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Nip & Tuck 22 1/2° Wall Returns

If you ever have that problem where the base is thicker than the casing, and—like me—you hate to see back-cut joints, try this little trick.

A little nip on a 22 1/2-degree wall return can turn a problem into a pretty neat-looking joint. And while you’re at it, remember, 22 1/2-degree returns—rather than plain old 45-degree miters—work on chair rail, too. Finished2-1
1stCut-1 Always start by cutting the return ‘cap’—that’s the little piece that caps the end of the molding. Whenever I work with stain-grade material, I cut the cap first so the grain will run perfectly around the miter. I guess it’s a habit, because I cut paint-grade material the same way. The first cut is a 45-degree angle.

The 45-degree miter will kiss the wall, but the other corner will meet the baseboard, so cut it at 22 1/2 degrees. This is Gary’s saw…too bad he can’t afford zero clearance kerf plates. I always keep a fresh kerf plate in my saw. They are only about $7. (More on that subject in a minute.) Cut the baseboard at 22 1/2 degrees, too.

Dscf0142-CapFinished-1 Dscf0146-BaseCut-1

Then glue up the joint. I like using Fast Cap’s 2P-10 glue because I don’t have to carry or plug in the gun for my HiPerformer outfit, I don’t have to worry if my CB 900 gun has a butane charge, and I don’t have to wait for anything to heat up, either (check out my old review of this glue). Gary shot these pictures (which are just okay), but it’s not how I apply the glue. I run a small bead about 3/16 in. inside the perimeter completely around the cut. Believe it or not, I have found that it makes for a mechanically stronger joint.

Dscf0152-glue-1 Dscf0158-activator-1

After spreading the glue on one piece of the miter, the manufacturer recommends spraying activator on the other piece. I don’t have the patience to wait even 30 seconds, so I spray the activator right on the glue.

Then I squeeze the pieces together. Now this is where the learning curve comes in: Keep your fingers away from the wet glue and keep them moving, or you’ll leave more than sweat behind on your woodwork. Dscf0160-Glued-1
Dscf0174-markNip2-1 Now the corner is ready to be nipped. Gary say’s he’d lay the return up against the wall and the casing, like this, then scribe a line on the cap, just back from the face of the casing. But I’ve done this enough so that I can judge the nip by eye.
Gary has to nip to that measurement mark every time, which is tedious and time consuming. If he had a zero clearance kerf plate in his saw (only $7.00), he could have made a mark on the kerf plate and lined up the base with the mark, like I do, then nipped off the end of the cap. I’m not sure I could afford Gary on one of my jobs. Dscf0168-nip-1
Finished-1 Either way, you’ll have a perfect return that looks like it grows out of the wall AND the casing. And there’s no little hole against the casing like you always get with a plain, old, everyday, 45-degree return.

(This article originally appeared on


64 Responses to “Nip & Tuck 22 1/2° Wall Returns”

  1. Jim Coshow

    Judging by Derrell’s critical comments, he and Gary must be close friends!

  2. Tim

    If you must… But shouldn’t there be a plinth block to accommodate this transition? Seems to me this is bad ju ju (feng shui) as mentioned in past articles on getting your house right ;)
    How do you suppose getting a clean bead of caulk in there? Also if your anything like me and love crisp paint lines, this intersection you propose becomes a nightmare!
    Now I will admit that I have used this method in the past. I was running base towards the bathtub and there I found thin tile coming down each side of the tub. Ah Ha! I feel your hatred of possibly seeing end grain. So I 22-1/2 towards the profile of the tile. It actually looked great and the customer found it to be a nifty way to terminate the base. All parties were happy.

    • Eric Tavitian

      Where I come from not all trim motifs lend themselves to Plinth blocks. I started out on some real old houses in Boston as a kid and now do all my work in Southern California. Plinth blocks work well in some cases but not as often as some might think. Here in the land of heat and sun it seems everyone would like their house to be some old rustic refurbished jewel. Alas, it’s a bit difficult achieving that with an 80s track house. But we try to appease the clients nevertheless.

      • harlan

        “Where I come from not all trim motifs lend themselves to Plinth blocks.”

