How to Cope Chair Rail Video

Tips on Cope Cutting Chair Rail to Achieve Perfect 90 Degree Inside Corners

By Mark J. Donovan

In this video, Mark Donovan of shows how to cope cut chair rail.

When installing chair rail inside corners can be difficult. Walls are rarely square and perpendicular to one another, and as a result it can be difficult to achieve perfect 90 inside corners when installing chair rail. Simply cutting two butting ends of chair rail at 45 degree angles leaves less than perfect inside corners.

The way to ensure 90 degree inside chair rail corners is to cope cut one of the two pieces of abutting chair rail pieces.

To start with, one of the two chair rail pieces should be straight cut on its end and nailed into place along one wall. The second chair rail is then coped so that it conforms to the chair rail curves of the fastened piece.

To cope cut chair rail first make a 45 degree open faced cut on one end of the chair rail using a miter saw.

Next, use a coping saw and back-cut the same end of the chair rail along the finished inside edge of it. Hold the coping saw at a 45 degree angle when cope cutting the chair rail.

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After completing the cut, use sandpaper to smooth out the edge. Then, using a scrap piece of chair rail, confirm that the coped edge fits nicely up against the finished surface of the scrap piece. If it looks good then make a square cut on the opposite end of the chair rail to the required length.

Finally, nail the second piece of chair rail into place up against the adjacent wall. If done properly, you should have a perfect looking 90 degree inside corner.

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