In this post, I’m going to focus on cutting crown molding and creating templates that make installation easy (ish). I’ve decided to break up crown molding tips into sections because I’ve been trying to create an all inclusive video tutorial for two weeks now and it’s NOT GOING WELL. Trying to cover how to cut and install crown and make sure I cover ALL the tips and tricks for installing when you’re working ALONE and then show you how to fix the imperfections with your finishing…
There is just TOO much information to include at one time and I start feeling like I just threw up crown molding instructions.
SO let’s break it on down! There are several different common crown molding angles but we’re only going to focus on the most common, the 38. That’s what most home improvement stores carry.
This method of cutting crown molding can be done with any miter saw.
Refer to my “How to use a Miter Saw” video if you need some pointers in that area before you begin.
*These two things are constant with this method.
- Set your miter saw to bevel left at 33.9 degrees. (You saw might say 33.8 — the .1 degree is not enough of a difference to matter.)
- Your crown molding always lays flat on the saw.
*These two things will change depending on the cut you are making.
- Miter will change between right and left (but at the same setting of 31.6 degrees).
- Sometimes the bottom of the molding will rest against the fence. Sometimes it will be the top. (The bottom of the molding has the decorative profile.)
It is easy to get confused about what you need to cut: Inside left, inside right, outside right or outside left?
You can think about it logically:
Inside corners are 90 degrees. Outside corners are 270.
Inside corners turn IN on each other. Outside corners turn OUT away from each other.
OR you can make a set of templates which give you a visual guide! You hold your templates up in the corner you are trying to cut crown molding for and figure out what is what. Easy peasy!
I’ve been doing this for a good long while and I still get confused EVERY TIME. My brain is very creative and visual. It doesn’t translate, “left outside corner” into any kind of usable information for me. I HAVE to look at my visual guide — EVERY TIME.
I tell you this so no one out there feels inadequate or silly or not smart because they find this confusing. I do too! BUT, you CAN do it…just make the templates and give it a try.
Templates take the AHHHHHHHHHH out of crown molding. ;-)
Make your templates
I’ve included a close up of each template. Use the crown molding you plan on installing in your home to create your templates because they not only make determining your cuts easier, they also come in handy when you are installing your crown.
Remember that your saw is set to bevel left at 33.9 degrees and the molding lays flat — for all these cuts.
*The “bevel” is the vertical tilt.
Cut each template about 12″ long according to the instructions below each picture and then write the instructions directly onto each template. In SHARPIE!
Now you should have four of your very own crown molding templates that are going to make your job so much easier you’ll want to kiss them…or me for sharing my secrets with you!
In all seriousness, crown molding is still tricky business because you are usually working with very LONG pieces, climbing ladders, climbing ladders with very long pieces, working with another person who may not like climbing ladders…or worse yet, trying to install crown ALL BY YOURSELF which I think is plumb crazy–but it is doable.
So no, these templates won’t suddenly make everyone a professional crown molding installer who can measure four walls, go cut four pieces and nail them all into place with not another trip to the saw!
But they should at least clear up any confusion about what cut needs to be made where!
*Also, if you corners are our of square, you’ll either have to make micro adjustments to your saw settings to get a perfect corner joint. OR, you can be like me and fudge perfection with wood putty and caulk.
Good luck! :-)
Tags: crown molding, projects and tutorials, trim