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Old 02-13-2009, 09:44 PM   #1
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Installing crown molding


I've started to install some crown molding and I've run into a bit of a problem. The walls and ceilings have pretty thick plaster on them and there aren't any ceiling joists to nail to. It was suggested that I use nailing blocks but I have no idea how to make them. Any tips on how to make nailing blocks would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-13-2009, 11:11 PM   #2
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Installing crown molding


I usually make mine from 3/4" plywood on the miter saw. I rip strips of plywood on the table saw and then cut them at the spring angle of the crown. I always nibble about 1/8" off of the corner where the wall and ceiling intersect. If you have a finish nailer you can toenail them into the top plate about 12-16" apart...If you don't, some 1-5/8" long trim screws will do the trick. You should have a sheetrock nailer above the top plate that the ceiling nails into, and you can nail the blocks into it.

Here's a sketch of how I do mine.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:10 AM   #3
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Installing crown molding


Some people don't like my method, some don't like the small blocks, but I'll pass this on to you anyway.

Instead of just a series of short blocks attached to the wall at intervals, I like to rip 2 x 4's (sometimes 2 x 6's) and run them the whole length.

Of course (considering typical 52/38 crown molding) the 38 degree rip is no problem. You just set the saw to 38 degrees. But the 52 degree will present a challenge. The trick is to spend a few minutes making a jig to add 7 degrees to a 45 cut.

Basically, this is just a 7 degree wedge cut out of the long side of a 2 x 4. Mine is about 18" long, and is glued to an 18" x 6" scrap of VT laminate with an 18" x 1/2" strip of hardwood along the loose edge. Yours will likely vary in both length and width to fit your table saw.
Took about ten minutes to make, and I've used it for years.
  • You tilt your blade to 45.
  • Set the jig next to the blade.
  • Place the saw fence on top of the VT, with the back side of the fence right up against the hardwood strip.
  • Lock down the fence... My fence fits pretty tight to the table surface, so it holds the VT snug. If yours doesn't, you may need to use regular thickness laminate. The thing is you want the fence to hold the jig in place so it won't slide.
  • Then just run your 2 x through, and you have a 52 degree rip down the length.
Of course you will vary the width of your 2 x, depending upon the size of the molding you're installing. The tip here is to make the long side of your 2 x about 1/4" shorter than the back side of the molding.

This keeps the 2 x just shy of the back of the molding when it's up on the wall, allowing for a little adjustment in tilt, and it also keeps the 2 x from bulging the molding out anywhere.

I like this setup for two reasons.

One, I don't have to make certain each and every small backer block is well nailed to either a stud or a rafter/truss (sometimes they are not in the same place, leaving either the top or the bottom of the backer block floating)

Secondly, the obvious... I can nail the molding absolutely anywhere I choose, without having to be sure to hit a small block that I usually can't see, and perhaps forgot to mark on both the wall and the ceiling.

The jig may sound like a hassle to make, but it is no harder than the jig you made for your upside down cuts.
***********************************
The drawings below show a very clear picture of how this method gives you solid mounting on both the wall and the ceiling while, as a bonus, giving you a "clipped" 90 degree corner at the wall/ceiling intersection. And, unlike the 45 degree rips I used to make, this one gives you the same angle the crown molding will assume.... just in case you need to add some glue behind the crown to cheat a little. There is a parallel surface running the full length of the molding, and glue will join the two anywhere you choose. (For instance, at a scarf joint? )
**********************
The last pic shows a Backer ripped from a 2 x 6 for larger Crown Molding. (And, of course, this could be ripped from any size 2 x you choose, depending upon how large your crown is.)
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Installing crown molding-backer-wall-mockup.jpg   Installing crown molding-backer-end.jpg   Installing crown molding-2x6-backer-larger-crown.jpg  
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Last edited by Willie T; 02-15-2009 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:05 PM   #4
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Installing crown molding


I typically nail and glue an L cleat in the corner of the ceiling and wall with both edges being beveled so the crown can rest on. With this method you have backing running the full length, which will be very strong. Be sure to stay a few inches away from the corners. Similar to this http://www.contractortalk.com/f13/cr...88/#post593654 Image added below


Or you could use liquid nails along both edges of the crown, and cross stitch the nails to hold until the glue sets up. No backing needed, but you will have to be careful about the glue.

Good luck
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:22 PM   #5
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Installing crown molding


Hi - I recently completed installing crown molding in my house, which has plaster interior walls and solid masonry exterior walls. I used Loctite Power Grab, and literally glued the molding up. If you're having problems finding a stud this can help, and you won't risk cracking the plaster. Where there were unavoidable gaps I put in paintable wood filler - needs an extra coat of paint but it looks nice. cheers --joe
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civiljoe View Post
Hi - I recently completed installing crown molding in my house, which has plaster interior walls and solid masonry exterior walls. I used Loctite Power Grab, and literally glued the molding up. If you're having problems finding a stud this can help, and you won't risk cracking the plaster. Where there were unavoidable gaps I put in paintable wood filler - needs an extra coat of paint but it looks nice. cheers --joe
Joe,
I did a bedroom in my house that way something like twenty years ago. The crown has stayed up there just fine. Congrats on your job. Feels good, doesn't it?
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:34 PM   #7
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Installing crown molding


I have to add that these days, sometimes all I do is simply nail up a plain old 'firring strip'. No bevels or anything.
Doesn't give you quite as much wood to hit with a nail , but it works just fine too.

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