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Make Clean Cuts Every Time For Your Window and Door Trim Projects

April 26, 2022

Tips for Making the Perfect Cut for Window and Door Casing

By installing trim around the windows or doors, you will add a decorative charm to the living space. Its one of the finishing touches on any home project, build, or remodeling.  However, you must install the casing correctly to achieve the best results for the home. 

Making the correct cuts on the casing is crucial in installing the trim on windows or doors. The cuts need to be clean and properly measured to avoid unsightly gaps or uneven sides, especially when planning to stain the trim. This article will cover the key steps to ensure you make the perfect cut for window and door casing every time. 

How to Set Up Saw Correctly

To make the perfect cut on the window and door casing, you will need the right tools for the job. Since the casing has mitered ends, you should utilize a compound miter saw to cut the ends of the wood cleanly. While setting up the miter saw, you should attach a sharp woodworking finishing blade with more teeth to ensure a clean cut and avoid tear-outs. 

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If the woodworking blade is dull, it can take longer to cut through the casing and bind in the middle of the cut. When a saw blade binds, the wood will tear or chip easily, making it unusable for trim. Very dull woodworking blades can even smoke and burn marks on the wood when cutting. 

You may also use a manual miter box if you don’t want to purchase or rent a compound miter saw for the project. A manual miter box allows you to cut angles into the wood with a handheld saw. You place the wood casing into the plastic miter box and then set the saw blade into the 45° slot before cutting. 

Additionally, you should always follow proper safety measures when operating machinery like a compound miter saw. Ensure your saw has a proper guard and stable base before continuing the cut. Wear the proper safety gear such as protective eyewear, hearing protection, and properly fitted clothing. Once you have your saw set up, you are ready to make measurements. 

Making Proper Measurements

Cutting with the miter saw is the easy part of adding trim to a window or door. The hardest part of the process is making the proper measurements, so the casing is symmetrical and in its proper place. To make the correct measurements, you need a measuring tape to measure the bottom and sides of the opening. 

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It’s best to start with the top or bottom casing first on a window, which allows you to tweak the measurements. Taking into consideration any reveal you want to leave, measure the bottom of the window, and make a rough cut of the casing that is slightly bigger. Place the casing at the bottom of the window and mark the casing at the edge of the window or reveal line with a pencil. 

Most windows are not even on both sides, so you may need to tweak the angle on the miter saw to prevent gaps. Don’t cut all of the casing pieces at once, as this could result in wasted materials when they don’t align correctly. You should also start with the biggest window first, allowing you to use the miscuts for the smaller windows. 

This process is very similar to adding a casing to doorways. However, you should start on the casing for the side of the door first instead of the top. If you don’t have a miter saw, you can opt for a butted casing with no angles. Simply cut straight pieces of the casing long enough to encase the doorway. 

Cutting Window and Door Casing Properly

Once you’ve made the measurements, all that is left is cutting the casing for the window or door. If you are unfamiliar with operating a power saw, you should slowly dip the miter saw blade into the pencil mark you made in the casing. You want to remove the pencil mark with the blade, as cutting outside of it could make the casing piece too long. 

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For angles that cause a gap between the two casing pieces, you can shave a little off the end with a miter saw. Since this is a very tedious process, you should only shave off small amounts of the casing at a time. Once there is no gap in the wood, you are ready to attach the casing with nails.

Adding window and door casing into your home is an essential decorative accent. Whether you add a solid white casing or want a unique option, the cuts must be clean and accurate. You should always use a miter saw with a sharp woodworking blade and emphasize the measurement process. 

Using these tips listed in the article, you should be ready to start your window and door casing project!

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