        Tell us more. The trim motif in the article certainly doesn’t “lend” itself to the author’s fix. But plinth blocks would look fine.

  3. Dan Miller

    That type of molding often does not have a plinth block in an old house. If this is an old house, it should have a taller baseboard. Even in new, a tall one looks classy.

    • Tim

      A taller base board would not help this situation. Thats just my opinion.

    • harlan

      “That type of molding often does not have a plinth block”

      Whether or not that is true, that type of molding RELATIONSHIP usually does, and always looks better with one.

      I agree with you that a taller base would look better. In my book, the base should always be made of wider stock than the casing.

      But Tim is right, that alone would not help in this case. If anything, it would make it worse, by adding to the, “Hey! Look at me!” factor.

    • harlan

      When I first started tapping at the keyboard on comment #6, there was only one comment posted, and I was a little concerned that I’d be the only guy to bad-mouth this “solution.”

      So I am happy to read that others also have good BS detectors, and good design sense. Even if this was a remodel, with existing casing already in place and painted, plinth blocks would be the order of the day — we all have Multi-Masters now, don’t we?

      These traditional details were worked out by vernacular builders, who weren’t interested in tweaking out, but rather in coming up with details that were pleasing to the eye, while also being carpenter-friendly, and easy to build.

      So they gave us plinth blocks, to provide us with nice, forgiving reveals, and corner blocks to do the same (why cope 10″-tall base!).

      They gave us options like putting a parting bead on the bottom of a head casing, so that we won’t have to agonize over getting a miter flush over irregular plaster, or the alternate, poor-man’s 5/4 head over 1x side casing detail.

      Handing the design process over to “designers” often ends up with guys like us cobbling-up “solutions” like the above, because the “designers” often don’t have a sense of history that includes the organic evolution of vernacular architecture.

      Granted, getting these folks up to speed takes a lot of time and energy, and oftentimes we will fail, and end up having to hack solutions.

      But I guess I’d be more receptive to this “solution” if it came in the form of an article pointing out how absolutely unnecessary this kind of “fix” would be if only we would follow some simple, time-tested design rules.


      • Derrell Day

        This “fix” came about in a large commercial application I was called into. The steel door jambs were about 1/4″ proud of the drywall. I wasn’t consulted on the entire project. ;-)
        Gary’s mock-up was shot in his studio to show the technique…not re-create the problem.
        I’m glad we’re not all judged by our reading comprehension…..:-)

  4. john kuszpa

    What about the zero clearance insert? Never heard of one. Where do you get one??

    • joey

      I guess you can buy them for some brands, but for DeWalt I made my own.

  5. harlan

    Well, that’s one way to deal with the inherent bad design.

    But while it shows a higher level of craftsmanship than just nipping off the face so that the base tucks behind the plane of the casing, it looks to me as though it will draw more attention to the joint, which is not what we want to do.

    If for some reason I was not able to talk the customer into plinth blocks, I’d probably just knock the corner off the base, instead of saying, “Hey, everybody! Look at me!”

    But plinth blocks look better, and are more forgiving of both craftsmanship and order of work — running the base and installing the plinth blocks at the same time makes the job go faster, and the job can be handed off to a less-skilled worker, since the plinth can be pressed tight to the base, and minor discrepancies in length/angle are pushed over into the much-more-forgiving reveal at the jamb.

    The helper’s job is made easier, and the installation of the base doesn’t have to wait until all of the doors are cased.

    What’s not to like?!


  6. wooddude

    If I may suggest ….. Why didn’t you pre-plan the casing profile back side to be proud of the base molding?

    I know hind sight is 20/20 but just out my 2 cts in it!


  7. MDCustom

    If I couldn’t talk the client into making a more appropriate pairing of baseboard and casing, or plinth block as has been mentioned, I might try this option.
    If the client doesn’t want to do it right to begin with, they usually choose to just have the baseboard end ‘eased’ or ‘nipped’ and not want to pay for the extra time to do it right.

    The painter following you will probably not like you. Hard to caulk and paint that little cove area of wall left behind. Especially if the wall and trim are highly contrasting colours.

