Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
Quick Fix for Tighter Miters

It's not uncommon for the miter joints on baseboards or casing to open up, particularly on outside corners, see the drawing.
burnish miter edges
The joint may have fit perfectly after it's installed, but quite often shrinkage or settling seems to cause unsightly gaps.

I've found that an easy way to "tighten" these gaps is to burnish or round over the edge with the round shaft of a screwdriver. I start by holding the shaft at a 45° angle to the corner on one side of the joint, see the drawing above. Try to use moderate pressure to "fold" the wood fibers along the corner point into the gap.

Then I repeat the process on the other side of the joint. The resulting corner isn't as crisp, but there's no more gap, so the appearance is much improved.
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