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Old 02-01-2010, 05:03 AM   #1
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General crown molding tips for rookies.


I've begun my first ever crown molding project and I must admit it's a little more difficult to handle than base molding. My goal was to give the room an economical makeover and in general it's going fairly well. But I probably should have practiced in a room with less traffic.

I bought some preprimed pine crown molding and I've pre-painted it with white semi-gloss latex paint. It looks quite nice if I must say. But I have some things that I'd like a little advice about. First one is really more of a comment in how much more difficult it is to cope crown vs base. I wanted my inside corners to be done properly so I decided to cope them. Each one I do gets better and better. But still a pretty difficult task for a newbie. Luckily my crown is white so I can caulk and repaint to make it look better.

My bigger issue however is that I have 2 longer runs of 18'. My first attemp at scarf joining crown molding was very frustrating. It just seemed like no matter what I did I could not get the scarfed joint to nail together smoothly. I could get it to look nice while holding it in place but once it came to actually nailing the pieces next to each other there always ending up being a slight shift between the joint. I could get it close but not exactly the way i wanted it to look. Are there any pointers for dealing with longer runs that require joining. The next room I'll be doing is my kitchen. It too will require one scarf joint. I've read quite a bit about installing crown but I have not read what I'm about to ask about. I'm wondering if I can join the two piece of crown via scarf joint before installing with wood glue and maybe even thin metal strapping on the back of the crown. I could cut everything to fit and then glue the long run together and let it cure over night. Then install it all as one long piece. (With help of course)

My last issue is I'm wondering what the best way is to fill the nail holes and clean up the installation. I plan on running a thin bead of white painters caulk along with ceiling and in the coped jointes to clean them up. But should I use something else to cover the nail holes?

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Old 02-01-2010, 05:36 AM   #2
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General crown molding tips for rookies.


caulking works fine for the nail holes or use a putty which needs sanding. The problem with your joints is you are not lining up the spring angle perfectly. Make a jig that holds the trim in place and sets the piece to the perfect angle. Nail it in place. Then use the jig to set the matching piece.

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Old 02-01-2010, 08:32 PM   #3
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General crown molding tips for rookies.


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Originally Posted by speedster1 View Post
I've begun my first ever crown molding project and I must admit it's a little more difficult to handle than base molding. My goal was to give the room an economical makeover and in general it's going fairly well. But I probably should have practiced in a room with less traffic.

I bought some preprimed pine crown molding and I've pre-painted it with white semi-gloss latex paint. It looks quite nice if I must say. But I have some things that I'd like a little advice about. First one is really more of a comment in how much more difficult it is to cope crown vs base. I wanted my inside corners to be done properly so I decided to cope them. Each one I do gets better and better. But still a pretty difficult task for a newbie. Luckily my crown is white so I can caulk and repaint to make it look better.

My bigger issue however is that I have 2 longer runs of 18'. My first attemp at scarf joining crown molding was very frustrating. It just seemed like no matter what I did I could not get the scarfed joint to nail together smoothly. I could get it to look nice while holding it in place but once it came to actually nailing the pieces next to each other there always ending up being a slight shift between the joint. I could get it close but not exactly the way i wanted it to look. Are there any pointers for dealing with longer runs that require joining. The next room I'll be doing is my kitchen. It too will require one scarf joint. I've read quite a bit about installing crown but I have not read what I'm about to ask about. I'm wondering if I can join the two piece of crown via scarf joint before installing with wood glue and maybe even thin metal strapping on the back of the crown. I could cut everything to fit and then glue the long run together and let it cure over night. Then install it all as one long piece. (With help of course)

My last issue is I'm wondering what the best way is to fill the nail holes and clean up the installation. I plan on running a thin bead of white painters caulk along with ceiling and in the coped jointes to clean them up. But should I use something else to cover the nail holes?
when you are coping, use a little piece of scrap crown (6" or so) to check how the fit is - then you will know where you have to back cut a little bit more with a file or grinder. This saves a ton of time, as you don't have to go up the ladder each time to check the fit.