  8. Ken Ackerman


    A zero clearance insert is the plate the blade plunges through in the top of the saw. Many saw manufacturers sell plates that are blank to start with and when you first plunge the blade through the plate it creates the zero clearance slot. The purpose of having a zero clearance insert is to reduce or eliminate splintering on the edge of the piece you are cutting through.

    If the manufacturer of your saw does not sell zero clearance inserts, you can always make your own out of wood.

    Since there are different blade thicknesses, you’d want to have a zero clearance for each thickness of blade that you use, if you want to minimize or eliminate ragged edges on your cuts.

  9. Dixon

    A solution to a not so good situation. Backband would be better, or as suggested above, plynth block.

  10. Sorek

    Love TIC, so, no disrespect but I don’t think that looks right. My first thought was the painting issue and the broken line. I would plinth or backband as mentioned, or in this case since the casement has bead already, cut the base square and put a round over from where it starts proud from the casement. It’s really great to see people who care and want to find a better way!

  11. Novanoel

    It’s a solution…but it doesn’t look right. I would have used a thicker door trim to create a continuous plane. Also, the two trim profiles clash a bit…they don’t really complement each other. Nevertheless, it was a tricky cut that was expertly done.

  12. Dave

    Agree with the majority. Very nice work, but best avoided.

    Not only the casing and base clash, that casing by itself looks odd to me.

    Then again, if the customer likes it and pays well, go for it. Just don’t let the HO tell anyone it was your idea :) (the trim selection, not the return)

  13. Larry Schweitzer

    What a bad looking solution. This looks like one of those on-the-cheap remodels. A quick and simple bevel would have looked just as good and the painter wouldn’t have been out to get you.

    • harlan

      “A quick and simple bevel would have looked just as good”

      Better, probably, because it wouldn’t draw as much attention to itself.

  14. Ben

    I hear most of you guys. Plinth blocks are the way to go, but what do you do when you’re only trimming a room or two?

    No way am I going to try to convince a customer that I need to MultiMaster the casing on two dozen door openings!

  15. joey

    So what has happened to the moderator of this site? It seems that now every person who commented was critical of some other person’s solution, as if his own was perfect. Ha!
    I remember back when this blog first started, I was critical of some plumber’s work. The moderator was NOT happy with my criticism and told me to lay off. When I complained, I was told that this was their site, and if I didn’t like it, tough toenails, I would be banned.
    So I guess now after this, I WILL be.

    • Tristan Katz


      You’re right! The comments following this article have been very critical, but we believe that nearly every one of them has offered something constructive in their criticism—which is, of course, the primary goal behind TiC: sharing ideas, helping other carpenters, contractors, and craftsmen to improve methods, technique, etc. As long as something constructive is offered, we almost always approve a comment as-is, unless the criticism goes too far, and then we’ll do our best to redact accordingly in order to maintain a respectful and (hopefully) friendly environment.

      Please feel free to contact me directly (via the “Contact Us” tab at the top of the page) if you have any questions regarding our comment policy.

      Tristan M. Katz
      Managing Editor,

    • Ben

      Haha, I meant throughout the house, to match the new rooms. Sorry, I wasn’t very clear.

  16. Sonny Wiehe

    You don’t necessarily need to line up the “nip” mark on a zero clearance insert to register this repetitive cut. You can just as well line up the outside juncture of the 22.5 degree mitre and achieve the same goal of avoiding succesive scribes. From the photo you can see there is plenty of marking area to achieve this– even on the saw used for this article. This also assumes the back of the door casing is not an anomaly condition where it might stand proud of the drywall plane. In that case Gary’s method may prove more accurate and cost efficient.

    Zero clearance inserts will give you more support (and perhaps less tear out) on any cut for sure , but they shouldn’t necessarily make you the less expensive carpenter.

    • harlan

      Any way you cut that, you’re still left with a p***-poor detail!

      • Sonny Wiehe

        Actually, this 22.5 degree return is a very good detail however you slice it.
        It avoids end grain back “bevels” (a particularly crude detail; especially on possible stain grade work where pigmented stains will make end grain details stand out like the sorest of thumbs) and feathers the transition between base and casing nicely when back banding or plinth details are not desired. Harlan’s preference for plinth blocks is simply an architectural preference; which is subjective (and an inappropriate one at that; see final comment). Avoiding end grain details serve objective and practical (even dirty mops can “stain” rough end grain details on base molding over time) objectives.

