How to Cut Quarter Round
Quarter round (sometimes called shoe moulding) is a lovely finishing touch in most rooms. Fortunately, these thin pieces of wood are easy to cut using a basic miter box and hand saw. With a bit of care, you can effectively cut quarter round for joints and corners, and/or use the "round return" method for door jambs. If you are not totally comfortable using a hand saw, you may want to practice with a piece of scrap wood. Always use caution and wear protective gear when using sharp tools.
Trimming Your Quarter Round for Joints and Corners
Select your pieces of quarter round.Quarter round is available in 8 foot (240 cm) long pieces, or 16 foot (490 cm) long pieces. If you don't already know the width of your walls, you will need to measure them. Select pieces that closely match the width of your walls and purchase them.
- For most rooms, 8 foot (240 cm) long pieces are easier to work with.
- Quarter round is available at most home improvement stores.
Line up your quarter round against the wall and make pencil marks.Place your pieces of quarter round on the floor up against the wall. In this position, you can easily mark the locations for your cuts. Make small pencil marks to indicate the places where you will need to trim your quarter round.
Determine the angle and direction of your cut.Each piece of quarter round will end at either a joint, a corner, or a door jamb. Quarter round will always be cut at an angle, usually 45 degrees.
- Cut 2 joint pieces at 45-degree angles in the same direction (meaning both angled to the left, or both to the right). These joint pieces should fit together to form a flat line against the wall.
- Most corners will be 90-degree angles. For most corners, cut corner pieces at 45-degree angles in opposite directions (one to the left and one to the right, so that they fit together).
- For corners that are very different from 90 degrees, measure the angle with a protractor, and divide this number by 2 to determine the angle of your cuts.
- If your quarter round will end at an obstruction, cut at a 45-degree angle and attach a quarter round return.
Use a miter box and hand saw to cut your quarter round.Slide a piece of quarter round into your miter box and use the pins to secure it. Locate the slot that represents the correct angle for your cut. Steady the miter box with your non-dominant hand, and hold the saw in your dominant hand. Apply pressure with the saw and move it back and forth over the quarter round until your cut is finished.
- A miter box and saw set can be purchased at most home improvement stores, or online.
- Remember to wear gloves and protective eye wear.
- Always exercise caution when using a saw.
Cutting Quarter Round Returns
Line up your quarter round and make marks with a pencil.Place a length of quarter round up against your wall. Use a small pencil mark to indicate where the quarter round meets the door jamb (or other obstruction).
Use a miter box and saw to make a 45-degree cut.Place your quarter round into a miter box and secure it with the pins provided. Cut your wood at a 45-degree angle, angled away from the door jamb. The pencil marking you made should form the corner of your 45-degree angle.
- You can purchase a miter box and saw set from most home improvement stores, or online.
- Wear gloves and protective eye wear.
- Always be careful when using a saw.
Create an end cap.Take another piece of small piece quarter round and place it into your miter box. Use your saw to make a 45-degree cut, angled in the opposite direction (if your previous cut in the quarter round was angled to the left, this one will angle to the right). Change the angle of your saw and make a straight cut about 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) away from your angle cut. You should end up with an end cap that is flat on one side and a 45-degree angle on the other side.
Match up the pieces.Line up the longer piece of quarter round up against the wall where it will go. Spin your end cap so that the flat cut is up against the wall, the angle cut is against the other piece of quarter round, and the finished side is visible.
Video: How To Cut Quarter Rounds for a 45 Degree Angle
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