Tips for Working with Crown Molding - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 Old 12-12-2016, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
WoodworkingTalk's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 65
View WoodworkingTalk's Photo Album My Photos
Tips for Working with Crown Molding

A well-designed crown molding is the perfect addition to a beautiful case, table or cabinet project. Most furniture moldings are created using one or a combination of a few basic profiles, including the quarter-round, cove, fillets, ogee and bead. While these profiles are easily made using common router bits, the trick is in putting them it together properly when using multiples.

Unless you specialize in furniture woodworking, it may seem intimidating to make and install crown molding. The procedure isnt necessarily harder than other basic joinery and trim work, it does, however, takes some practice. Armed with the following tips, a good router and miter saw, working with and mastering crown molding wont take long.

Cutting Angles

Cutting the molding pieces to the proper angle and length is the main challenge in any creating any type of crown molding. The need for accuracy in the cutting process increases with the width of the molding. The slightest error on a large piece of cove or crown will create an obvious gap in a joint end. However, two options will get around those difficulties.

Make a compound cut by setting the saw blade to cut a bevel and the saw fence at the proper angle to cut a miter. These settings factor in the precise angle of the molding to the spring angle. This trick allows you to cut the molding while its lying flat.

Position the molding so the edge to meet the cabinet lies on the saw bed while the other edge meets the saws fence. Keeping the saw blade upright to the bed, cut standard miters. This is the easiest way to adjust the angle of the cut.
Using an Offset Fence

Profiling an entire edge of raw stock is like jointing a board edge all the original surface is removed to create the profile. When using a standard setup, this method will keep the profiled work piece from riding against the outfeed router fence. For the best support, keep the outfeed fence flush with the cutter while the infeed fence steps in to a depth of about 1/22 of an inch. Make several practice passes on scrap to dial in the offset. Set up the offset fence by drilling a router bit opening in a piece of stock, set the jointer to the proper depth and joint the edge of the fence just to the cutout.

Crown Molding Jigs

Investing in a Crown Molding Miter Jig will ensure that most of your cutting difficulties disappear. This device ensures that every piece of wood you cut is positioned precisely in the saw at the proper angle. Most of these jigs include a reference guide that includes setups for a wide range of commonly used molding sizes.

Molding Cleanup

Properly cut moldings need minimal cleanup before ripping, especially if the profile was created using several bits. Scrapers, files, a shoulder plane and sanding blocks will take off tearout, chatter and tool or burn marks.

Start the process by scraping, using a card scraper cut to loosely fit the profile because it must be scraped at different angles.
Detail files are best for small radii; they leave very small marks that are easily removed by sanding.
Keep sanding to a bare minimum to avoid sanding away the grade.
A satiny hand-made crown molding lends the same touch of elegance to a finely crafted piece of furniture as a silk tie on a well-dressed man. When you build something extraordinary, it deserves the extra effort to finish it up with decorative molding.

Follow on Facebook!
WoodworkingTalk is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old 12-15-2016, 12:34 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: McBride, BC
Posts: 2,214
View Robson Valley's Photo Album My Photos
The installation was the upstairs living room, the miter saw was in the basement work shop.
1. Prepaint all the CM with the correct color.
2. Had no appetite to cut CM over the livingroom carpet.
3. Use about 4'-6' of CM to cut model inside corners and outside corners to make certain that you got all the angles right
and as crutches for weak imaginations such as mine, in the walk downstairs.
4. Once cut, paint the fresh wood ends with black felt marker. This is an optical illusion which makes gaps appear smaller.
There will be gaps because no house is ever built square or if so, never stays square.
Robson Valley is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 12-19-2016, 12:57 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: McBride, BC
Posts: 2,214
View Robson Valley's Photo Album My Photos
HA! I thought so.
a) nobody cares about crown molding
b) the prep, the cutting and the install are a real bitch of a job.
= = = =
It looks OK but never noticed a visitor who cared one sweet rat's patootie.
Robson Valley is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 12-19-2016, 07:31 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 9,594
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
"2. Had no appetite to cut CM over the livingroom carpet."

That is why they invented drop cloths and vacuum cleaners. If you had to walk back and forth to your shop for each cut it is no wonder you do not like the job.

At least park the saw outside the closest door.

GeorgeC is online now  
post #5 of 6 Old 12-19-2016, 11:52 AM
where's my table saw?
woodnthings's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 21,043
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
Search for Miter saw Dust hood ...

There are several folding dust hood for miter saws these days. In the old days a large cardboard box served the same purpose. A DC unit may or may not be needed if the box is large enough and will catch the dust on 45 degree miters.

Shop built solutions can save steps on the job site:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
woodnthings is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 12-19-2016, 04:57 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: McBride, BC
Posts: 2,214
View Robson Valley's Photo Album My Photos
Except for a gap for the hallway, the run was around the living room and dining room, 100' at most, 5 corners.
For some reason, I found the conceptualization of the corners very difficult to hold in my head.
The model corners were the biggest help.
Robson Valley is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HELP! Crown molding issue sherryberry Trim Carpentry & Built-Ins 12 03-04-2016 04:22 PM
Adding bolection molding to wainscoting Danny870 Trim Carpentry & Built-Ins 12 02-14-2016 09:46 AM
Crown molding angle Ddahmsr General Woodworking Discussion 4 01-29-2016 10:08 AM
Sourcing crown molding Parabola General Woodworking Discussion 14 10-16-2015 11:14 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome