DIY Doctor

Main navigation

Why can't I cut straight?

Postby Pauly78 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:40 pm

I'm attempting to cut new skirting boards using a manual mitre saw.

The angle it cuts at is fine, but I'm having problems with keeping the vertical profile of the wood in a straight line. They seem to curve towards the bottom of the skirt.

I am new to this, so is it my technique or could it be the saw?

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:27 pm


Gorilla Glue heavy duty grab adhesive

Postby ALDA » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:11 pm


Ensure the saw blade is set square (90 deg) to the mitre base and also that the blade tension is adiquate.

Sadly, if it is a cheap tool then you will never achieve a satisfactory finish to your joints as the accuracy of the tool will be poor.

You will probably achieve better results using a mitre block and tennon saw or fine toothed hard point saw.

Rank: Foreman
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:15 pm

Postby toptips » Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:38 pm

Hi,is it taurus skirting you are using.If so look down the skirting to see if it is cupped,(bowed).this would give a bad joint.
Rank: Ganger
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 5:02 pm

Postby Pauly78 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:30 pm

Yes it's pine torus skirting from Wickes. They are all slightly bowed, one length in particular was bad that I decided not to use.

Would this affect the vertical cut though?

It is a cheap tool, the cheapest one that B&Q had. I'll give a mitre base a go.

Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:27 pm

Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:31 pm

why not buy yourself a chop saw? (electric mitre saw) you can pick up a reasonably cheap one, it will be more accurate than a manual mitre saw. i think i know the one you are using, i bought one from b&q and took it back and upgraded to electric. it cost 80 quid but it worked fine. as it will do nice square cuts (if you use it properly!) you will know whether it was the mitre saw or cupping of the wood that was the problem. and yes, cupped wood can throw out the joints and make them curve.
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:14 pm

Postby stevenc1603 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:23 pm

I had the same problem. I bought a cheap (£20) mitre saw from Homebase and none of the joints I did were even close to good enough.

Bought a cheap electric mitre saw for about £40 and its so much better, if not a little on the noisy side.
Rank: Ganger
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 11:59 am

Postby Fishie42 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:45 pm

I brought this recently,


Screwfix brand Compound Mitre saw, its still in thier sale at under £60. I'm well pleased with it. Not only can you not see the joint in my architraving its also so much quicker!

I have all the architraving to do round my new windows (14 of them) skirting in most rooms etc, definitely worth the investment!

Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:38 am

Postby rosebery » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:09 pm

You shouldn't mitre skirting boards - you will get a much better result if you scribe them.

Skirting from the sheds may be cheaper than from a proper timber merchant but it's generally carp. I'd always recommend going to a timber merchant.

Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 2021
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:55 pm

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by

  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!

  • Related Topics