Crown Molding Introduction
Nothing dresses up a room or a cabinet like the regal
presence of crown molding. This classical accent defines
a project the way a frame embellishes an oil painting.
And with such a wide array of profiles available,
there's a crown molding made to fit every space. Smaller
profiles are used on furniture, casework and cabinetry
(like the dentil crown shown at right), while larger
moldings are used as architectural trim.
So, why hasn't every do-it-yourselfer rushed to the
lumberyard? Well, until now, installing crown molding
really hasn't been a DIY project. Cutting compound
angles and keeping track of inside and outside corners,
all those splices and the molding's various orientations
has been such a nightmare that most folks either call a
pro, or balk at the cost of doing so.
The biggest problem has always been cutting the angles,
rather than the actual installation. There are two
reasons for this. Most crown moldings don't actually sit
against the wall at 45 degrees, and the corners in your
rooms are rarely a perfect 90 degrees.
Two new tools from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
combine to eliminate these problems and make an easy job
of cutting and installing crown molding. The first of
TRUE ANGLE, is a large acrylic protractor which
measures every corner and tells you the exact angle to
set your miter saw. (More on this later.)
The biggest news in crown molding installation is the
Compound Miter Jig. By holding the molding on your
saw's bed at exactly the same angle that it will be
installed on the wall, the jig eliminates all guesswork
and confusing math.
Advantages of the Rockler Compound Miter Jig
It eliminates the need to cope inside corners.
Until now, trim carpenters often installed one piece of
crown molding with a 90 degree cut, then used a coping
saw to cut the actual profile of the molding on the
second piece so it would fit tightly against the first.
Imagine having to make all those complicated cuts, and
ruining a long piece of molding with the slightest
slip-up. The jig lets you create a true miter in every
inside corner: one cut on a power saw does the job.
2. Crown moldings come in so many profiles that
few of them sit against the wall at a perfect 45 degree
angle. The most common deviation is 52/38 (the top of
the molding meets the ceiling at 52 degrees, while the
back meets the wall at 38 degrees), but every
manufacturer has their own specifications. This has
always been one of the biggest headaches in dealing with
crown moldings. The jig solves the problem with a single
adjustment. Hold the molding in place, slide the fence
and lock it. That's it. Do this once for each molding on
the job (which usually means once per job) and you can
throw away the calculator.
3. The Rockler
Compound Miter Jig lets you make compound cuts on a
single plane saw (such as a radial arm saw or most older
miter saws). You no longer need a compound miter saw to
install crown molding.
4. It's incredibly easy to set up and use, and
requires no expert knowledge.
5. It adjusts in seconds. Once the jig is set up
for your molding, there's no need to change it.
6. The old way of installing crown
molding was to have two people each hold a piece of the
molding in opposite corners, then snap chalk lines
around the room. With the Rockler
Compound Miter Jig and a short template that you
make from your crown molding, all that work is