I do not use the scarf joints. Too difficult to get it dead on - I "butt" cut the ends, and dowel them. Some guys I know tack on a piece of plywood on the back spanning the joint - with glue/staples. It helps to have someone with you on those long runs, so your joint won't fail during the install.

Filling nail holes is easy- although whenever I can I try to talk the home owner into making the painter do this :D several products on the market that do a good job.

Measure your outside corners, they are NEVER 90 deg! if they are, go out and quickly buy a lottery ticket!

If you are cutting your crown "nested" then its easy. If your corner is 88 deg, then set your saw to 44 deg "IF"!!!!!!!!!!! your measuring device is set to "0" when its out flat.

If it is set to "0" when its folded, then you have to take the "reciprocal" (ie: 88 deg plus reciprocal = 180 deg) so you want to use the reciprocal which is 92 deg. 1/2 of 92? 46! set your saw to that, and you're golden!

I use the milwaukee 12" scms, its huge but it has that digital 1/10th degree readout, so my miters are deadly accurate.

There's a ton of other ways to measure the corner angle, about as many as there are carpenters try some, you will find one that works for you.

Leave the last four feet of a piece of crown un-nailed. This makes it easier to "match" the next cope to it, as you might have to twist it a little bit to get that perfect fit. Remember to nail it off after you are done with that new piece!

good luck

Laurie

www.lauriescustomfinishing.ca
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:11 AM   #4
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General crown molding tips for rookies.


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Originally Posted by mrmac204 View Post
when you are coping, use a little piece of scrap crown (6" or so) to check how the fit is - then you will know where you have to back cut a little bit more with a file or grinder. This saves a ton of time, as you don't have to go up the ladder each time to check the fit.

I do not use the scarf joints. Too difficult to get it dead on - I "butt" cut the ends, and dowel them. Some guys I know tack on a piece of plywood on the back spanning the joint - with glue/staples. It helps to have someone with you on those long runs, so your joint won't fail during the install.

Filling nail holes is easy- although whenever I can I try to talk the home owner into making the painter do this :D several products on the market that do a good job.

Measure your outside corners, they are NEVER 90 deg! if they are, go out and quickly buy a lottery ticket!

If you are cutting your crown "nested" then its easy. If your corner is 88 deg, then set your saw to 44 deg "IF"!!!!!!!!!!! your measuring device is set to "0" when its out flat.

If it is set to "0" when its folded, then you have to take the "reciprocal" (ie: 88 deg plus reciprocal = 180 deg) so you want to use the reciprocal which is 92 deg. 1/2 of 92? 46! set your saw to that, and you're golden!

I use the milwaukee 12" scms, its huge but it has that digital 1/10th degree readout, so my miters are deadly accurate.

There's a ton of other ways to measure the corner angle, about as many as there are carpenters try some, you will find one that works for you.

Leave the last four feet of a piece of crown un-nailed. This makes it easier to "match" the next cope to it, as you might have to twist it a little bit to get that perfect fit. Remember to nail it off after you are done with that new piece!

good luck

Laurie

www.lauriescustomfinishing.ca
Thanks for the tips. All excellent points. My coping is definately getting better. The more I do it the better it gets. I've been using a dremel tool with a sanding attachment to clean up the joint while test fitting it. It's helped a ton.

I never thought of nesting the crown and cutting it together but it makes sense. I will have to try this. Thansk again.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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General crown molding tips for rookies.


NEVER use caulking to fill nail holes.A complete paint job on trim is...prime,fill,sand,and 1or2 finish coats.Caulking shrinks.You want puddy to expand to sand flush.And then paint the final coat.The caulking that you put on top and bottom needs paint anyway.So for the best job,count on painting another coat.Elmers wood filler has a pretty new product out. The normal wood filler is yellow.They now have it in white.It expands and sands easily but needs paint.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:18 PM   #6
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General crown molding tips for rookies.


I am not the "crown molding" expert that I want to be, but a friend of mine seems to be able to do it blindfolded. One thing I have seen him do is to figure his spring angle, place a short piece up on the wall and measure for a little triangular shaped piece to go behind the crown. He then uses these at all scarf joints. It works for him. David

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