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I'm replacing the baseboard, having laid new flooring, and am coping the inside corners. However, I'm finding I tend to break that very thin "point" on the top - either while cutting it, or when fitting to the wall.

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Should I just cut it off square? And if so, do I still back cut right to the top as that would show up?

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  • Hard to say. This might veer a little to DIY.SE. Though, trim was often the purview of fine carpentry historically. – jdv Jun 7 '20 at 17:58
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    I would continue to cut the miter but be more careful when handling it so that I don't break it. If I did break it, I would save the piece and stick it back on with a little wood glue. Also, these types of "features" can sometimes be hidden with a little caulk. – Stephen Daddona Jun 7 '20 at 20:02
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    Yes, cut it back square so that the very top of the joint looks like a butt joint. That should take care of a lot of that fuzzing. The roughness in the first place might be due to a dull miter saw blade, not enough teeth, or cutting the top of the base against the fence. – Aloysius Defenestrate Jun 8 '20 at 2:31
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    Thanks for the clarification. Since this is essentially the norm for a true coped joint like this, following a guide or guides found online to the letter may help here — in essence I think it amounts to coping this portion at a less acute angle, so the wood is better supported at this weakest point. – Graphus Jun 9 '20 at 16:45
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    as this is still up (hasn't been closed as "off topic") .. the comment from Aloysius about cutting the top square was actually the solution. Once I got that part down, I was generally cutting the copes correctly first time every time - and I've replaced about 400 ft of baseboard now. so, if he wants to turn this into an answer I'd like to accept it. – kdopen Sep 27 '20 at 20:57
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The actual answer was provided in a comment to the question:

Yes, cut it back square so that the very top of the joint looks like a butt joint. That should take care of a lot of that fuzzing. [...] – Aloysius Defenestrate Jun 8 '20 at 2:31

This was never clear in the videos I watched.

Once I got that part down, I was generally cutting the copes correctly first time every time - and I've replaced about 400 ft of baseboard now.

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Specifically regarding the blowout of the wood fibers, regardless of the angle being cut you could apply some masking tape ("blue tape") to that portion, rather tightly. This often will help support the fibers as the cut penetrates the last portion.

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