Seamless Solutions: How to Fix Gaps in Miter Joints Like a Pro

Published On: January 4, 201661 Comments on Seamless Solutions: How to Fix Gaps in Miter Joints Like a ProTags: Last Updated: May 10, 202414.3 min read

Are you tired of seeing unsightly gaps in your miter joints? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will reveal some professional tips and tricks to help you fix those gaps like a pro and achieve seamless, flawless results. Miter joints play a crucial role in creating clean and professional-looking corners in woodworking projects. However, even the most skilled woodworkers may encounter gaps in their miter joints from time to time. These gaps can be frustrating and can ruin the overall aesthetic of your project. But fear not! With our expert guidance, you’ll learn how to tackle these gaps head-on and achieve perfectly tight joints every time. We’ll explain the common causes of miter joint gaps and provide you with practical solutions that will make your projects look as if they were crafted by a seasoned pro. From using specialized tools to employing simple yet effective techniques, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of closing those pesky gaps and achieving seamless miter joints that will impress even the most discerning eye. So let’s dive in and discover the secrets to fixing miter joint gaps like a pro!

huge gap in baseboard joint

In this article we will teach you how to fix gaps in miter joints and make your miters look perfect with a few little handy tricks.

Understanding Miter Joints and Common Issues

Before we delve into the solutions for fixing gaps in miter joints, let’s first understand what miter joints are and the common issues that can lead to gaps. A miter joint is formed when two pieces of wood are cut at a 45-degree angle and joined together to form a corner. These joints are commonly used in projects such as picture frames, door and window casings, and furniture. Several factors can contribute to the formation of gaps in miter joints. One common cause is improper cutting angles. If the angles are not precisely cut at 45 degrees, slight variations can result in gaps when the two pieces are joined together. Another common issue is wood movement. Wood naturally expands and contracts with changes in humidity and temperature, which can create gaps over time. Additionally, poor assembly techniques, such as inadequate clamping or uneven pressure during glue-up, can also lead to gaps in miter joints. Understanding these common issues will help you identify the root cause of the gap and choose the most appropriate solution for fixing it.

Importance of Seamless Miter Joints

Why is it essential to have seamless miter joints? Well, the answer lies in aesthetics and craftsmanship. Seamless miter joints create a visually appealing and professional finish to your woodworking projects. Whether you’re building a custom cabinet or framing a piece of artwork, flawless miter joints elevate the overall quality and look of your work.

When there are gaps in miter joints, it can be a telltale sign of poor craftsmanship. Gaps not only compromise the visual appeal but can also affect the structural integrity of the joint. Moisture, dust, and debris can accumulate in the gaps, leading to further damage over time. Therefore, it’s crucial to fix these gaps and achieve seamless miter joints that will stand the test of time.

huge gap in miter joint

Tools and Materials Needed for Fixing Gaps in Miter Joints

To fix gaps in miter joints, you’ll need a few essential tools and materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  1. Miter saw or table saw: These tools are essential for cutting precise 45-degree angles on your wood pieces. Ensure that your saw is properly calibrated to achieve accurate cuts.
  2. Clamps: Quality clamps are essential for holding the miter joint together during the gluing and drying process. Choose clamps that provide even pressure and are suitable for the size of your project.
  3. Wood glue: Use a high-quality wood glue that provides a strong bond. Look for glue specifically designed for woodworking projects and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.
  4. Sanding tools: Sandpaper or sanding blocks will be needed to smooth out the repaired miter joint and ensure a flush finish.
  5. Filling materials: Depending on the size of the gap, you may need different filling materials. For small gaps, wood filler or putty can be used, while larger gaps may require the use of splines or biscuits.
  6. Finishing materials: Once the gap is filled and sanded, you’ll need finishing materials such as stain, paint, or varnish to match the repaired miter joint with the rest of your project.

