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I have a kitchen cabinet that I need to [install a finished corner piece on][1]. I am planning on using the Ikea finished cover panels.

(for this I used a piece of scrap cover panel)

I used a table saw with a finishing blade, put tape around the panels to avoid scratches and also used 2 corner clamps to hold the pieces in. However, the finished result is less than ideal.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

enter image description here

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  • which side is the good side? (inside which is facing ceiling in the photo or outside which is facing the bench) – Jasen Apr 4 at 19:49
  • both sides @Jasen it is this: ikea.com/ca/en/p/foerbaettra-cover-panel-off-white-80266411 – cbrulak Apr 18 at 11:30
  • I mean, which side will the customer see? – Jasen Apr 18 at 11:49
  • the outer edge of the mitre cut, so the top parts of both sides. (Also, i'm the customer :) ) @Jasen – cbrulak Apr 20 at 14:42
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I would agree with Isherwood and they can be tough. looking at the 2 pieces the angle of the blade is slightly off causing the difference in size.

The gauges on most home owner type table saws is a ball park, use a triangle square to set your blade angle not a small one one close to the size of your blade. Carbide tips use a spacer at the bottom and you can get an exact 45 every time.

Making sure your fence is square. Clamp a pice of 6” x 1” to your miter slide with the gauge at zero and the saw blade at 90 cut the board using the standard right side and verify the leading and trailing edge are exactly the same length (mark the first edge then slide forward the 6” make sure they are the same) now switch to the left slide and repeat you are looking to verify the blade is true with the table. If both sides the tip ant tail of a 6” cut are true the blade is true with the table if it is not this can cause binding and uneven cuts depending on the side of the blade used. The last step is to make sure your fence is true, I should have mentioned this on the first cut, if tour blade is true with the table cut a piece and make a mark at each end of the table, I actually used a sharp chisel to make these 2 marks permanent because I always use carbide blades when you set your fence measure from these points to verify the fence is parallel to the blade. This might sound like a lot to do but it is what it took to get a craftsman saw true enough to use on job sites and have results like our big saw.

When I was young my dad had a large table saw 14 or 16” for the cabinet shop this had precision guides and we still had gauge blocks to verify the blade was at the exact angle and the fence was geared at both ends so it was always square. The fence being off or the blade off a degree or so will show up on the end as you have. Use the above process and your cuts can end up exact.

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  • I'm not sure that the angles are off so much as the boards are shifted a bit. The primary problem I have had when cutting 45 miters is that it's difficult to keep the board perfectly tight against both the table and the fence, and any small shift makes an ugly wiggle in the cut at that angle. Your dad's guides helped, no doubt. – isherwood Apr 3 at 16:35
  • thanks so much for the pointers. I will definitely be taking a look – cbrulak Apr 3 at 17:00
  • lean the top of the blade away from the fence – Jasen Apr 4 at 19:38
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If the fence of the saw is acurate, and the angle of cut is good, the trick I use to joint angled pieces together as you need there is to make a masking tape hinge.

First I use 2" blue tape and apply it lengthwise the filler along the cut miter, letting half the tape lay off the filler to receive the other filler. Before setting the other filler in place, lay the first filler face side down on a flat surface. This will have the tape edge you applied, laying flat, sticky side up. Take the other filler and carefully set the mitered edge to the other, but let only the sharp edges of the miter touch all along the length. If the parts are not straight, this will be difficult. After the edges are meeting, and the ends are lined up, lay the filler onto the tape to set it. Press it down along its length to stick it well enough to pick up and flip over.

Once flipped over and the face side is up, add 12" or so lengths of tape at the top end, the middle and bottom end of the fillers perpendicular to the first tape used as the hinge. This will leave flapping pieces of tape to use in the next step. Flaps are needed only on one side.

Flip the fillers over again the last time and keep the flapping tape from getting under the fillers and get them somewhat flat. Don't let them curl back and stick on themselves. Add the glue you choose to use and spread it thin, but get the surfaces wet. Getting glue to the thinnest part of the cut is not needed as long as it is close, when everything is drawn together, the glue will seep to the edge.

Time to draw everything together. Grab the wood only, and close the joint. If the tape is applied properly, no glue will seep out the corner for the tape has it sealed. But if you put too much glue in, the hydraulic pressure from this action will make the glue go somewhere and the tape may fail enough to get a little glue at the corner.

Draw the pieces pretty snugly, the tape is really strong when used like this. Check the corner for square, if so, get the flapping ends of tape and finish wrapping them around the filler one flap at a time. Check for square again and let dry. If you drew the corner square by hand and it did not stay with the tape, add more pieces to draw it tighter, the tape has some give, so here quantity makes up for that.

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  • I use corner clamps but have used tape to make sure I did not get any glue on the surface, that really makes staining evenly a hard task when the glue runs. – Ed Beal Apr 3 at 21:15
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Miters like that are extremely challenging without automated equipment, which is why they're rarely done. I've attempted them with cedar siding corners and a few other projects and have mostly given up on that whole strategy.

Normally you'd either:

  • Use a simple lap joint with the seam oriented to the less conspicuous direction
  • Use a rabbeted lap joint (to minimize the width of the edge grain)
  • Use a lap joint and apply a veneer
  • Miter and then fill, sand, and paint

If you must do it that way, try and try again. Experience will teach you where you need to make adjustments in your process. A second set of hands helps with both the miter cuts and the assembly.

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  • thank you. I'll take a look at the other techniques you mentioned. – cbrulak Apr 3 at 16:59
  • You're welcome. Thanks comments are discouraged on SE sites, though. Your vote is plenty. :) – isherwood Apr 3 at 17:26
  • with siding you need to do a compound mitre because the board doesn't go flat on the wall. – Jasen Apr 4 at 19:43
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All the other answers that are currently here are good and correct, but I just wanted to share a "cheat" for making a mitered corner look a little neater sometimes. Not sure how useful it will be for the materials you're using, but it might be useful for someone else in a similar problem. YMMV but it has saved my butt a couple of times.

Once you assemble your corner, if there's a little gap on the mitered edge, you can take the shaft of a screwdriver (or similar implement) and run it down the point of the corner to kind of "smash" the corner together a little bit.

I found an article in Wood Magazine that kind of reiterates some of the information already suggested and also shows the "screwdriver trick" and some other tips for getting the angle right.

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