Fig. 55 - Method of Putting up Corner Blocks.
Many mechanics have probably experienced more or less difficulty in mitering and coping base, particularly of the hardwood finish and molded-edge patterns. There are two distinct kinds of joints to make in putting down base. The angles which form the four sides of a room are called internal angles, and the joints should always be coped. The projecting corners of a chimney, or any corners projecting into a room, are termed external angles, and the joints should always be mitered. To cope a joint in putting down base, cut and fit in square the first piece. Cut the piece which is to be coped to the other about 1½ inches longer than the actual length needed; place it as nearly as possible in position, and with the dividers set to about the thickness of the base, scribe down by the side of the piece already fitted and nailed in place; then scribe all the parts which are easy. Beads and molded surfaces which are difficult to scribe, prick with the dividers near the center of each member ; cut the square part of base as usual, but cut the molded part on an angle which will just touch all the points made by the dividers. This will give the true line for coping. After cutting the base to the coping line, first see that the joint will fit, as sometimes a little trimming is necessary; then obtain the proper length, cut off and place the board in position, putting in last when possible to do so the ena which is coped. By this method a joint can be made very tight without the annoyance of the other end of the board scraping into the plastering. Many carpenters use a templet for obtaining the cut which gives the coping line. It, however, is of little use, as it is always made with the supposition that all angles are square and true, which is far from being the case. Scribing and cutting as above described is far better, as it will make a joint to fit any angle, and with a little practice a perfect fit will be obtained at the first cut.
To miter base around external angles, mark the proper miter on the square edge of the base and square across on the back side and the square part of the face side. Cut from the top edge of base, starting on back line and cutting on an angle which will just cut the line on the square part of the face side. A little practice will convince any one that a templet for cutting base is not really worth carrying around. When properly basing a chimney, fit all the joints before nailing, and then clamp all the pieces in their proper places by nailing blocks on the floor and driving in braces. One will be surprised at what a neat job can be done and how easy it is to do it. There will not be the usual difficulty in driving the nails, and cracked and mutilated chimney corners will not bear evidence of a bad job of basing around them. The great difficulty of driving nails into the bricks is largely overcome by having the work clamped tightly against it.