How to Cut Crown Molding How to Cut Crown Molding

What You'll Need
Miter box and hand saw
Electrical compound miter saw (optional)
360 Degree adjustable protractor
Hammer and finishing nails
Pin nailer and air compressor
Wood putty
Paint (to match room dcor)
Tape measure
Crown molding
Sandpaper (100 to 220 grit)
Block plane

How to cut crown molding can be easy if you follow a specified set of simple instructions and use a standard set of required tools. Having a technique and efficient tools can make this task easy, affordable and quick.

Step 1. Measure Room Area

Begin by carefully measuring the areas where crown molding will be installed. Measure distances as approximately as possible, allowing for extra molding where corners and angles meet. Be sure to include extra molding for experimental cuts on scrap pieces which are necessary to prevent wasted incorrect final cuttings.

Step 2. Determine Required Angles

Using scrap pieces of wood begin at one corner of the ceiling and mark the wood to approximate the angles to be cut. You can also use a protractor that will measure 360 degrees to determine the angles to be cut. The two kinds of cuts you will need to make will be the outside and inside corner cuts. Don’t be disappointed if the corners of your home are not perfect angles, this is not uncommon. Just be patient, measure carefully and adjust as necessary. Another helpful technique is to use a Sharpie marker to clearly mark LH for left mounting pieces and RH for right sides.

Step 4. Making the Cuts

The measured angles can be cut on either the electrical compound miter saw, or the much less expensive miter box and hand saw. Place a scrap of molding upside down and backwards on either the electrical miter saw or miter box. Focus on making a slow, deliberate cut. Place the scrap pieces of cut, angled pieces next to each other and see if there is a tight fit. Once satisfied with a dry, tight fit, transfer these angles to the lengths of molding that will be affixed to the ceiling and walls. 

An alternate method for cutting the molding is to place the molding against the miter saw fence (again either electric or hand saw will work) just as it will fit against the ceiling. Make your cut and dry fit the pieces just like they will be installed between the ceiling and the wall. With a little practice, your cuts will become more precise.

Step 5. Final Adjustments

Sandpaper or a block plane can help with making the final adjustments to fit molding along a ceiling and to trim inaccurate cuts from the miter saws. To remove excess wood faster use a block plane to trim along the cuts or borders of the molding. To remove less wood and for slight adjustments use sandpaper. Take a sheet of sandpaper and adhesive. Spray the back of the sandpaper with the adhesive and then attach it to a block of wood such as a scrap 2x4. This will give a straight surface on which to sand and will efficiently remove wood without skewing the angle of the molding.

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