I know this isn't strictly a woodworking question but I thought
someone might be able to answer this one.
I added a chair rail to a room with a window that has a existing stool
and skirt. I'm placing the new chair rail to it matches the top line
of the stool. The chair rail is a not quite as wide as the combination
of the stool and skirt.
Seems easy right?
Now I already installed the chair rail around the other walls of the
room. Everything is tight and looks nice. Only a few cuts to go or so
Wow, I tried using my profile gauge, made paper templates, made direct
measurements and tried to duplicate the angles, tried holding up a
piece of the scrap of chair rail with paper taped to create the
profile I needed to make. (The paper templates always fit perfectly.)
I have nifty little scribe tools that work great when I'm scribing one
flat object to another flat object. They weren't much help in this
I have a scroll saw that I used to cut all kinds of test cuts. It
seemed like the problem was that I couldn't draw the cut I need to
make directly on the chair rail. I also tried taping paper down on the
chair rail so it followed the same curves as the chair rail. Every
time I tried to duplicate this cut it was always off. I just couldn't
figure out what I was doing wrong. I tried breaking the cut in to
different parts. I used different combinations of direct measurements
and paper templates and my profile gauges.
(The profile gauge is the one with the little metal rods in it where
you push it against the object you want to copy. The "negative" of the
profile is copied from the opposite side of the gauge.) I even tried
making the cut backwards on the flat side of the chair rail. (Thinking
the curves were throwing me off from getting the correct measurements
on the other side. Nope, that didn't work either.)
I spent hours making test cuts. I finally got something that worked
but it was a fight all the way. I finally got it close and filled in
the gaps with spackling compound and painted it. (I even called a
molding shop where I buy trim and asked them if they knew a better way
to do this. They didn't.)
Professional trim carpenters don't spend all day figuring this out.
What do they do?
(Next time, I'll just move the chair rail up 3 inches and avoid the
entire problem by placing a butt joint against the shutters that are
right above the stool.)
Now that it is done, I still curious as to the best way to solve this
or a similar problem.