Having these tools and materials ready will ensure a smooth and efficient process when fixing gaps in miter joint

Preparing the Miter Joint for Repair

Before you can start fixing the gap in your miter joint, it’s crucial to properly prepare the joint for repair. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Clean the joint: Remove any debris, dust, or old adhesive from the miter joint. A clean joint will ensure better adhesion and a more seamless repair.
  2. Assess the gap: Determine the size and severity of the gap in your miter joint. This will help you decide on the most appropriate filling material and technique for the repair.
  3. Dry fit the pieces: Before applying any glue or filler, dry fit the miter joint to ensure that the pieces fit together tightly without any gaps. This step allows you to make any necessary adjustments before committing to the repair.

Once you’ve completed these preparation steps, you’re ready to move on to the actual repair process.

Techniques for Filling Small Gaps in Miter Joints

Small gaps in miter joints can be easily fixed using wood filler or putty. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fill small gaps in miter joints:

  1. Apply the filler: Using a putty knife or a small spatula, apply the wood filler or putty into the gap. Ensure that the filler is pressed firmly into the gap to achieve a tight and seamless repair.
  2. Smooth the filler: Once the gap is filled, use the putty knife or spatula to smooth out the excess filler and create a flush surface. Take care not to remove too much filler, as it will result in a depression in the joint.
  3. Let it dry: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time. Typically, wood fillers and putties require several hours to dry fully. Avoid touching or disturbing the repaired joint during this time.
  4. Sand the repaired joint: Once the filler is completely dry, use sandpaper or a sanding block to sand the repaired joint. Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper and gradually move to finer grits to achieve a smooth and seamless finish.

By following these steps, you can easily fill small gaps in your miter joints and achieve a flawless repair.

Fixing gaps in miter joints with a screwdriver

This method is somehow strange, but it really works in some cases. You can really close the joint in a matter of minutes using nothing more than a round-shafted screwdriver. Just rub the screwdriver shaft back and forth across the joint, applying just enough pressure to compress the wood fibers. The general idea is to slightly round over the corner and conceal the gap. Normally that will work only on small gaps but it is really neat inexpensive trick.

fixing gap in miter joint with screwdriver

Fixing gaps in miter joints with finishing nails

The method with which you fix gaps in miter joints with finishing nails is also very effective for small gaps. You just need to clamp the mitered corner together with enough pressure so that the corner comes together and any gap that was present is closed. This method works best on trim pieces that have opened up once installed, or on mitered frame corners that have a gap in them. After the gap is closed, hammer a finishing nail through one side of the mitered corner into the other side, so that it goes straight through the mitered joint. Then hammer a second finishing nail through the other side of the mitered corner into the side you nailed through first. In that way the cross nailing will hold the mitered corner closed once the clamp is released.

Fixing gaps with dovetail saw

The woodworking method with back saw or dovetail saw has also proven very effective for small gaps. Just firmly clamp the members of the joint at the angle needed and gently run a fine tooth saw (a back saw or a dovetail saw works perfectly) down the joint between the two pieces. When finished, slide the members of the joint together and fasten in place with glue or nails. If your gap is larger then bring the two members of the joint together and run the saw between them again. Don’t worry, in most cases, you will not create a fit problem for the other joints by removing a tiny bit more material at this corner. The following method is very common when making a new joint, but it can be very effective for gaps on existing miters also. First measure both edges of an unattached mitered corner to find the end that is closest to a perfect 45-degree angle. Then hand-plane the edge of the second-best mitered end, shaving off very small portions at a time until the two mitered ends match perfectly. Hand sand the mitered edges and once you have sanded the miter to a point where it mates well to form a corner, you can connect the lumber into a mitered corner.

How to fix gaps in miter joints with dovetail saw

Identifying the Causes of Miter Joint Gaps

Before we dive into the solutions, it’s crucial to understand the common causes of miter joint gaps. By identifying the root cause, you’ll be better equipped to address the issue effectively and prevent future gaps from occurring.

