Coping: A lost art?

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I've got a contractor working on a remodel in my home. As part of the job, he's installed some base molding. On inside corners, he has mitered (rather than coped) the joint. The joints look crappy.
Is this what passes for workmanship these days? Is it now commonplace to miter such corners, rather than coping?
Although this is partly a rant, it's mostly a question. I'm wondering whether it's reasonable to ask him to tear it out and do it right, or if mitering is what is considered normal these days in construction and trim carpentry.
Kelly
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My 2 cents worth is that I'd be PISSED! A mitered baseboard looks like hoky. Even with my lack of experience, with about 3 practice pieces, I was able to turn out acceptable coped joints when I replaced all the baseboards in my home. It isn't THAT hard to do. Sounds like he is the laziest of the lazy. However, having said that, I don't know if you have the leverage to make his redo the work. Have you paid him? did you have a contract? Did it specify what type of joints he'd use?
dave
Kelly E Jones wrote:

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No, Yes, No.
Kelly
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bummer, to your 3rd answer. :)
dave
Kelly E Jones wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@ptdcs2.intel.com (Kelly E Jones) wrote in

Kelly,
In the contract, is there a clause to the effect that the work will be done "in a professional and workman like manner" ?
In the work we've had done around our house (involving different contractors for plumbing, septic system, well, drain fields ..), that was standard wordage; we never had to fall back on that, but I would think that mitered corners would not look "professional".
Of course, IANAL, and all that ....
Regards, JT
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Kelly:
"IANAL"?
New acronym...share, share? :)
- Wm
-- William Morris, Tailor Seamlyne Reproductions http://www.seamlyne.com

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I Am Not A Lawyer
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Means "I Am Not A Lawyer", so not a "legal" opinion.

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It is reasonable to expect workman-like product. He should do it right, or pay for damaged materials and leave. He should eat the price of extra material. -- Jim in NC
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if it's going to be caulked and painted, then that's probably the standard now. if it's to be stained (or already is), then i'd have them redo it again. they may not know how to.
regards, charlie cave creek, az
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Good point. I should have mentioned that this is pre-finished (clear-coated), hemlock molding. Will not be caulked or painted (though the contractor will probably try to hide the problem with some colored putty).
Kelly
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Bull. No journeyman carpenter would consider using miters. That is totally amateuristic, or lower. -- Jim in NC
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My neighbor wanted to borrow my miter saw to re-trim several rooms in his house. I loaned him that saw and a coping saw and taught him how to cope the joints. He practiced in my garage/shop till he was comfortable with the technique. He then proceded to do the entire job with carefully coped joints and it looks great. He did a quality job and he is very proud of the result.

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I coped all my joints in my house. There is no argument in my book good enough for not coping. It's pretty quick, the result is way better than mitering. On my trim, there was a tricky round part, I coped the straight aways and basically trimmed the round part with the coping saw, then with a big round bit on the Dremel tool, cleaned out the round part. I'd say it took about a minute per joint. Perry

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Coping baseboard is way easy. Even one piece is fine.
bentcajungirl wrote:

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Kelly E Jones wrote:

Well then he did not do a good job of mitering the joints. You cannot tell the difference between a good mitered joint and a good coped joint, if they are done correctly.
--
Robert Allison
Georgetown, TX
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until the mitered joint separates due to changes in humidity
--
There are no stupid questions.
There are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.
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I've seen this happen with coped joints, too. Looks just as bad.
Gary (speed coper <g>)
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You can from above. And if you're suggesting that it makes no difference which you do (as long as done correctly), that is not right - a coped joint will look better when the wood moves.
Kelly
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So, on the subject of coping...I tried it for the first time in redoing the family room last winter, and really liked the result. The method I used was to cut the trim at a 45 degree angle, then cut along the profile created with a coping saw. Where I didn't slip with the saw, the results were very nice. Is there a better method, or is that the way it's done?
- Wm, dedicated amateur
-- William Morris, Tailor Seamlyne Reproductions http://www.seamlyne.com
wrote:

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