dfw crown | November 06, 2017

YouTube // Trimwork & Cabinetry

Why do My Miters Suck?


Two reasons: you're not paying attention, or you're doing it wrong


A miter joint is any joint between two boards—or other building material—that form an angle, where each piece is cut to an equal angle, which is half the angle of the joint. Typically, this refers to two 45-degree miter cuts forming a 90-degree angle.

Unless we're talking about remodeling...


Step one on the road to perfect miter joints is to make sure your saw is dialed in to cut accurate angles, though Jonathan is pretty quick to point out that usually, the problem is not with the saw. 


Reason 1 Why Your Miters Suck: Operator Error

One common reason, he says, is that carpenters will not support the ends of the stock adequately, meaning that the stock does not sit tightly against the fence and/or the table of the saw. Raising the bottom of the molding above the saw's table just one-sixteenth of an inch can throw the cut off a couple of degrees.

Same situation if the board is not pushed tightly against the fence.

Result: Your Miter Sucks.


Reason 2 Why Your Miters Suck: You are cutting the wrong angles

If your saw, your saw setup, and your saw technique is right, then the problem could be with you. Operator error—you are cutting the wrong angle. Just because it is a corner does not mean it is a 90-degree corner. In fact, it is almost certainly NOT a 90-degree corner.

Get a miter gauge/angle finder and USE it to measure the angle of the corner that you are mitering trim for.

These are simple mistakes that are simple to correct. If you correct them, Jonathan has complete confidence that you will get it right this time.


—Jonathan Alcantar, of dfw Crown Molding, is new to ProTradeCraft but has a good pile of videos on YouTube. Look for the best ones to be highlighted here in the coming weeks, months, and years.




In my opinion, "Suck" is an inappropriate word. Not very professional from a professional such as yourself.

Daniel Morrison's picture

Thanks for the comment, Joseph.

Sal had nothing to do with it; it was all me and the video's author. Jonathan titled it and I kept it—because in my experience on jobsites over the last three decades, it is a fairly common (and tame) word. 

I am sorry if you find it offensive, it is meant to be a colloquial time-saver


Are you a construction professional Mr. Fick?  If so, I cannot imagine that you haven't heard this word (and others more, shall we say, "colorful") used on pretty much every jobsite you have ever been on without affecting the professionalism of said jobsites in any way.  If not, then I don't believe that you are qualified to comment on jobsite professionalism.  Of course if there are clients present, especially women or kids, you adjust your language accordingly.  However, this is mostly a matter of common courtesy, not professionalism.  Just based on 40 years in the field (and enjoyed almost every minute of it!)



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