How to Cut Crown Molding with a Miter Saw How to Cut Crown Molding with a Miter Saw

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Crown molding
Miter saw

If you want to learn how to cut crown molding then you will need to learn how to use a miter saw. There are many different types of miter saws and crown molding. No matter which type of saw you have you will be able to make any cut so your molding looks great and fits any type of ceiling.

Step 1: Choose Your Joint

Before you even begin to use your miter saw you need to determine the type of joint you want to cut. There are three different types of cuts that include an outside corner, straight junction and inside corner. 

An inside corner cut is used if the molding meets at an inside corner, and outside corner is used when the molding meets on an outside corner and a straight junction is used when there is no corner but your piece of molding is not long enough.

Step 2: The Inside Corner Cut

For an inside corner you will be cutting your molding at a 45 degree angle. The two pieces will mirror each other so that when put together they will match. Using a miter box can be a great help in this instance as you just follow the guides for a 45 degree angle. You want to hold the molding very securely when cutting it. 

Step 3: The Outside Corner

Cutting an outside corner is very similar to cutting an inside corner. Again you are using 45 degree angle cuts that will mirror each other. If you do not have a miter box than you will need to rotate the saw until it is at the proper angle and lock it into place.

Mark the angle and path of the cut on a test piece of wood first. Hold the wood firmly against the guide and lower the handle so the saw cuts the wood. Make adjustments until you have the cut you want and then cut using the piece of molding.

Step 4: Straight Junction

The straight junction will also use a 45 degree angle but the pieces will not be a mirror image of each other. This type of cut is not used as often but you can seamlessly join two pieces together so that it does not look like there was a break in the molding.

Think of this cut like a jigsaw puzzle as the two sides should match up perfectly when laid down flat.

Step 5: Molding for Cathedral or Sloped Ceilings

  • If you want to put molding on a cathedral ceiling than you will need to make both horizontal and vertical turns.
  • If you are using a compound miter saw than you can do both of these at once by setting the blade tilt and angle of cut. 
  • If you are using a normal miter saw then prop the crown molding against the fence or guide and then set the angle. By propping it up you are compensating for not having a blade tilt angle. This propped cut is also known as the upside down and backwards cut.

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