1. Incorrect Miter Cuts

One of the most common causes of miter joint gaps is incorrect miter cuts. If the angles of your miter cuts are not precisely measured and executed, it can result in misaligned joints, leaving unsightly gaps. This can happen due to human error or inaccurate tools. To avoid this, always double-check your measurements and utilize accurate measuring tools such as a miter saw or a miter gauge. Take your time and ensure that the angles are perfectly aligned before making the cuts. Precision is key to achieving tight and seamless miter joints.

2. Wood Movement

Wood is a natural material that expands and contracts with changes in humidity and temperature. This movement can cause miter joints to shift over time, resulting in visible gaps. It is important to consider wood movement when constructing miter joints and choose appropriate joinery techniques. To mitigate the effects of wood movement, you can use techniques such as splines or biscuits to reinforce the joint and provide additional strength. These techniques allow the wood to move while keeping the joint intact and reducing the likelihood of gaps forming.

3. Insufficient Clamping Pressure

Insufficient clamping pressure during the glue-up process can lead to miter joint gaps. When clamps are not applied with enough pressure, the pieces of wood may not be firmly held together, resulting in weak joints and visible gaps. To ensure a tight and gap-free joint, use an adequate number of clamps and apply even pressure across the entire joint. Consider using clamping aids such as cauls or blocks to distribute the pressure evenly and prevent any gaps from forming.

Methods for fixing large gaps in miter joints

1. Fill the Gaps with Wood Filler

One of the simplest and most common methods to fix small gaps in miter joints is by using wood filler. Wood filler is a putty-like substance that can be easily applied to the gaps and sanded down to create a smooth and seamless joint. To use wood filler, follow these steps:

  1. Clean the joint: Ensure that the joint is free from any debris or excess glue. Use a chisel or sandpaper to remove any loose wood fibers or residue.
  2. Apply the wood filler: Using a putty knife or a small spatula, apply the wood filler into the gap, filling it completely. Ensure that the filler is slightly overfilled to compensate for shrinkage during drying.
  3. Smooth the filler: Once the filler is applied, use the putty knife or a small scraper to level the surface, removing any excess filler. Smooth out the filler, blending it with the surrounding wood.
  4. Allow the filler to dry: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time. Typically, wood fillers dry within a few hours, but it’s best to give it ample time to ensure it is fully cured.
  5. Sand and finish: After the filler is completely dry, use sandpaper to smooth the joint. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually move to finer grits until the joint is perfectly smooth. Finish the joint with your desired finish, such as stain or paint, to match the rest of your project.

Wood fillers come in various colors, allowing you to choose a filler that closely matches the color of your wood. This method works best for small gaps and can be a quick and effective solution to achieve seamless miter joints.

2. Use a Reinforcing Technique

For larger or more visible gaps, simply filling them with wood filler may not be sufficient. In such cases, employing a reinforcing technique can help create a stronger joint and eliminate the gaps entirely. One popular reinforcing technique is the use of spline joints. A spline is a thin strip of wood that is inserted into a groove cut along the length of the joint. This technique adds strength to the joint and prevents any movement or gaps from occurring. To create a spline joint, follow these steps:

  1. Cut the spline groove: Using a table saw or a router with a straight bit, cut a groove along the length of the joint. The groove should be wide and deep enough to accommodate the spline.
  2. Cut the spline: Cut a thin strip of wood that matches the width and thickness of the groove. Ensure that the spline is slightly longer than the length of the joint.
  3. Apply glue: Apply a thin layer of glue to the inside of the groove and the spline.
  4. Insert the spline: Gently tap the spline into the groove, ensuring that it fits snugly and is aligned with the joint.
  5. Clamp and let it dry: Clamp the joint tightly, applying even pressure to ensure a secure bond. Allow the glue to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Sand and finish: After the glue is fully dried, use sandpaper to smooth the joint and remove any excess glue. Finish the joint to match the rest of your project.

By using a reinforcing technique like spline joints, you can create a strong and gap-free miter joint that will withstand wood movement and last for years to come.

