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scarfing crown


Crocostimpy's Avatar
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01-19-09, 10:54 AM   #1  
scarfing crown

I'm going to be installing some oak crown molding soon. Try as I might I couldn't find any lengths longer than what I need (if that makes sense). I could only find 12' lengths at the big box stores. Even the local lumber yard only has 14' lengths. I really need some pieces longer than 16'.

Anyways, I'm probably going to have to use shorter lengths to cover the spans. My experience with scarf joints wasn't the greatest the last time I installed crown molding. It helped that I was painting the molding then so I could do some sanding and puttying to help hide the joint. I won't be able to do that on my stained oak molding.

I'm wondering if there is a way to join the pieces before I put them up. When I nailed last time the second piece shifted a little, and that's what messed up the joint. I'm going to try to borrow an air nailer this time so it might go better. The pieces aren't thick enough to use a bisket, and that probably wouldn't work on a scarf joint anyways.

Any advice or tips appreciated.

 
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01-19-09, 11:35 AM   #2  
In order to get a solid piece of crown longer than 14' it woould take a good sized tree; and then it would be hard to transport and install. The scarf joint should be the easiest joint to make if you have a helper hold the trim while you make the joint! An air nailer/stapler will greatly help. I always fit the joint before nailing the first piece solidly; allows for a little wiggle room. The oak will be harder to nail than pine or composit so I would really recommend the air nailer. Good luck!

 
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01-19-09, 12:59 PM   #3  
And remember...the moulding knives wear as they run stuff through. I've had pieces that were almost 1/8" inch narrower. Whether they were from different runs or different mills, I dunno.

Try and use pieces that are exactly the same width. Run your joints so they are angled away from the most common sightlines in the room.


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01-19-09, 01:13 PM   #4  
I've already run into that with door casing. I've got one vertical piece that is so much thinner than the rest that I have to pull it off and replace it with another piece that I hope matches much better.

My neighbor has an air nailer so I should do much better this time.

@mikeTN - I don't know, I've got some pretty tall oak trees in my backyard, but I see your point. ; )

 
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01-19-09, 03:26 PM   #5  
One thing, too, oak grain can vary from wide to really tight, so with your continuing pieces, try to match grains as well as you can so there is not a bit jump at your scarf. It will not be as noticeable in a corner, but will be a neon light on a straight run. Good luck and post some pix when you're through.

 
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01-19-09, 06:47 PM   #6  
Yeah my only problem with that though chandler is that the stuff is so expensive that I can only afford to by a couple pieces at a time. I didn't think about that when I bought these first couple, but I'll definitely think about it when I buy more.

 
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01-20-09, 03:35 AM   #7  
Oh, it's expensive, alright! Here a 1x2 in oak is $1 per linear foot. I just finished a two wall entertainment center for a client, and the oak face framing cost as much as the 13 ply plywood for the carcass. I can only imagine what your crown is costing. Good luck with it!

 
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01-20-09, 01:59 PM   #8  
A 12' long piece of I think 3-1'2" wide crown is almost $25. I wanted to go wider but I can't afford to! I'm going to have to do it a wall at a time. I want to eventually do all the rooms on the ground floor. That will be a long project.

I'll post a couple of pics when I get the first wall of crown up. So far I've installed oak wainscoting in the family room. Our plan is to replace all the dark ranch trim from the 70's with oak. I've also replaced one of the hollow core doors so far with a solid 6-panel door. A marked improvement so far. This is definitely a long term project though. I also need to build some bookcases for the LR. I priced oak veneered plywood over the weekend. I had to find a place to sit down before I fell down!

 
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01-20-09, 06:16 PM   #9  
I know you want to do yours in all oak, but I just finished these for a violin teacher here in our town. He wanted oak cabinet grade plywood for the desktop and the base shelf, but the remainder, since he wanted them painted, I did in poplar. The face frame is 1x2 oak.
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j3...r/DSCF0619.jpg
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j3...r/DSCF0617.jpg

 
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01-21-09, 01:36 PM   #10  
Looks great chandler, but because the rest of the trim in that house is white though it blends in and fits.

I've thought about painting them the same color as whatever we paint the walls, but if I do it and I don't like it then I'm stuck. I'll just suck it up and stockpile the materials until I have enough to build them. It only hurts for a while...

 
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