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Old 11-29-2009, 07:32 AM   #1
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Coping with Crown

(Sorry for the pun.)

So I have my crown molding. It's about 3.75" across the face. It stands out from the wall about 2.5" and it's 2.75" tall. I'm currently painting it (well, not this exact moment, but the brush is wet )

Anyway I have a few questions.

This crown has a "rope" detail on a bead. Are there any tricks for cutting it so that the bead detail repeats on the pattern?

Is the best way to splice straight runs to lay it flat on the miter saw and slice it on a 45 degree angle, so that the cut edge is square to the top and bottom? In other words, tilt the saw but don't rotate it?

I have a compound mitre saw. Is the best way to make the corners to run it uncut into the one corner and then cut the other piece and cope it along the profile?

I have a chart that came with the saw that tells what angles to use depending on the angles of the walls (room's not square). I seem to recall it's kind of confusing the way it's written, and I remember sometimes the wood has to be face up, and sometimes it's upside down (because the saw only tilts one way) Any easy way to explain that (more particularly how to keep it all straight)?

Final question, and the most important: Although we re-framed the room, we kept the original joists. There is one part of the ceiling that dips about a half inch. It looks like two of the joists are low -- they're on 24" centers. So it's straight, then down 1/2 inch in two feet, straight two feet, and then back up 1/2 inch in two feet. How's the best way to handle the dip when I put up the crown?


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Old 11-29-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
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Cutting crown is done in one of 2 basic ways;

One is lying flay like you are describing and using both miter and bevel adjustments to achieve the desired compound miter. That method is preferred by some and others find it to be confusing. But it is the way to go on large crown molding.

The other way is "nesting" the molding on the fence of the saw. This is done by turning the crown upside down and using the fence of the saw as if it was the wall and the bed of the saw as if it was the ceiling. Then all you have to do is miter the molding as you would any other simple molding. Eliminating the need to set the saw two different ways.

The key to accuracy is to hold the molding at the same "spring" angle everytime. Some guys simply pencil a line on the fence and hold the molding to that line each time. I like to build a simple jig that not only captivates the molding at the proper angle but creates a kerf to align your mark to. You need to attach or clamp the jig to the saw so the kerf stays put.

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Coping crown is the way to go. Just do a search on the subject and there is all kinds of info for the how to.

As far as the rope detail goes, A little trial and error using the jig and taking note of the kerf in relation to the pattern should get you there.

The scarf joints in the middle of long runs can be handled with a miter setting with the molding nested in the jig. That will yeild a nice glue surface and plenty of room to brad the face.

I hope this helps


Last edited by Augie Dog; 11-29-2009 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:07 AM   #3
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Great explanation Augie Dog!

One thing to remember about spring angle...Not all crown has a 45 degree spring angle. Some is 37 degrees, some is something like 54 degrees as I recall. When you make a jig like Augie Dog suggested, you need to be sure that your crown is resting at its own specific spring angle for the pattern of crown you've purchased. If you're really into making nifty jigs like I am you can make an adjustable version of the above jig using slots with bolts and wingnuts, that way it can be adjusted to work with any size of crown.

There's an excellent product on the market called Cut-N-Crown.
It makes cutting crown (inside and outside miters as well as scarf joints) stupid-simple. It also allows you to make miters in preparation for coping.

I agree, mitering inside corners is not the way to go. In my opinion the only way to do a true quality job is to cope inside corners. Mitered inside corners will look fine on painted work...For a while.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.

I'm going to make that jig -- it'll make things a lot easier.
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