        If you want to get into subjective architectural differences (not the point of this article, but since many seem determined to go there…), then you have to compare/contrast the styles of narrower and thinner modern casing profiles with heavier and more decorated Victorian molding profiles. In my opinion the casing and base profiles used in this article are rooted in modern or southwestern styles where the use of back bands and plinth blocks would disrupt the continuity of the sleeker and more minimalist casing “frame lines”. Thus, IMO it would be inappropriate to use them.

  17. Derrell

    Hi guys,
    Here’s the back story. The above was the technique I shared with my friend Gary Katz years ago;
    1. It involved a job I was doing with stain grade base in a commercial building. The door jambs were metal, so….no plinth blocks. Plus, the jambs were only about 1/4″ proud of the drywall. It was a damned if I do, damned if I don’t situation. If you’ve been around…you know what I’m talking about.
    2. Gary took the photos in his workshop/photo studio in CA. I live in FL. Gary and I both use zero clearance inserts. I suspect his studio saw was standard.
    3. This was a solution to a BAD design. Like most finish carpenter’s I was simply trying to make the best of a bad situation.
    Having said that…this is also really a neat technique when terminating base into tile, etc. I personally don’t like a 90° return. It just looks awkward. You can also terminate crown that terminates in the middle of nowhere because some draftsman/designer or worse…dreaded architects, leave us with near impossible situations.
    As far as a simple bevel….for me personally…the only molding I typically bevel is shoe.
    By the way, have I told you I hate shoe molding. As a matter of fact…when I’m swinging a hammer…shoe mold is the most expensive molding I install. I charge more to install shoe than I do 7-1/4″ crown. But hey, that’s just me.
    Derrell Day

    • Gary Katz

      Thanks for joining the conversation!!!
      I remember the one we had when you first told me about this joint and the job, and I still think it’s a GREAT solution–regardless of what the architectural perfectionists have said in their comments. I don’t think and never did think that your solution drew attention to the joint, not at all. In fact, any other solution would have, ESPECIALLY plinth blocks. Plinth blocks don’t ‘fit in’ EVERYWHERE (yep, I guess I agree with Sonny, too! amazing….). I think plinth blocks and narrow casing never works well. Narrow casing is a post war design. And besides, there are a lot of homes that have no casing, and your 22 1/2 degree return is an alternative solution of those doorways, too.

      The real point it, you weren’t cutting those returns to make an architectural statement. You were cutting them to get paid. You got a check. So they worked. :)


  18. Derrell

    The biggest reason I hate shoe is because I have a SERIOUS love affair with my fingers.

  19. Jim Hough

    I really appreciate TiC and enjoy the different views of my fellow tradesmen. This is mine. That door casing is too heavily profiled for being so thin. Back band may be a solution for this one. My biggest issue here is the fact that these mouldings do not look relative to one another. I think that a thinner flat base casing topped with a petite quarter round and base shoe may have possibly blended in better. I agree when we are faced with tricky situations sometimes we are forced to do what works. I like the carpentry technique discussed here. I have used this method in odd situations, but not against unrelated profiles. I always present all of my alternatives to the client upfront. The ultimate goal is to please the homeowner.

  20. John Kranz

    This looks like/is a mistake, in design mostly since all of the solutions offered are not really ideal. That being said the major job of the finish carpenter is to make the trim look great and sometimes highlight certain details, unfortunately this draws extra attention to what is a design flaw. IMO it is paramount as a trim carpenter to minimize any “mistakes” visible to the naked or even untrained eye, this “solution” only makes a bad situation worse because now a novice who looks at that thinks to themself
    ” hmmmm that looks weird” they don’t know why they don’t like it but they can’t stop looking at it, puzzled and put off.
    If the base is a 1/4 or less past the casing which it appears to be, just ease the hard/proud edge with sandpaper, if it’s stain grade and you’re spending that kind of money put some time/ money into a better design

