easiest way to measure and install base board and shoes

Hi all,
I've finished installing hardwood floor and was trying to install base board in the bed room. It's not as easy as it looks. I kept messing up by cutting it too short when cut at 45 degree angle with the miter saw. What would be the easiest way to measure and cut to fit precisely? TIA
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On 6/28/2005 4:33 AM US(ET), pkmicro took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

I cut a piece of moulding an inch longer than the measured space where it will go, then mitered the end. I then place the piece in the space with the miters together and mark where the other (square cut) end should be cut to fit.
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pkmicro wrote:

Assuming they are inside corners (outside are easy), cope instead of miter.
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I must be doing something wrong, then. For me, coped inside corners are almost foolproof. Getting a tight and even outside corner is a challenge for me.
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pkmicro wrote:

When measuring use a tape measure and a folding ruler, or a cheater piece. The cheater piece is a short section of trim that is cut with the desired end profile (mitered or coped) and cut to a known length - say 12". The cheater piece is put in place and the tape is used to read to the end of it - your measurement is the tape reading plus the 12". A tape and a rule are used in a similar fashion.
Depending on the profile of your baseboard, mitering and then coping provides a tighter joint that stays closed. Done that way, only one end of the piece is profiled, the other is cut square and butted up to the wall in the corner.
R
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I never have the pleasure of working in new construction. Nothing is ever square plumb or level. I never try to one cut it pass. Make sure you saw table is adjusted to square before you start. Cut the pieces in a vertical position right side facing or away depending on your need. This is where marking the angle on the board saves a lot of mis-cuts.
I normally measure out an entire room or project before I saw the first piece. You can save a lot of waste by planning your cuts in advance. I use the symbols \\ / for inside and outside corners and an S or | for straight cuts
I measure along the wall, long point to long point whether it is two inside corners or a corner and a straight cut. I add 1/8" or 1/4" (depends on my perception of the plumbness of the room) to the measurement, mark the board with the angle of the cut (like \\ / or \\ |). Make the cut and test fit. Then trim as needed a saws breath or half at a time until it fits. Normally 1/16" greater than the actual "measured" width of the opening gives the best fit. Sometimes thin shims are needed if the wall is not plumb to get the corner to fit together.
For outside corners I always cut it at least an inch or two too long and use a scrap piece for the opposite angle trimming the first until it fits and mates. Then repeat for the other side. This is also a good place to use the suggestion another poster made about getting a scrap to fit and then figuring out how much longer the actual piece needs to be.
Coping is also widely used and can create superior joints. I flunked coping 101. So I am usually satisfied with filling any minor imperfection with a high quality caulk.:))) Actually I do a little coping on the back side of some of the cuts using a utility knife if that is what it takes to get an acceptable fit.
Colbyt
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Thank you so much for all the prompt response.
I like the cheater piece and tried it and it worked very well. Thanks again.

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