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Understand a few basic rules, and skirting boards should not be a problem.
Mitre Box
Pencil
Mitre Saw
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Fitting Skirting Boards

 
Skirting Boards
Skirting boards provide a decorative finish, hide the joint between the floor and wall, and protects the walls from everyday knocks. In days gone by, skirting boards were very deep, so much so that they were often fitted in two sections to achieve the height. Over the years the depth has been gradually reduced as fashions have changed, so that it could be said that by the seventies the stage was reached where the opposite extreme had been reached, going from large and ornate, to small and plain.  However in more recent years, the trend in skirting boards fashion has struck a more of a happy medium where 125 mm or 150 mm boards are now more commonplace.
The Mitre Cut
The term mitre refers to the angle at which the skirting board will be cut, so by enabling it to go round a corner, while at the same time creating a neat joint between the two adjoining pieces. For this process to be successful, the angle of the corner will need to be divided by two, so that when the two cut pieces of skirting board come together, both meeting cuts when added together will be equal to the angle of the corner. A 90 degree corner for example, will have a mitre cut of 45 degrees, where a 30 degree corner cut would be 15 degrees.
Knowing the Angle Cuts
Most corners are meant to be square, so it follows that fitting skirting boards around such a corner, the mitre cut would be 45 degrees, and to aid the accurate cutting of such frequent cuts, mitre blocks can be purchased pre-cut at this angle. Ideally though, mitre boxes are better for cutting skirting boards, as they give better control.
Unfortunately, so called 'right angle' corners can in fact be very much out of square, so that the mitre angle needs very often to be adjusted to match the actual corner.  In addition to this, there are corners, which are not meant to be 90 degrees, so that these too will need to be measured to establish the unknown angle. Though at first this may appear to be a complicated process of measuring and bisecting, with much trial and error, the opposite is true, in fact, the whole process is quite simple and straight forward, with the need of very few, if any measuring tools to do the job.
Enter the Gauge Board
This is done by using a 'Gauge Board', which is simply a parallel strip of wood about 50 mm wide, and about 900 mm long. The board is placed on the floor, and up to the wall so that it extends beyond the corner by about 70 mm, and by using a pencil, a line is drawn to the outside edge of the board along the floor as shown in Fig 1. Where the board overlaps the corner, another line is drawn on the floor along the inside edge of the board up to the corner. The same is done on the return corner; the 'Gauge Board' is placed on the floor, up to the wall, extending the corner by about 70 mm, with a line drawn to the outside edge, and along the inside edge up to the corner as in Fig 2.
Drawing these lines extend the position at which the skirting boards would run, expanding and making the area at which the lines cross larger and more clearly defined than it would using the relatively narrow skirting board for the same process, (see Fig 3).
When the board is removed, the lines can be clearly seen, enabling the mitre cut angle to be established, which is done by drawing a straight line from the internal corner to the outside corner of the lines so by defining the correct angle for this particular corner (see Fig 4).

With the correct mitre cut now defined, it will need  to transferred from the floor to the skirting board.  This is done by placing the 'Gauge Board' back in the same position on the floor, and transferring the angle onto it as shown in Fig 5. With the angle marked on the 'gauge board' it can now be easily be transferred to the 'sliding bevel', by adjusting the  blade so that it matches the angle that has been drawn, (see Fig 6).
Before the angle can be transferred to the skirting board, the skirting board itself will need to be marked to show the position of the mitre cut, which is done by placing the board in position against the wall, and marking the base of the skirting where the external lines cross on the floor, with another mark at the top at the plaster arris. Mitres of 45 degrees can be cut in a mitre box, but unique angles will have to be cut either freehand, or by using a mitre saw, powered or hand operated.

 

 

 

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