Q: I am installing crown molding that has to fit around pilasters that are 2 in. thick. What’s the best way to cut such small pieces? John Troth Jr., Coatesville, PA A: Mitering moldings around pilasters can be fussy work. The miter-saw blade can catch and chew up the short segments for the sides. To avoid that, I don’t cut all the way through the stock with a power miter saw. Instead, I cut most of the way through and allow the blade to coast to a stop. Then I finish the cut by hand with a fine-tooth saw, carefully following the initial cut. Just be sure to start with a piece of molding that’s long enough to keep your hands safely away from the spinning blade. Start the cut on the miter sawA powered miter saw may tear up short pieces of crown molding. To keep the molding intact, start the cut on the miter saw but stop short of finishing. Finish the cut with a handsawThis will keep the short piece of molding from breaking. Photos: David Heim
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