3. Adjust the Miter Angle

If your miter joint gaps are consistent across multiple joints, the issue may lie in the angle of the miter cuts rather than individual imperfections. In such cases, adjusting the miter angle can help align the joints and eliminate the gaps. To adjust the miter angle, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the gap direction: Determine the direction in which the gap is opening. This will help you determine whether you need to increase or decrease the miter angle.
  2. Adjust the miter angle: Using a miter saw or a miter gauge, make small adjustments to the miter angle. Gradually increase or decrease the angle to close the gap. Remember to make small adjustments and test the fit after each adjustment.
  3. Test the fit: Once you’ve made the adjustments, dry-fit the joint and check for any remaining gaps. If the gaps are still present, continue making small adjustments until the joint is tight and seamless.
  4. Secure the joint: Once you’re satisfied with the fit, apply glue to the joint and clamp it tightly. Allow the glue to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Sand and finish: After the glue is fully dried, use sandpaper to smooth the joint and remove any excess glue. Finish the joint to match the rest of your project.

By adjusting the miter angle, you can achieve a perfect fit and eliminate any gaps in your miter joints.

Conclusion

Fixing gaps in miter joints can seem like a daunting task, but with the right techniques and a little patience, you can achieve seamless and flawless results. By identifying the causes of miter joint gaps and utilizing effective solutions such as wood filler, reinforcing techniques, and adjusting the miter angle, you can create tight and professional-looking joints. Remember to pay attention to wood movement and choose appropriate joinery techniques to ensure long-lasting and gap-free miter joints. Sanding and finishing the repaired joint will add the final touch, creating a seamless and professional result that will impress even the most discerning eye. So next time you encounter gaps in your miter joints, don’t fret. Armed with the knowledge and techniques shared in this article, you can fix those gaps like a pro and achieve flawless miter joints that will elevate the overall quality of your woodworking projects. Happy woodworking!

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Leave A Comment

  1. SharonERS May 10, 2024 at 9:00 pm

    Despite all the YouTube videos and advice blogs, I have yet to see anyone address mitering casings when working with warped and twisted trim—which describes pretty much every trim I’ve worked with — whether buying kiln dried from my local lumber yard or picking through trim at a big box store. Bowed and warped wood will not miter nicely no matter how perfect for cuts are. Adding to the difficulty are uneven window and door frames installed too far out or in from the drywall. Uneven walls and corners makes baseboards difficult too.

  2. Bill April 29, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Great stuff thanks

  3. Handyman tips November 4, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Hi,

    that is not acceptable gap for a contractor. This article is meant to help DIY homeowners who aren’t skilled at cutting miters. If you’re paying a professional contractor then the job must be professional!

    Regards,
    The Handyman tips team!

  4. Mike November 3, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    Is there a standard for what is an acceptable gap to trim work? I am fighting with my contractor because I feel the work is sub par at best. He keeps telling me it is within the normal range or acceptable.

  5. David Runnels January 18, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    For John Wehler:
    Make the middle joint also a mitre – and don’t glue it. That way when the joint pulls apart a bit it won’t be as noticeable. If your middle joint is a butt joint, it will be much more visible.

  6. Mark January 7, 2019 at 2:13 am

    for gap filling on hard wood,would it be good ideal to use the same fine sawdust & carpenters glue mix it together then spread it though out the gap?

  7. Gotebo December 23, 2018 at 3:58 am

    I know, cut another piece to fit exactly.

  8. Bobbg July 1, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Always cut your parts slightly long.
    Set the first side, place your next pec of trim
    Mark top and bottom of joint, cut join to marks
    Fitting in tight, when doing 2 end walls and a long center you can cut the trim slightly long and bow it into place. If its still to long you can find tune it a tiny bit at a time. You can also trim away Sheetrock to make a joint tighter.
    Only fill gaps if its painted wood.
    On stained wood you’ll have to take your time, you can always cut off but you can’t fill in.

