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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,

I'd like to ask a couple questions before we start ordering new cabinets for our kitchen.

The manufacturer says the crown molding is 4.5 inches wide, which I calculate (at 45 degree angle) as 3.25 inches of vertical clearance needed. Just for clarification, is this correct? (I've only done crown molding a couple of times and I remember setting them at 45 but I'm not sure if all crown is angled such or not.)

I also started thinking about the installation and I have no idea how to install crown molding without a solid corner behind it. How is this done? Do you build up a vertical off the top of the cabinet or is it just open air behind the crown?
 

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bzguy
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The crown has a flat spot at bottom around 3/4" that gives you some wiggle-room for clearance, it doesn't necessarily have to all touch the box.
If you miter it correctly and use glue and brad nailer at bottom and from both angles through upper corners, then fill with filler or fill-stick, no backing is needed.
The also make a 2 part glue, one part is in a spray can, you have about 2 seconds to get the joint right and then it's "welded".
 

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My kitchen cabinets, Merillat came with the house, has Merillat crown on the top with no soffit. This crown has a piece that sits on top of the cabinets and is nailed into the cabinet sides and or top stile. You could make yours up to be like this by nailing through the lower edge of the crown into the base / backer then install like mine is.

From the end it looks like this
 

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Old School
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This might simplify your installation. The top of the cabinets should finish at 84" from the floor. With standard ceiling height, you may not have enough room for installing cleats or blocking. In the drawing below, notice that A and B edges will be close to 90 degrees to each other. No need to concern yourself with spring angle.

Your cabinets could be a face framed cabinet with inset doors, which, would have a full rail across the top. Since crown looks good if there is some protrusion with the face of B. If the crown is mounted on top of the rail, visually with the full face of the rail showing may look a bit out of scale. In that condition, a cleat can be mounted to the top of the cabinet flush to the front of the rail, so the edge of
A mounts to it and the bottom (B) drops down on the face of the rail.

Or, mount A to the face of the rail at a point that is visually appealing. The same can be done with overlay doors, and a pleasant spacing between the top of the doors and the bottom of the crown is attained.

Here's a tip for installing crown. It's pretty darn tiring to install the crown after the cabinets are installed...climbing up and down a ladder. When I have to install cabinets and crown, I set them up as they go while in the shop. I cut a cleat that fits the front edge (and returns if present) of the cabinet, out of ¾" plywood about 4"-6" wide. I cut and fit the cleat to the tops of the cabinets and install the crown to the face of the cleat (on the ¾" edge). I load up the cabinets and the cleat/crown assembly separately. When I get on site, the cabinets go up, and the crown assembly gets set in place on the tops of the cabinets and gets fastened in place...no measuring or cutting.

When cutting crown, you don't have to go through the fire drill of cutting upside down and backwards and having different miter/bevel settings. Stand your crown on the table of the miter saw on the B edge pushed back to the fence, so the
A edge is against the fence, and the top of the crown is leaning toward you. Cut a wedge from scrap to fit behind the crown to hold it at that angle, and secure the wedge to the fence.

When cutting the miters, simply set the crown up that way for right and left 45 degree miter settings. IOW, the crown is standing on the saw table just like it will be on the cabinet, and the corners will be a 45 degree cut...very easy to do. HTH.
crown inst.jpg








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Old School
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A few more general tips. Since you will be using brad nails through the face of the crown, orient the gun to shoot the brad with the "T" shape of the head to run with the grain.

When laying out the lengths of crown, pick the longest ones for the longest runs of the cabinets. You don't want to start cutting up long pieces for the short runs. If by chance you need to connect two runs due to length, use a scarf joint. Fasten to one side a cleat on the backside to the flat before installing, and when mating up the second piece you'll have a backer to fasten to. Use some glue on the edges.

As in any woodwork, try to select pieces that are close in color and grain (if not a painted finish), before installing.





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If the cabinets don't go to the ceiling I usually make the top of the cabinet extend past the front so when the crown is installed the top is flush so people can set stuff on top of the cabinet if they wish.

When installing the trim against the ceiling it is usually easier if you put some blocking behind it instead of being completely hollow. Otherwise you have to measure and mark a line to install it to keep bottom of it consistantly the same distance from the ceiling or in the corners the miters won't match up well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay, I'm getting ready to do my install and it occurred to me that I don't know what to do about outside corners where the face frame sticks out beyond the side panel of the cabinet. I have two of these and would like to ask you fine folks what you do when you make these corners. It seems to me there will be a gap somewhere along the side panel rather then the crown being flush with the edge, or there will be face frame that sticks beyond the crown at the corners.

Suggestions on what I'm overlooking?
 

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The face frame usually sticks out 1/4" past the box for a scribe.You should have ordered some end panels for these open ended cabinet to make them flush with the face frame.
 

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If there are no finished panels to flush out the ends (and some cabinet manuf. can't seem to get the panel thickness to match the frame projection anyway) I usually cut out the face frame so the crown will sit flat on the cabinet. A small dovetail saw and a sharp chisel or utility knife get the job done. Make sure to use the touch up pen provided with the cabinets on the bare wood prior to installing the crown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We chose not to order the decorative end panels for these particular cabinets as they are next to a window and over the sink.

C'man, the crown will be installed on top of the face frame, flush with the front of the frame.

I'll see what the wife thinks about cutting the frame corner to accommodate the crown, at least as one option.
 

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C'man, the crown will be installed on top of the face frame, flush with the front of the frame.

I'll see what the wife thinks about cutting the frame corner to accommodate the crown, at least as one option.
Frank, I'm posting the same image I used before, and here's what I would do. Tack the "A" part of the crown to a run of ¾" plywood that will sit on top of the cabinets. Stain out the underside. Bring it out forward so that the front corner of "B" is in line with the face of the doors. For the finished end you can bring it out to the scribe or a bit further.

Personally I like that look better than having the front corner of "B" back on the plane of the face frame. If you like the look with the crown back that far, then just install it out as far as the scribe for the end.
87918d1390955819t-cabinet-crown-molding-crown-inst.jpg




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We chose not to order the decorative end panels for these particular cabinets as they are next to a window and over the sink.

C'man, the crown will be installed on top of the face frame, flush with the front of the frame.

I'll see what the wife thinks about cutting the frame corner to accommodate the crown, at least as one option.
When you say on top of the face frame, do you mean on top of the cabinet? Is part A or B in the above going to be in contact with the cabinet.

I made my statement assuming A is mounting flat to the face frame. That is when I would notch a small section in the top of the frame where the crown turns the corner. If it is being installed on top of the cabs, then you'll need to do something similar to what cabman stated. Though if pre finished cabinets, matching the finish might be tough. In which case, install a mounting block so that A is on the same plane as the cab face. It might be helpful to see what crown you purchased, lots of these companies have crown pre assembled and finished with the bottom return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Our crown molding is prefinished and has profile quite similar to the one in C'man's example. I have some backing that will be flush with the face frame with the A side in C'man's example on that and the B side basically right at the top of the face frame. I may just order the extra decorative panels to make everything look complete then it will be a non-issue.

Thanks for all the advice and suggestions.
 

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Here is what I did. Wanted the crown to go right to the ceiling and run out from the cabinets to the wall and carry all around the room.

  • Routed a profile onto an L-shaped piece that I screwed from above to the top of the uppers
  • Routed a profile onto nailers that attached to the ceiling and to the L-shaped piece
  • Ran that all around the cabinets and walls (helpful so I could shim where it wasn't level)
  • Then nailed the crown to that
  • Matched paint to cabinet color...filled, sanded, painted.
 

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