  21. Mike Sloggatt

    I read this , and the critique. I would love to say that every job I have done was architecturally correct, but I can’t
    The problem is , we have to balance making a living with being the best carpenter we can. I installed Crown molding upside down on a Job, the Homeowner insisted on it. That was the way they saw it when they picked it out. I informed them of the correct way to install it. However , the checkbook won. They loved it , I hated it, But my joinery was excellent . I got paid for my skills, Not my taste in design.
    This is a solution to a funky detail we often find due to Budget Constraints, Poor Planning, Retrofitting, and other factors we don’t get to control. We have a choice, Don’t do it , Hack it , or come up with a solution that shows ingenuity, your skill, and reasonable solution to the problem. IF your customer loves it – thats what you are ultimately getting paid for.
    Unfortunately , we all can’t afford to walk away from work we don’t Like. Mike

    • Krysta

      I installed Crown molding upside down on a Job, the Homeowner insisted on it.

      Bahahaha….too funny. :-)

  22. Kraig

    Let’s not lose sight of the big picture by staring at that odd casing (chair?) profile–the point of the article is to demonstrate another way to terminate moldings: 22.5-degree returns.

    The widely practiced back-bevel of base and shoe molding is shameful. The 45-degree return is a good option, but sometimes looks awkward (on chair rail when there is no window casing, for example). I like to use the 22.5-degree return on crown molding (typically to terminate crown at stairwells). It requires more planning to get the termination at the exact right spot, especially on built-up crown, but it is an unexpected surprise that highlights the beauty of the moldings and the skill of the craftsman.

  23. Tim

    On a topic other than architectural style: I was unable to get the zero-clearance plates for the DeWalt miter saws. I thought I’d found a source, and they swore they were the correct ones (over the phone) but when they came, they were the stock, pre-slotted ones (double or triple the kerf of the saw.) There are aftermarket ones…anybody know if they’re any good?

    • Derrell

      You could..if you are cheap and ingenious…make a template for your saw throat and use a router to cut a handful of new melamine ones.
      Dewalt made the best ones and I bought a handful when I saw they had discontinued them.

  24. Derrell

    The link I provided may be just for their table saw, but they are really easy to fabricate.

  25. Joe

    At first glance, I thought it was neat someone was trying to be a little creative, but alas with all the comments I read, I had to take another look. I though for sure you guys might be bit gruff. Upon second glance without a doubt a plinth block is in order, no back bands. I think it was a lets throw it up and see if it sticks article. It most definitely does not. Unfortunately carpenters are the greatest critics of carpenters work. Spare the base, go with a plinth block. It’s just my opinion but to me it’s what matters.

  26. Alex

    I loved this tip and thought the article was well,written, photographed and informative. Sadly the over criticism to this article has taken over. Let me add this to the conversation.

    This is not the best looking trim detail, and perhaps not well thought through, however, hasn’t every one of us looked at a set of prints or a finished project and disagreed with an architects design?

    Perhaps there is no other option and you can’t redesign the entire trim package of the house to accommodate a fix that you like. Is it better to have a detail like this that doesnt match the rest of the house or better to introduce another element that doesn’t match anything in the house? Would any of us hold off finishing a closet, powder room or laundry room on a budget minded job to make or go purchase a plinth and wait for the owner to arrive home and get approval?

    Maybe cost is a big concern in this house. Most of the homes I work in don’t really have a budget, but not everyone is so lucky. The prints we use will often have this detail spelled out so I don’t often have to deal with this but it sure was nice to have this tip, maybe I can use it later in something related that bails me and the architect out.

    This kind of runaway article is why I don’t feel like I can write something for TiC. Gary asked me to submit some work we were doing on a house where the homeowners had purchased some original G and G doors. They were to be edge wrapped in stainless steel, and then hung in false jambs to fit inside a picture window kind of setup. I can only imagine the crap I would have taken from all of you “craftsmen” who claim to be “in the know” and have elevated yourselves on some mahogany pedestal. The fact of the matter is even Harlan learned something here today even if he won’t admit it. There should be enough room in this group for guys who do the ultra high end luxury homes and the guys doing the “Mr. Fix-it” sort of work and everyone in between.

