View Full Version : Nobex miter box for 4" baseboard?

Allan Brown
08-07-2008, 9:23 AM
Maybe I'm carrying things a little too far...but I'm needing to install 150' of 4-1/2" baseboard and have been considering a Makita 10" CMS along with a pneumatic nailer...neither of which I would ordinarily consider purchasing. My shop is 80% handtools, the exceptions being a bandsaw for roughing out and a router table for long lengths of trim and the occasional quick rabbett -- so I really don't have a need/wish/purpose for the CMS or nailer.

I have been looking at the Nobex Champion 180 miter box/saw at The Best Things for my shop, and was wondering if it would be up to the task of numerous cuts (approx. 100) of 4-1/2" fingerjoint base? I realize it would be slower -- there's no real hurry. I like the fact that I would have something I could use later -- the Makita would likely gather dust as would the nailer. Plus, the overall cost would be 1/3 of what I would spend on the power tools!

I'm curious as to other's impressions of this approach and any experience with the Nobex system. I realize there's some old Stanley and Millers Falls miter boxes out there, but really don't want to haunt flea markets and/or Ebay for the next 60 days. I said I wasn't in any hurry to finish the job (meaning a couple of weekends if necessary) -- but I am anxious to get started! ;)

Ron Dunn
08-07-2008, 10:20 AM
Yes, it will cut that depth.

Buy the model with the Ikeda (sp?) Japanese blade - it cuts finer and faster than the traditional Nobex blades.

I had the older Proman saw, but recently purchased the Champion for its increased depth of cut and compound capability. It works well.

Your only consideration will be how to hold long stock. You'd have the same problem with any mitre saw. I seldom cut anything more than 36", but even then I occasionally use a roller stand if I'm cutting large section stock.

Prashun Patel
08-07-2008, 10:24 AM
You can certainly do it, but molding is best (IMHO) cut 1/2" strong and then 'shaved' up to final length. That's hard to do on a manual box. Even a cheap Ryobi or Shopmaster or Craftsman 8 or 10" miter saw will be more than adequate and will probably cost less than yr Nobex and be more versatile.

You can rent the nailer for a few bucks a day if you don't want to invest in one. Or, base is possible to nail by hand without much effort. With chair or crown, I'd recommend a power nailer bkz you gotta support things with one hand and nail with another. You don't have that prob with base, though...

eric auer
08-07-2008, 10:41 AM
Why not make your own?

Im guessing You Already have a suitable saw for it, and hopefully some hardwood lying around too :)

Making one is fun and easy, and then you dont have to buy anything!
Here's an example (not mine)


Michael Faurot
08-07-2008, 12:01 PM
You can certainly do it, but molding is best (IMHO) cut 1/2" strong and then 'shaved' up to final length. That's hard to do on a manual box.

Tuning the fit on molding is an ideal use for a shooting board. Cut the molding a little long and then tune the fit on the shooting board. This also makes it easier to safely tune small pieces.

I was recently away from home and had to put up some molding and didn't have my shooting board with me. What a pain to tune things with just a chop saw alone.

Allan Brown
08-07-2008, 12:11 PM
I agree with the shooting board to fine tune a mitered piece -- and I use one regularly in my shop -- however, this is baseboard which will be caulked and painted. To me, it would be overkill to futz over a joint that's going to be essentially hidden. That's why I believe that a good miter box can provide adequate accuracy for this job.

Robert Rozaieski
08-07-2008, 12:37 PM
You really don't need the Nobex for baseboard. A cheap and dirty shop made miter block will do. Make it like a bench hook but with a tall fence and cut kerfs in the fence at 45 degree angles. However, if you just want a nice new hand tool, who am I to argue with you ;).

Inside corners should be coped, not mitered, so you don't need super accurate miter cuts for inside corners. However, a sharp coping saw is a must, as is a sharp chisel for trimming straight sections of the cope that end up needing a little adjustment. And a sharp gouge or two won't hurt either for trimming inside curves of the cope.

Outside corners of walls in any house are rarely 90 degrees so you will be triming the miters of each piece with a block plane anyway to get a good fit. A miter box or chop saw is useless for this unless you want to measure the exact angle and set up your miter box/chop saw for the exact angle on every cut. This is tedious and un-necessary. Cut it at 45 and trim in place with a block plane to fit. This way you also don't need to keep carrying the piece back and fourth between the wall and the saw and guessing if it will fit this time.

I have a 12" chop saw bought years ago when I gutted an entire house. For my most recent baseboard replacement (about 100 linear feet), I did it all by hand and it was much more satisfying. The results were better too as I tend not to rush as much when doing it by hand (I still probably rush a little too much). Take your time coping and trimming and you may surprise yourself when you don't need the caulk. I of course still usually need the caulk :o, but that is because I'm usually too impatient when doing this kind of project :rolleyes:.

Jeff Craven
08-07-2008, 12:45 PM
Plus, the overall cost would be 1/3 of what I would spend on the power tools!

The Nobex Champion 180 is $145 plus shipping, while a Makita 10" CMS on amazon is $175 shipped. There is a Hitachi model for $140 shipped.

Allan Brown
08-07-2008, 3:20 PM
I was basing my (quick & admittedly hyberbolic) math on:
$290 for CMS & stand
$175 for nailer

I simply won't use them after this job, and I was wanting the Nobex anyway. I really had already made up my mind as to the best course, but wanted to see if I was missing anything obvious.

And Robert's observations are right-on. The Nobex probably is overkill when I consider that there are few, if any, true right angles in a typical home. Coping inside corners and hand trimming outside corners would result in a superior job. A simple miter block, plane, coping saw, a few chisels/gouges, and hammer/nails...all currently in stock! All I need is the baseboard, and I'm ready to roll!

Funny how sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees...;)

Thanks for the reality check!

eric auer
08-08-2008, 12:41 PM
Excellent Choice!

Let us know how it all turned out! :)


Doug Shepard
08-08-2008, 1:16 PM
I've had that Nobex saw for around 15 years now it's real handy. I dont have enough room to keep a CMS and the Nobex fits very well mounted to a board on top of a rolling tool cabinet. I do quite a bit of crosscutting with it while the TS is set up for rip cuts and I'm milling pieces from rough hardwood. And it's good for doing stopped cuts where you can see your layout lines rather than blind on a TS. No complaints on either the accuracy or cut quality. That said, I'm giving serious thought to selling in favor of the BCTW JointMaker Pro when it comes out. The Nobex can handle thicker/taller stock but that's not something I think I'd miss. Anything that thick usually heads for the BS anyway and I think I'd get more use out of the Jointmaker for the kinds of things I find myself wanting to make.