If you do any type of carpentry work or woodwork, then you are most likely familiar with the miter saw. A miter saw is designed specifically for making angled cuts on things like trim, molding, rafters, and more.
While these are the intended uses of the miter saw, it can be a versatile tool that is capable of doing many different things. If you hone your skills, you make beveled cuts and other types of cuts as well with the miter saw.
In this guide, we will walk you through how to cut quarter round with a miter saw. The process is not terribly challenging but it does take some skill to make it look just right. We will walk you through the process from start to finish so you can put it to use on your own!
Let’s get started, shall we?
What is a Miter Saw?
A miter saw is a type of saw that is used to make crosscuts and miters on wood or other materials. These saws are typically large and on a stand. The cut is made by pulling the saw down over the material.
Miter saws primarily make angled cuts for trim and molding purposes as we mentioned earlier. You can make a variety of angled cuts, making the miter saw a versatile tool that can add a unique style to many different carpentry needs.
Today, our focus is on quarter round cuts.
What is a Quarter Round Cut?
Quarter rounds are typically cut with miter saws and sometimes a miter box as well. This is a traditional cut that the miter saw is used for but it can take a bit more skill and knowledge of the process to get it right.
A quarter round is described as a convex form of molding. If you look at the cross section, it resembles a quarter circle, thus giving it the name quarter round. To achieve this cut, you work at a specific angle, in a specific direction.
Quarter rounds are typically used for design element purposes. You will see them placed on baseboards and mantles as well as other architectural pieces. Many times, quarter rounds are used against the baseboard to cover any gaps at the floor and again add a decorative element.
You can find or make quarter rounds in multiple types of materials. You are not limited to wood, although that is what you see it in the most.
How to Cut Quarter Round with a Miter Saw – The Process
Choose your wood or materials to correlate with the surroundings it will be used in. In order to cut a quarter round, you will need to be able to measure and you will need to be equipped with the proper tools and accessories.
Obviously, you will need access to a miter saw but you will also need measuring and marking tools as well. No matter what, quarter round is always cut at an angle. The most common angle used for quarter round is 45 degrees.
Here are our recommendations to be prepared to cut quarter round.
- Miter saw
- Tape measure
- Personal protective equipment (we recommend earplugs and safety glasses)
- Quarter-round molding
Once you’ve cut the quarter round, you will also need wood glue and nails in order to install it. You can paint it or stain it to your choice before installation as well.
Before you get started, it’s important that you measure the space you are cutting for. Be careful with your measurements. You will want them to be precise and accurate to prevent any gaps. When you purchase your center round based on the measurements, you might want to an extra 2-3 feet just in case you make an error.
Be sure any trim or baseboard that is being used has been installed and is finished. This includes any painting, staining, and coating you might need to do to it. We also recommend that you follow the same steps for finishing the quarter round. Paint, stain, and finish should be completed before cutting and installing.
There are two processes behind cutting quarter round. You will need to measure the quarter round and then cut the quarter round. Let’s talk about measuring first.
Measuring Quarter Round Properly
The end result of your cutting will be directly related to proper measuring. With this in mind, you will want to be as careful and accurate as possible to ensure that your cut is also accurate.
We’ve put together some simple measurement steps here to guide you through the process.
- Measure each piece of quarter round and mark them on the back with the lengths.
- Start from a corner in the room.
- When you mark the materials, use a square or triangle to get it straight.
- Mark a line down on the extra piece of wood so you know which side of the line to make the cut.
- Mark and measure for the entire room in this manner.
Cutting a Quarter Round
Now that you’ve measured and prepped your materials, it’s time to make the cut. Follow these steps for accurately cutting your quarter round.
- Position your quarter round on the saw in the same position as it would be installed.
- Set the appropriate angle for your miter saw and position your center round accordingly. Use your measurement marks made previously.
- Be sure that your rounded edges are facing upward.
- Cut the sides as well as the angle, be sure to remain on the proper side of your marked line.
- After your first cut, you can use the scrap from the cut for marking and cutting the next piece.
- Follow this process until you’ve cut quarter round for the entire area.
Quarter round is simple to work with once you get your measurements and flow going. It often makes people nervous because of the round shape and because you need the angles to fit together as you progress.
If you follow these steps and tips, we think you will have your quarter round perfectly cut in no time.