    • Gary Katz

      Thank you so much for responding to the comments on this article. I know it probably wasn’t easy to click on the “Submit Comment” button, but I’m very glad you did.

      I never like naming names, but there is no doubt that a few contributors took off blindly on a judgmental course that had no real basis. That’s a common problem on the internet and one I’ll be more sensitive to in the future: I will never wait as long as I did to respond and hopefully steer the conversation away from that cliff…and for one important reason: I don’t want anyone to be intimidated or frightened about contributing an article to TiC.

      Tristan, Todd, and I work very hard to help fellow craftsman publish their stories, and to help produce what I consider to be over-the-top articles on subjects that wouldn’t otherwise be available to anyone anywhere. The last thing we need is to have the enjoyment of our readers, and the potential of TiC, undermined by anyone.


  27. Gary

    “The problem is , we have to balance making a living with being the best carpenter we can.” M. Sloggatt

    Amen to that!

    I didn’t read all the posts (shame on me) but I bet a creative craftsman could ease the outside edge with sandpaper and give it a smooth radius so when it’s painted it will not be a hard outside corner. Trick the eye into thinking its one continuous piece ending smoothly.

    How many times do we as finish carpenters “reduce” the errors of all the work before us so that our work “appears” to be perfect.

  28. Benjamin Miner

    1 variation, opinions on plinths/other ways to achieve these transitions aside:

    On these sort of tiny return details, I have gotten away from using fast-setting CA glue. Too many problems with it for me (not least getting it on my fingers…). Instead, when it comes to whatever version of that you’re doing (sometimes comes up with head casings, for example), I make a packing tape hinge and do a miter fold with standard yellow glue. A couple of small pin nails will hold it just fine while the glue dries. I find i can get a better glued piece this way…of course you have to wait for the glue to dry, so depending on the situation is may not be ideal, but if you can do a few at a time, you can cycle through the work efficiently enough.

  29. Daniel Foster

    Regarding the zero clearance insert: anyone using a DeWalt slider like that ought to readjust the factory supplied insert to shrink the opening. You won’t have all those slivers disappearing into the well beneath anymore. Cost? Way less than $7.

    Also with regard to zero clearance – I would always set up a zero clearance board on the back fence when cutting a little piece like that return. Too often they just go flying or get chewed up. It scares me just to look at that picture.

    I’ve recently bought that same saw. I purchased a Kapex and it just killed my wrist and I had to return it. I guess not everything that Festool makes is perfect.

  30. RD \\-olff

    I guess I don’t like this “solution,” that wierd angle no one expects to be there if they are familar with moldings and baseboards is offputting, you still see a “hole” in the middle of the baseboard against the case anyway. Plinth blocks are the way to handle this, and a nicer, taller baseboard.
    A Google search in the old books they archived will find many books published in the late 1800s and early 1900s on carpentry, building trades, wood carving, plastering walls and ceilings using lath and plaster, making jigs and running forms to make elaborate ceiling moldings, crown moldings, etc. and more, they usually have numerous illustrations or at least line drawings, guidelines and proven methods.

    These are great references to see how they did it back then, and they were not dummies! Labor may have been cheap but much of the so called “hand carved” wood and marble people see were actually made using various duplicator carving machines that were invented by 1850 which could make a dozen or two dozen copies of a wood or stone statue at a time.
    Naturally, to save time, labor and materials moldings and decorative elements would have been designed to reduce all three of those as much as possible. This was the major reason why decorative hand-carved stone on building facades were replaced by the use of factory made mass-produced terracotta made in molds at far lower cost, weight and lead-time.
    No carpenter in the old days would have spent hours and hours of excess time he didn’t have, to fiddling around with fancy difficult cuts, he wanted to get the job done quickly, get paid and go on to the next job.

  31. Matt Garton

    I’m not one to read into comments and discussions, but felt the need to add my 2 cents.

    While I agree that there are better transitions to be implemented in this situation, sometimes we are limited by time, money and materials at hand. Take this post for what it is: another tool in your tool box! If you’re like me, you’re probably a gear geek, too.
    Fill the tool box on your shoulders first…

    Good luck out there!

