A comprehensive educational community devoted to trim carpentry, finish carpentry and architectural millwork. Hosted by nationally recognized author and finish carpentry specialist Gary M. Katz.
 
     
  Miter Terminology  
 
When I started out in this business I made up techniques and terminology as I went along, often the hard way.  Though it’s easier now—with all the magazines, books, and websites—to learn better methods, there are still a lot of differences in how carpenters work and how we describe our work.

For instance, in some locations, the jambs, doors, and casing are installed before the flooring; whereas, in other parts of the country, the trim goes in after the flooring. And on the west coast the stud that supports a header is call a Timmer, but on the east coast it’s called a Jack.

So it’s not surprising that the terminology used to describe miters also varies according to region and even jobsite.

Miters are angled cuts made so that moldings and other materials can turn corners—like baseboard going around a room, or casing around a door or window, or fascia around a roofline.
   
A miter always has an acute angle and an obtuse angle.


   

On the jobsites I work, most crewmembers communicate with each other by calling out ‘Long Point’ or ‘Short Point’ measurements.

 

 
   
In other parts of the country, carpenters refer to the Long Point as the ‘Toe’ of a miter; while the Short Point is called the ‘Heel.'
   
   
 
     
     
   
     
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