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First time for Crown molding!

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  • First time for Crown molding!

    Any tips for a first time crown molding project. Let me tell you what I am thinking of and you tell me what you would do different. This should be a relatively easy room for a first timer with crown - 11-1/2 x 15-1/2, 4 inside corners, and with 12' material only 2 scarf joints.
    The pattern I have selected is the lightweight MDF. I looked at the finger joint pine and the joints which were every 6" or so showed thru the pre-primer, and I could feel a lot of them so I am thinking the MDF. It also had far fewer dings than the pine moldings. Don't want to pay for stain grade and then paint it.
    The material is about 3-5/8 wide and is a 45 deg. back angle. I was thinking of cutting triangle strips out of 2x4s and screwing them to the top plate, and then nailing the bottom of the molding thru to the stud, and the top of the molding to the triangle strips instead of trying to hit ceiling joists. The triangle strips would be held 1/8-1/4 back from the back of the crown so it can pull tight. I have a 16 or 18 ga. air finish nailer. I have done a lot of base and can cope reasonably well.

    Thoughts, tips, suggestions?? Thanks in advance!

    Jim

  • #2
    Re: First time for Crown molding!

    I have put up more crown mldg than I care to remember, so I will give you my thoughts.
    1. Do the two 11-1/2 foot walls first.
    2. Cope a twelve footer and put up one on each of the 15-1/2 foot walls. cut the other end at an angle (I like to use 22-1/2 degrees)
    3. Cope a shorter piece (about 4 foot) and hold it up to get the length and cut it at the angle of the twelve footer.
    Five twelve foot pieces will give you enough material with one 4' left over ( in case you goof up. :-) )
    Your idea for the backing strips sounds good, especially if there is no backing on the two sides where the walls run parallel to the ceiling joist.

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    • #3
      Re: First time for Crown molding!

      For that size crown you don't need the backer strips. Just nail into the wall studs and cross-nail into the ceiling and use a little construction adhesive.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First time for Crown molding!

        Just a quick question.

        Why the big move to coping crown molding? I've always just measured and mitered all inside (and outside) corners. I guess I'm curious because i've never coped any in.

        Mark
        Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

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        • #5
          Re: First time for Crown molding!

          Coping compensates for out of square inside corners, and keeps the joints tight.

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          • #6
            Re: First time for Crown molding!

            I like to cope for the fun of it sometimes but IMHO it isn't as far superior a technique as it used to be with todays precise miter saws. I'm not an old timer by any means, but having done a lot of both methods, stain grade, paint grade and pre-stained for cabinet work I would probably go with miters in the situation you describe.

            My thoughts on coping is a it is bit of an art. Base is a lot easier to cope than crown, but crown isn't terribly hard, but to make clean joints you need a little practice. It is fun if you want to take on the challenge of a new skill. The main benefit to it as I have been told is that when buildings settle and/or wood expands and contracts it won't clam shell open. Since you are thinking about using mdf there will be no expansion or contraction to worry about. Since it is going to be painted and a quality painters caulk applied before painting we can assume, unless you massacre the cuts you should be able to make very nice corners that will last just fine and paint up beautifully.

            As for corners that are not square I always used a sliding bevel square and a speed square to get the angle more precise and math to set my miter saw. Another way if math isn't your friend is to cut trial pieces, they never lie.

            Turn your material upside-down and measure from long point to long point holding your work against the table and fence securely and you will get good results. When scarfing I like to hold the crown flat against the fence and cut at a 22 degree angle so there is not a long angled joint, but a short straight one I can nail through.

            Good luck! Crown is always a satisfying project!


            Eli
            Last edited by woodenstickers; 11-21-2008, 03:14 AM.
            A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

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            • #7
              Re: First time for Crown molding!

              One of the reasons to cope is there is no other way. Last weekend I built three chases in bedrooms to hide retrofitted air conditioning ducts. The ceilings all had crown moulding. Unless I removed the crown moulding and recut it I had to cope. It is really not a big chore and it is fun when the joints come out well.

              -Tom

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              • #8
                Re: First time for Crown molding!

                Well, many thanks to all who responded to this thread! I got the crown up but am not real pleased with a couple of the corners. The pattern that I chose looked like a simple profile, and is from a painting standpoint, but it was a ***** to cope and get tight. It has half round protrusions top and bottom which were difficult to cope and get them to clear. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely miter and glue. Especially since the house has veneer plaster with sand swirl in it and it tends to get rough in the corners. But it is done and I fixed up what I could with putty/caulk. All that remains is to see what it looks like with paint!

                Sorry, no pics on this one. I will only post pics of what I am proud of!!

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                • #9
                  Re: First time for Crown molding!

                  I like coping crown,the trick i learned over the years is roll the crown up or down the wall to get tight joints. When you tun crown solo tack in the middle so you can move the ends. Trick for next time.....
                  If you choose not to decide,you still have made a choice.

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                  • #10
                    Re: First time for Crown molding!

                    I'll just toss this out as a "just in case" thing. All the crown i've installed has NOT been a 45 degree bevel back side. It's machined at 38 and 52 degrees so the crown mounts a little farther down on the wall and not at a true 45 degree angle. Don't know if this is a regional thing or just my supplier but really screwed me up first time I ran into it and was "trying" to use my compound miter sheet for cutting flat on the table. Almost ruined about 300 bucks worth of Alder 5 1/4 crown with rope molding. I was NOT happy and they (my supplier) got a very heated call from me during the job.

                    Anyway, just something to watch for.
                    Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First time for Crown molding!

                      The trick to cope and make it fit the first time is that you have to imagine the wood in place on the wall. It is easier to demonstrate than to explain, but I will try. You cut the 45 to get your pattern by putting it into the saw upside down with the vertical being the wall and the horizontal being the ceiling. When you are standing over your cope, hold the molding in the same orientaion, look strait down at it while you are cutting and you will see if your cut is taking out enough meat or not.

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