How to Cut Angles in Wood Without Miter Saw – Easy Steps

cut wood without miter saw

So, it’s time to cut corners at a 45-degree angle for your project but you don’t have a miter saw. 

While a miter saw is definitely the quickest and easiest way to cut angles in wood, it can still be done with other types of saws you may have. 

Quick Summary

In this post, we will go over simple steps you can employ to cut angles in wood using: 

  • A circular saw
  • A hand saw 
  • A jigsaw

So, without further ado, let’s get into it. 

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Some Safety Tips

Before we get started on how you’re supposed to cut angled joints without a miter saw, it’s important that you be aware of some safety precautions to take. 

  • Avoid using unreliable or damaged blades. As soon as a blade becomes worn, make sure to replace it as soon as possible. 
  • Put on protective clothes such as gloves and respirators whenever you work on projects. This will greatly reduce your chances of breathing in sawdust. 
  • Always be alert when working with saws and wood. Never work on a project when you’re tired or sleepy. 
  • Make use of a sub-fence wherever possible. 
  • Do not put too much pressure on the saw handle. Let it reach top speed and gently push it against the wood while slowly increasing the pressure. Doing it too quickly will shorten your blade’s lifespan. 
  • Whatever saw you have, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions first before using it. 
  • Make a routine of cleaning and maintaining your work surfaces at the end of every day’s work. This will greatly reduce the chances of malfunctioning saw blades and will also keep your workplace free of sawdust that you could breathe in otherwise. 

How to Cut Baseboard Corners with a Circular Saw?

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We’re using baseboard corners as an example here but you can use this same method to cut angles in wood for any type of project. 

If you don’t have a miter saw but do have a circular saw, then you’re in luck as it’s the second-best saw for cutting angles in wood. 

You can use it to cut molding joints as well as other angled cuts simply by adjusting your circular saw’s angle bracket. 

Your circular saw can make both square or straight bevel cuts as well on high or low wood widths. 

To cut angles in wood using a circular saw, follow these steps: 

Step 1: Put the pivot part in your drill and drill four holes in each corner block piece of the trim. 

You should have two holes at the top and bottom all the way around in each direction. 

Step 2: Place a block in a single corner of the trim and use a level to make sure it’s straight. You can give it greater stability by hammering trim nails through the holes on the block’s exposed sides. 

The trim nails should be going right into the wall. 

Step 3: Use a nail set to depress the nail heads. 

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 for every corner on the trim. 

Step 5: Measure the length between two corner blocks from their inside edges and mark it on your piece of trim. Measure and mark the adjoining piece of trim. 

Ensure that your marks are straight by making use of a t-square. 

Step 6: Cut the trim carefully using your circular saw. 

Step 7: Lay down the cut trim edge to edge between the corner blocks. Ensure that the cut edges are aligning evenly. 

Step 8: Drill pilot holes every 15 inches along the top and bottom part of the baseboard. Nail in place with finished nails and sink each nail. Repeat with the entire trim. 

How to Cut Angles for Baseboard Corners Using a Jigsaw?

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You can easily cut baseboard corners as well as corners in wood for other projects without a miter saw if you happen to have access to the very popular jigsaw. 

In order for your cuts to be precise, your saw should have at least 10 teeth on its blade. 

Other equipment you’ll need is: 

  • A tape measure
  • A pencil
  • A speed square

In order to make straight miter cuts using a jigsaw, follow these steps: 

Step 1: Measure the length from the end of the baseboard to the cutting point and mark it. 

Make use of the speed square to determine the cutting line and trace it using your pencil. 

Step 2: Once you pick up your jigsaw, it should be noted that your blade should start on the waste side of the cutting line. 

Place the shoe completely flat onto your baseboard. 

Please note that the baseboard should be securely clamped so that there’s enough distance between and the floor (or the workbench). This will make sure your jigsaw does not make contact and damage either. 

Step 3: Turn your jigsaw on and allow it to reach full speed. Once it has, carefully guides it along the cut line. You can also use the speed square to guide the shoe instead if you prefer. 

Using a Hand Saw to Cut Baseboard Corners

baseboards piece tools piece

Most people have a hand saw lying around if not anything else. 

While the hand saw definitely lacks in the speed and finesse of power saws, you can still use it to get the job done. 

The main issue you’re going to run into with a hand saw is getting the correct angle. 

For that, you’ll need something called a miter box. 

You can buy inexpensive miter boxes at the store or you can even make your own. 

To make your own miter box, follow these steps: 

Step 1: Gather supplies. You’ll need the following: 

  • 2 lengths 1×4 of 12-inch long lumber
  • 2 feet long lengths of 1×6 lumber. 
  • Wood glue
  • ½ inch wood screws
  • A screwdriver
  • A bevel
  • A pencil
  • A carpenter’s square

As for the type of wood, any non-warped wood will work just fine but if you can get your hands on oak, that would be perfect. 

Step 2: Make a 4-inch open box by adding wood glue along the lengths of the 1×4 lumber pieces and putting the 1×6 lumber pieces along the edges onto the glue lines. 

Step 3: Make use of the ½ inch wood screws to hold the 1×4 and 1×6 pieces in place. 

Step 4: Use your pencil to mark the top of the box on both sides where the 45-degree angle is shown by the bevel. 

Step 5: Use your carpenter’s square to draw a line straight down from the outside of the box. This would be from where the angled line intersects to the bottom of the box. 

Step 6: Take your hand saw and line it up with the angle’s top edges and cut it from top to bottom. 

Make sure the ends of the hand saw stay in line with the perpendicular line you drew on the outside of the box. 

We understand that the process for constructing a miter box is fairly complicated and in many cases, you may just be better off just buying an inexpensive one from your nearby hardware store. 

Now that you have your miter box, here’s how to use it: 

Step 1: Measure your baseboard and place the end in the miter box. 

Step 2: Hold the side of the baseboard firmly against the side of the miter box. 

Step 3: Ensure that you’ve made a mark on the baseboard with your pencil to show you the length of the slit you require. 

Step 4:  Hold the saw within the slit of the miter box as you cut the board. 

Wrapping Things Up…

A miter saw is a handy tool that makes cutting angled joints in wood super easy and quick. 

Many people feel that a miter saw is a necessity if they’re going to cut a 45-degree angle in any piece of wood but that’s not the truth. 

As we have detailed in this post, you can get away with cutting angled joints without using a miter saw. 

Do you have any other techniques that you use for cutting angled joints without a miter saw? Let us know in the comments below. 

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