How to Make a Bevel Cut With a Miter Saw


A bevel cut is one in which the saw comes into the wood at a tilt rather than straight down. Making the proper bevel cut for crown moulding, for example, can be complicated, as it usually requires a compound cut; that means the wood has to be angled across the face and also beveled through the width of the wood. You can get more comfortable with these cuts by practicing with scrap wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Compound power miter saw Tape measure Pencil Wood trim, including extra scraps
  • Hold one-foot scraps of moulding against the corner where the trim will go, and mark with your pencil the general directions and angles of required cuts, drawing them freehand on the wood.

  • Set the first scrap of wood on your miter saw in the position it will be on the wall, with your marks showing. Set the miter angle (the front-to-back swivel of the blade) to approximate the angle you drew on the front of the face. Set the bevel angle (the top-to-bottom tilt of the blade) to approximate the angle you drew on the edge of the piece. In theory, regular corner angles will be 45 degrees, but they can vary widely depending on the walls and the trim. Take note of what your actual settings are on the saw. Cut the piece, bringing the blade down slowly through the wood.

  • Reset the saw to the same settings you used for the first piece, but on the opposite side, swiveling the miter setting and bevel settings of the blade. With those settings, cut your second scrap piece.

  • Hold the pieces to the corner. It's unlikely they'll fit perfectly to the corner and to each other. With your pencil, mark where there are gaps and overlaps. Make the necessary adjustments to your saw and recut both pieces.

  • Continue until you figure out exactly the right settings on the saw to get the correct bevel, then use those settings to cut your moulding.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear eye protection when using any power tool.

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