Wondering how to cut coving with a mitre saw? Although the idea might sound intimidating, it’s really as simple as cutting two pieces of coving at 45° and joining them together to form a seamless joint.
In this post, we’ll be taking a look at how to cut coving with a mitre saw, and since we understand that not every DIY enthusiast owns a compound mitre saw, we’ll also tell you how to use a manual mitre saw to get the job done.
Understanding the different types of coving
Coving comes available in a range of materials. Here’s a quick look at your options:
- Plaster – Heavy, easy to damage, and often a more expensive option.
- Paper-covered Gypsum or Plaster – This option is medium weight and robust.
- Polyurethane – polyurethane coving is light and robust and comes available in a range of ready-coloured and patterned designs.
- Expanded Polystyrene – This type of coving is light and inexpensive, but it’s also easily damaged.
- Timber – Wooden covings are easy to cut and shape and can be varnished for a professional finish.
Coving also comes available in a range of sizes and the size on the package is generally the actual width of the coving. This means that a 120mm equal/equal coving will come down to the wall approximately 82 mm.
Cornice vs Coving
Cornice and coving are very similar decorative finishes, but they do have their differences. Coving is a uniform finish. This means that they project across the ceiling. Unlike cornice, which is traditionally formed in a quarter circle (“C”) shaped profile, coving is much simpler in design. Coving is essentially just a type of cornice that’s uniform and simple, eliminating ornate designs and dimensions.
How to mitre cut timber
When you cut a mitre joint, you have to cut it at the exact angle of the corner you’re working with. If you’ve got a 90° corner, you need two 45° angles. If the angle is 120°, you’ll obviously need two 60° angles.
In general, the most common mitre joint is 90°. Mitre joints are formed in the corners of rooms where the coving has to return towards the wall in order to give it a neat finish. Cutting coving is an art that’s perfected by lots of practice. It’s also much easier when you have the right tools and take your time to measure carefully.
How to cut coving with a manual mitre saw
To cut coving with a mitre block and a handsaw, you’ll need an accurate cutting guide. A mitre box and handsaw is the old-school way of cutting angles for corners. Some mitre blocks come with adjustable gauges to secure the coving while you’re cutting it. In order to get a professional finish, always secure your coving inside the mitre block, so it doesn’t move around as you’re making the cut.
If you have a wall that’s longer than the length of your coving, you can join two lengths with a butt joint (straight joint). To create a neat finish, you’ll use a mitre joint at 90°, which you’ll build by cutting two pieces of coving at 45° using your mitre block and handsaw. Choose a fine-toothed saw to make smooth cuts through the coving and avoid making the backing paper ragged as you cut.
How to cut coving with a compound mitre saw
Start by measuring out the wall section where you want to install the coving. Mark your ends where the coving needs to be mitred for an outside or inside corner.
Set your compound mitre saw to 45° and set the gauge left of centre for a left-end outside corner or right-end inside corner. Set your saw right of centre for a right-end outside corner or left-end inside corner.
Position your coving on the saw’s table with the top edge against the saw’s fence and then set your mark to the left of the blade for a right end or right of the blade for a left end. Hold the coving firmly against the table and fence then push the blade down and make the cut in one fluid motion.
We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of how to cut coving with a mitre saw. Regardless of which tool you use for the job, cutting at precise angles and according to accurate measurements is essential for cutting coving like a pro.
The only real differences between a manual mitre saw and a compound mitre saw comes down to physical input and accuracy. Compound mitre saws are accurate, precise, and deliver professional results, whereas manual mitre saws require manual labour and might not offer the smoothest or most accurate results.