  32. pjenk

    If the background of the problem was, “please Mr. Carpenter fix my base board as inexpensively as possible and by the way my brother in-law had this base left over from his remodel can you use it? It’s all I can afford”. This is a terrific little trick and well executed.

    • Gary Katz

      I recognize that your comment is normal for the internet today, but it feels a bit condescending.

      Many carpenters would never share anything they’ve learned–why teach someone else something you’ve learned the hard way! And why improve your competition? But authors of TiC articles volunteer to publish stories and share techniques and methods that they’ve learned, in the hope of helping other readers. Please honor their efforts and choose your words with care.

  33. Derrell Day

    I am sure glad we’re all fine craftsman, because our reading comprehension leaves much to be desired. ;-)
    I am copying and pasting the back story (again) to the Nip & Tuck detail. Plus, try to picture the following scenario I walked into on the job that got the NT detail;
    1. Four office buildings (about 6K sf each) in a medical complex. The first building had been trimmed by the painting contractor.
    2. The painting contractor (who had the trim contract, God forbid) thought they would just “do” the stain grade trim.
    3. I get the call to wade in for building 2-4. The painting contractors son had simply chopped off the base square at the doors…no return. I won’t even talk about the window and crown trim.
    4. I needed the job. All the metal doors were hung and all the jambs were about 1/4″ proud of the drywall. No one consulted with me beforehand. I took the job and made everyone happy. I got paid very well.
    5. You couldn’t put possums in a sack and get a more irate bunch of growlings and cackling about the “style”, I especially like those that suggested I add a plinth block to the metal door jamb.
    6. I must live in a twilight zone because trim carpenters around here don’t sip tea with their little fingers held up. We are tradesman, hard working and live in the real world. I have been “brought in” to discuss trim details on some very large jobs…but this one wasn’t one of them.
    7. I still think it was a viable solution to a sticky problem. Sometimes you can “get the bucket underneath ‘er, but you can’t get no milk.”

  34. Patrick

    I agree that this is not an Ideal solution to a not Ideal situation, but I used this myself the other day running 2 piece baseboard into door casing (no plinth) that had to be scribed to the wall. It was your standard HD door casing and the base was running perpendicular into the right leg, for all the 22.5 deg haters out there, what would you do?

  35. Charles

    First, I’m glad this article was written. The author is clearly a talented carpenter. And a good writer.

    Second, I learned something – never occurred to me to put zero clearance inserts into a chop saw. That’s worth the price of admission right there.

    But I appreciated the comments, because I tend to agree with them. And I think they add to the article.

  36. Steven Blake

    Thank you so much for sharing this tip.
    I was very upset when I found my base board was thicker than my casing. Changing the casing was not an option.
    No matter what I tried nothing seemed to work.
    I found your site and wow!!! I tried the nip and tuck 22.5 and does it ever look professional. I solved my issue and it looks like a pro did it.
    Thank you again for sharing this.

  37. Susan

    Honestly despite the critical comments thank you for posting this. I have an Az track home built in the late 1950s. I can’t change the casings around the door because the ceilings are only 7 feet in parts of the house. It would look absolutely ridiculous to cut off part of the top of the new casings and a plinth block would be even more ridiculous looking in a flat roof spanish style track home. Saltio tile and victorian moldings??? No. Almost all of the 4 inch moldings we found were wider at the base than the door casing. I want my baseboards to look finished even if they aren’t architecturally acurate. I don’t think this is a bad solution for a bad situation. This is what 75% of us out here deal with. the bad solution would be to just paint the ends and call it good, which trust me, I see all the time on these updated midcentury homes. So thank you from EVERYONE in Arizona who has a house built from 1950 to 1970.

  38. John A

    Thanks so much! I created both left & right returns. They look great.

  39. Bummy1414

    Okay i’m not sure if I will still get a response on here or not, but I’m cutting an apron trim for a window and I want to make it at a 22.5 degree angle and then 45 it back as a return– is this possible? if so please help!

  40. Kyle Jones

    Love the 22 1/2 return over a 45! In my opinion, looks much better on base as well as window aprons, in the majority of cases. Thank you!


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