'd already mitered two and coped one.
October 5th, 2015  
This looks like it's a tight joint, and your process is very interesting too!
October 5th, 2015  
Impressive that you can do this on your own, period! And also photograph it well at slow speed.
October 6th, 2015  
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