  9. Buddy June 30, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    When I have gaps sometimes I might cut the trim in half. Then you can make each corner end joint tight. Then fill the gap in the middle of the trim with caulking, where probably nobody is looking.

  10. John Wehler June 15, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    I have a longer room where the picture hanging molding is made from two pieces. With expansion and contraction going on during the seasons its hard to putty up the gap created by the wall changing size. Is there a slip over product or an idea for something that would allow movement between the two pieces of molding?

  11. Richard May 29, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    The best way to do any skirting angle inner or outer angle ,always use a 2foot steel rule what folds in half . You can now bend it into or over the outer angle to be cut , pencil round the 2foot angle onto a piece of paper cut out then just fold in half and that gives you the perfect angle you need to cut regardless if it’s 47degrees or what ever , just cut both pieces to this angle fit perfect .

  12. Orlando May 24, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Not on my Job Site, I’d Fire that Finish Carpenter! Cherry, Mahogany. or Red Oak, I don’t think so!

  13. K May 12, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Miter joints are hard– but that is no excuse to fudge them. you generally only have 4 per room so take the time do them right. Even as a DIY, if you fudge it now you might not notice in your fatigue but over time you are going to learn to see the hack job you did and will likely start to piss you off. If measuring isn’t your strong suit (or you simply lack the tools), grab some practice wood to make test cuts and build custom jigs (you can saw off the end each time so you only need a few). Build the jig and use that. Make sure your saw is SHARP. Get a few extra pieces of the material you are using and actually test out how the stuff behaves (i.e. does it chip easily– do you need to support the wood while cutting etc).

  14. Julia April 30, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Came across this discussion doing a Google search for “how to fix gaps in moulding corners”. I have decided that having your house remodeled can be hard on a person who is generally nice. I feel like an ogre and very picky. It is somewhat comforting to know this sort of thing happens often and I’m not the only one who has to deal with it. I am dealing with an amature contractor and a very defensive painter whom the contractor hired. I will be doing a lot of touch up myself, and decided to remodel and paint the family room myself (can’t do any worse, will take me a long time, and it might be fun). Thank you for the suggestions. If I need help, I’ll be back.

  15. rottenrollin April 29, 2018 at 2:56 am

    The wood sliver is BS……..for most of us, it is IMPOSSIBLE to cut a sliver with a laser, much less a chisel.

    Fill the crack with caulk. Easy and quick. Let dry.

    Then apply the last suggestion, burnishing, to close the mitered wood over the gap some.

    If necessary, THEN use a sanding block across the corner to even it up some. Then final prime and paint and you’re done.

    JMHO.

  16. Anonymous April 27, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Coping..

  17. Sàn gỗ tự nhiên ngoài trời March 19, 2018 at 1:26 am

    In my opinion, skirting installation is difficult step. Because it depends on skills of workers, on wall, on floor. But after reading your article, I thinks I can do it :)

  18. Cloudpainters January 1, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    That’s really cool !

  19. William December 22, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Bob Knapp got the right answer … remove the pieces and plane (or sand) the back until the miter fits. Then use Hartford Miter Clamps to glue the miter before reassembling.

    All the other answers are homeowner “amateur” and or “painter” kluges.

  20. Mark Macdonald December 4, 2017 at 1:58 am

    Another method is simply to go back to your chop saw. Don’t change the setting but cut another very thin piece, say 1/8 ” from the same stock you just used. Tap the new piece into place and sand or round file the edges so that it matches the existing moulding.

  21. Donald December 3, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    in glue and dust I put my trust if that fails then putty must

  22. Donald December 3, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    in glue and dust I put my trust if that fails then putty must.Donal

  23. Anonymous December 3, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    in glue and dust I put my trust if that fails then putty must

  24. Robert. November 25, 2017 at 6:42 am

    If at first it does not fit, fill it up with glue and shit.
    Old Apprentice moto

  25. Steve November 24, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Putty and paint make a carpenter what he aint

  26. Carl the Window Expert September 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Great advice, this is especially useful for window trim.

