Installing Crown Molding: Page 1 of 2
Content this Page: Eight Pictures with Text
Coping Crown Molding: Video Link to video index.

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Installing Crown Molding: Making the Cuts

Cutting crown molding from a template.

Saved the Crown Molding Template for installing the crown.

It's nice, I've discovered, to save the crown molding fabrication templates for further use. Here the crown radius was re-scribed and the pilasters marked in the position where they would be on the cabinets. My templates are usually the cleanest thing on the job. The crown molding is sitting upside down with the top on the far side.

Cutting crown molding returns from a template.

Above, the intersections of the short mitered crown molding returns are marked out on the crown template.

Cutting crown molding: marking  for cuts.

Above, the intersections are transferred from the Crown Template to the Crown Molding itself for cutting.

Installiing crown molding: checking for square.

The Crown Molding above has been slid to the right to check Parallel and Squareness to the Pilaster.

Note the extra length on the longer piece. When I leave extra, I like to leave enough so there is stock on both sides of my saw blade. I've found that saws can slide and moon cut when taking too thin a slice, especially on hardwood..

The apparant miss- mill or missed miter angle did not happen here. I had Jerry Terranova, who does all but the simplest of my radius molding work, go a little wider on the radius stock than on the straight. I've found it much better to slightly fair in a couple feet of radius, than have many feet of straight stock too heavy. The radius was on its line - the wrap backed off slightly to see the pilaster lines, and everything was parallel.


The Crown Molding has been re-cut and Double Checked

Picture of  crown molding:  wrapping cabinets with crown molding.

Pilaster is Backwards of Course

I like to back relieve nearly everything that is supposed to sit flat on something else.


Picture of crown molding returns.

I Rarely Cut Just one of Anything

Especially when I'm gonna need a bucketful. Those returns are not for that joint. That outside corner got the return pictured below, which received a cope going into it because the adjacent piece was too long and heavy for me to handle easily alone.

These returns went to wraps like the above but were fastened to the mating long pieces on the bench. That way only outside corners (except for the coped one below) were pinned in place on the cabinets.

Notice the screw in that joint. The screw provided protection against my installation enthusiasm. Solid crown molding can have it's advantages.


Coping crown molding.


Checking crown molding for flatness on top.

Double Checking Crown Molding for Flatness

In addition to being faster and easier on the body, assembling crown upside down on a flat bench ensures that nothing is rocked, and the tops remain flat and straight (or, in this instance, flat and curved to the correct radius as drawn on the template).

This technique works equally well for regular crown with the addition of a perpendicular back, or fence, to the work bench. So long as the crown touches both fence and benchtop - or is parallel to the fence, in the case of pilaster wraps - it has to be flat and straight.

The crown molding above has been tacked in place, and the scrap plywood is just sitting on top as a flatness check.

You may have noticed that the face frame stiles of the two cabinets above are not the same width. This is because I use wider stock for door rails than for door stiles, and when ripping stock, I go for maximum yeild per board. This way I find I can match color and graining better.

If I wind up with sticks wider than necessary for stiles, I rip them after doors are glued up. In this case, there was no need to rip down the face frame stile, and then throw the scrap into the dumpster so I could pay to have it dumped. (Continued on next page).

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Overview | Forming and Bending Section
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