Canadian Woodworking

The coper

When laying baseboard moulding, you eventually work your way into a corner. If you’re installing square edged baseboard, getting perfectly fitting inside corners isn’t much of a challenge: Square cut the ends and butt them together.

Not so with profiled baseboard. For profiled baseboards you need to cope the joints. To cope the joints, you shape the end of one piece of baseboard so that it conforms to the face profile of the baseboard that it will butt against.

You could cut a mitred joint, but you would risk the joint opening with humidi­ty changes. Such seasonal movement is much less noticeable in a coped joint.

Mysteak lumber

When laying baseboard moulding, you eventually work your way into a corner. If you’re installing square edged baseboard, getting perfectly fitting inside corners isn’t much of a challenge: Square cut the ends and butt them together.

A coped joint is also easy to fit, as it is back-cut and only needs to meet at the front face to look good.

By now, you are probably thinking that there must be a downside to coping, and there is. Cutting coped joints is time inten­sive. If you have dozens of corners to cope, you could be looking at several hours of work. That is, if you are not using The Coper.

The Coper is a novel product, out of Lethbridge, AB, that makes cutting per­fectly fitting corners easy and fast, very fast. With it you can make coped joints on wood or composite baseboards up to 1″ thick by 6″ wide. To use The Coper simply make a template of the profiled baseboard you will be installing. Then, use the template as a guide to rout the cope joints. Rout one joint or rout a hundred joints. No more fiddling with a coping saw, rasp, sandpaper, and countless trial fittings.

The Coper consists of a thermoplastic base, a moulding tray, two bottles of Por-A-Kast (a two part polyurethane rubber curing kit), a router bit, and an array of bits and pieces.

You start by making a template of the baseboard with the Por-A-Kast. Simply cut-off a piece of the baseboard, place it in the moulding tray and pour in the appropriate mix of Por-A-Kast liquid.

the coper
To make template, place cut-off in moulding tray and pour in Por-A-Kast

In about 15 minutes you get a perfect template of your baseboard. It’s a good idea to let the cast harden overnight. It is also a good idea, if you have a lot of base­board to install, to make a spare template in case one gets chewed up. Each set of Por-A-Kast makes about four to five tem­plates.

the coper
A perfect baseboard template in only 15 minutes

To use the template just screw it into the base of The Coper, insert the supplied bit into your router (or laminate trimmer), clamp a length of baseboard onto the base of The Coper, and rout away.

the coper
Screw template into base of Coper
the coper
Clamp baseboard onto base of Coper and rout along template

I used The Coper on several types of woods and got perfect results, right from the first time that I tried it.

The Coper is a product with obvious value. It not only works very well, but significantly reduces the amount of time required to do the job. The Coper costs $150. Extra Por-A-Kast is $15. Extra router bits are $18. Available at Windsor Plywood or House of Tools.

the coper
A perfect match

For more information go to thecoper.com


Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.

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