  27. Anonymous September 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Another method is to take off each bit and buzz plan or sand off the back so the join closes but it will depend on the angle and how much you are out by in bad cases you may have to change the miter angle

  28. Sàn gỗ Teak September 12, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Haha. It’s simple and DIY. Thanks you, i will let my workers know about your methods

  29. Chu:p September 10, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Caulkin hahaha

  30. Pat August 9, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Best solution? Learn how to cut miter joints. Until then, use above solutions.

  31. ReZ June 11, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Joiner glue mixed with sawdust.

  32. Kendell May 25, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Tester blocks for outside angles and always cope inside corners.

  33. Anonymous May 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    If you lay your trim ontop of the other trim board, then mark where they intersect they always come out perfect.

  34. MWycombe April 6, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    When you have an old Victorian home (we do) very few of the angles are exactly 90 degrees square. So, the 45 degrees for the common miter doesn’t work that well – especially if you are doing crown molding. The approach I have found most satisfactory is first measure the angle – a digital protractor ($15) works best. Then, using high school geometry, compute the size of the bisected angle and note carefully which is the left end and right end angles. Cut your first length and cut a small ‘key length’ from scrap wood for the next turn that should mate with the first piece. Work your way around the room, cutting a short ‘key length’ to check the correct mating of the miters at each turn around the room. For modern houses that are usually very square this is not necessary, but for old wooden Victorian houses, which are rarely square, using a ‘key’ cut from scrap wood ensures the best possible mating at each turn of the room.

  35. Anonymous January 27, 2017 at 2:36 am

    to bisedt an angle fold a piece of paper to match to\he angle ten fold in half ,not too hard

  36. Tom January 26, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Without paint, caulk or glue, what would a carpenter do?….

  37. Janet November 25, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Glue and sawdust for me or caulk .

  38. Phillip November 24, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Try to cut your longest runs first, so if you goof it up you can see what you did, use another piece and do it right, and save that goofed piece for a space where you can cut it shorter.

  39. Curtis Delong August 23, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Listen if you got through high school, and you passed your math , and you check all your angles and use a chop saw and set the angle on the saw to the reading on the square, you can get it right even if you chcpeck yourself with a short piece of cut off first. If it doesn’t fit tight, don’t continue with the thought that it will be ok because it’s not ok.

  40. Aad August 18, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Make a paste of glue and much sawdust where you’ve worked with. Spread into the gap and shed it as the glue has dried. It wil work in most of all the cases. However, when you are a cabinet maker ( like
    discribed in one of the comments) it’s quite an insult if you making daps like this!

  41. Tony August 14, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    If you can’t cut a perfect mitre by hand then your only option is to buy an electric chop saw with a 45% angle cut, as long as you are confident enough not to cut your hand/fingers off, you still have a problem if the corner you are mitring is not square so it’s best to check that first before attempting to cut the mitre.
    There is no such thing as a Professional Handyman? there is no recognised qualifications in the name of Handyman you are either a Carpenter or Joiner or Carpenter & Joiner or Cabinet Maker, all handyman are non qualified and to call one of the professionals a handyman is taken as an insult

  42. RVA August 13, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    “A little caulking and some paint makes me the craftsman that I ain’t!”

  43. Jd August 7, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Yeah this is all for tree person tag doesn’t do it everyday, I have zero problem cutting a perfect mitter with 7″ + crown or base.
    But I will tell you that a lot of what your saying is way harder than just caulking it and painting. A handy man won’t do strain grade because he knows he can’t. So just throw some caulk in it and paint it.

  44. Bob Knapp July 6, 2016 at 4:32 am

    If you have no other choice, out of matching stock, a method I Will use is to remove piece and sand the molding’s back tapering to feather out away from corner. Usually will need to do same on other piece. Most times you gain enough to even re cut the miter. Methods mentioned all have merit for painted work. Been finish carpenter 40 years. As others menyion, it is a good idea to cut inside and outside template pieces to check first b r fore cutting

  45. Handyman Tips June 30, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Every method has it’s advantages and everybody prefers a different one! All of this methods work and we are confident that your method is also effective!

