Crown Molding Copping both ends

jerry_njJuly 14, 2011

I have three walls done in a room that is about 18' by 11'10".

The walls under 12' work nicely with a 12' length of crown molding, yes obvious. Anyway, I install one unbroken turn on the 12' wall opposite the entry door and made the two ends of this run Butt joints to walls. Thus, it was easy to fine-tune the length to fit nicely - small gap at each end. I then copped a joint for each of the two side walls (18') making a scarf joint and ending in a butt join against the remaining wall. Best or not this is what I have done.

Now, I think it would be nice to take another 12' and cope the ends of it to meet the two butt joins coming from the side walls. But! I do not believe I am that good a cope so I think the best thing I can do is buy a 12' length of molding (this is the 38 degree and small crown molding - room has 8' ceiling) and cut a scarf joint about midway. Then I can cut independently each of the cope joints and fine tune the length at the easier scarf joint. I have an accurate power miter saw and can cut small adjustments in the length at the scarf joint.

This will leave me with one scarf joint on this run, as I also have on the 18' run. I am confident I can make it fit this way, not sure I can if I try to adjust at the cope joint.

Any views, does the plan sound Ok, even good/normal?

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Correction, make that "coping" cut with a coping saw.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:07PM
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I avoid having both ends coped since it means you have to hit the length perfectly.

My customers would be pretty ticked off with an extra scarf joint.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 1:33PM
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If you have a helper to assist with the measuring, it's better.
I always leave the last 16" of an open crown un-nailed, so I can tap the joint closed. Even if you have the right cope, if the other side of the corner is not oriented to match, it will taper open. Tapping the joint more down the wall or more up the ceiling draws the joint together perfectly.
Usually I back off 1/16 from the actual measurement, but for a double-ended cope probably best to leave that 1/16 for a tight snap-in fit.
In actuality, the longer the run, the better you will fare with your double cope. It's really hard to get a 2' one to fit perfectly, because there's no room to spring it into place.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 6:57PM
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Thanks, it sound like my idea of splitting the last wall run into two pieces has no buyers/support.

My problems include lack of a strong helper, my wife can help hold a length up while I attach it. I do not have a pneumatic (or other) nailer so I have to also hold the nail and hammer while holding up my end. This is my first, and likely my last crown molding project. I'm just getting too old for new tricks. I did cut and install with screws a molding backer, just a wedge at 38 degrees, and wide enough to fit the flat back of the molding. So, I can nail anywhere along the length.

I believe the job will work out fine, and no one will notice any joint or splice problems unless they walk along and inspect the job inch-by-inch.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 8:13PM
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"I do not have a pneumatic (or other) nailer ..."

Get a Paslode that uses butane cartridges.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 9:58AM
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If it's paint grade you have a little more room because you can use fillers. Done right you'll never see the joints. You always want to strive for clean cuts, joints, dead on work, but with paint grade projects, you have room for minor errors. Sombriels method of cuttin a tad big and snapping in place works. You want the opposing pieces the copes are running into as right on as you can get concerning the angle.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 10:17AM
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Thanks, this is primed/white and will get semigloss white trim paint. I figured some careful filling and finish sanding at the scarf joints (as well as at the less-than-perfect coped joints) will cover most errors in fit.

It is hot/humid today a good day for some inside (air-conditioned space) work. I'll finish the installation job...I appreciate the good/valuable inputs.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 11:05AM
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I finally got around to installing the last piece of crown molding, with both ends copped. I took the advice here and did a careful measuring (about 11' 10") and cut one piece of molding with a copped joint on each end. To my surprise the piece fit just fine... "with a little bit of luck..." I really can't claim to be able to do such a difficult cut every try, but his time it worked and thus no joints along this wall, or the wall opposite it (but that run is butt ended at both ends. That is easy to cut exactly..)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:29PM
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