  46. Bob Carpenter June 29, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    No no no. The best way is to lay a piece of thin wood under the piece being miter, so when you cut your angle the expose side, the front, looking at you will be on a bevel and your 45. Here. If your wood was rubber then roll your miter down just a hair and do the other side to. The fronts will meet perfect but the back of the miters will not but you can’t see that and if you can by looking down, fill, it will never go anywhere. Plus, make up some short pieces of miters to test to see how far they are out. This is the best way for old and remodeling. New should be better but maybe not, so lay a shim down on the miter box and lay your piece of trim on top and cut your miter and this will give you your bevel 45 degree cut.

  47. Kirby June 11, 2016 at 3:27 am

    Tjanks good ideas .

  48. Anonymous May 3, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Wow.

  49. Jim April 29, 2016 at 1:31 am

    This is really a homeowner tip, not for a craftsman. Some of the methods may work with surfaces that may be painted but hardly for staining. More concern on quality is paramount, no need for filling/patching new joints.

  50. douglas a hanlon April 22, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    fj doyle…really you walk on water? so let’s say you in a medium quality house and down to your last stick of wood and since you are almost perfect every other miter in the house looks like it grew there…but it’s late and your supplier is closed and the job is forty miles from home and the supplier is ten in the other direction and you cut a mitre that has a 32nd gap…are you telling me a finish carpenter of 35 years that i am amateurish for using that trick with some glue and light sanding?….must be nice to be independently wealthy and a perfectionist with no concern for making a living(btw that’s why your wife hates you)

  51. john April 20, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    again measure twice cut once….

  52. john April 20, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Measure 2 twice cut once….

  53. Greg April 20, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Nice trick
    Thanks!

  54. Handyman Tips April 12, 2016 at 8:36 am

    The screwdriver method should only be used with small gaps and on softwood and then it can be very effective without crushing the fibers!

  55. Fjdoyle April 11, 2016 at 11:44 am

    The screwdriver method should never be used. It’s very amateurish and rarely does more than crush the end fibers of the joint.

  56. Dallas Ferley April 5, 2016 at 3:20 am

    Very helpful thanks.

  57. rex March 28, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Agreed Marc proper tools and knowledge of how to use them, there should be no reason to have a large gap on a miter joint.

  58. Handyman Tips February 5, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Thanks Dave, that’s another great tip!

  59. Dave February 5, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Used to mix PVA glue with the same sawdust as the timber and fill the gap with that. Sand it smooth when dry.

  60. Fantastic Handyman February 2, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    One does not need to be the ultimate handyman to make good miter joints. I won’t say it’s easy and you don’t have to be a pro handy man, but still if you’re motivated, crafty enough, and you can afford the time investment, it will surely be a sip of helpful experience. When I have to take a job like that, I usually go for 6d nails, unless the miter joint / flooring doesn’t allow it. Of course, if we we’re talking about professional handymen, you should be capable of handling all 3 options, since different clients wan’t joints done differently. As a carpenter I would always avoid glue but in some cases that is the one and best option to get the job done.

    Dmitri,
    fantastic handymen

  61. Marc Friedman January 31, 2016 at 4:02 am

    The other alternative is, get it right the first time. Unfortunately, their are enough people in the trades who do not understand the practical application of high school geometry. With over 40 years of building under my belt, I’ve seen it all the time, for years. If you know how to bisect an angle, a clean miter shouldn’t be an issue. That assumes that the equipment you are cutting with is set up properly.
    So the argument for using filler, other than nail holes, is nonsense. I would recommend gluing the miter. When it comes to putty,
    The epoxy wood putties that come in different colors are a good choice for gap filling. They can be tinted if you know how.