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How do I cut crown molding in this shape?

Posted by weedyacres (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 10, 07 at 11:24

I'm putting crown molding in our master bath, and need to go around a couple columns we put up. I cut as close as I can get to the shape with a jigsaw, but it's pretty crude. How can I get a shape that will conform to the column, albeit with a generous serving of caulk? A Dremel? Coping saw? Any other tips? The roundish part is the pain...the square part is ok.
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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How do I cut crown molding in this shape?

I would pare away the wood to conform to the quarter-round part of the capital. The wood needs to be "back cut" or relieved so that it touches first at the front, where the joint is. I would use a razor-sharp chisel. It could as well be done with a wood-carving knife or gouge. The keyword is "sharp".
AFAIK, the piece is still salvageable, so keep paring away!
If you have a dremel, there is a small drum sanding attachment that may help.

RE: How do I cut crown molding in this shape?

I would tend to do the same as S_M suggests.

You can lay out the cut line with a "jigger" tool. This is harder to explain than do. You simply make a wedge-shaped piece of wood with a couple of saw-tooth cut-outs on one edge. Lay up a piece of paper and then put the point of the wedge in the critical and transition points and trace around the whole thing. Take down the paper and you can create the exact profile on the back of your molding or yet another pattern piece.

I would use a coping saw, or if the piece is small enough, a band saw to trim the profile.

I would tend to use a pattern maker's rasp instead of a chisel, but I could live with either.

Back cutting is important.

Do this profile before you cut the other end to length (assuming it's a butt or miter at the other end). You always should do the hardest part first before cutting to length. Best case scenario: you can just butt the other end into the wall and cope the adjoining piece to make an inside miter.

RE: How do I cut crown molding in this shape?

There is a technique called coping that forms a sharp edge at the joining end of molding. It is basically back angle cutting of the proflie of the molding. That produces a sharp edge onm the molding that is more easily shaped using rotary tools or cabinet makers files(half round woodworking files). You would need to copy the profile of the column---a profile copy tool will do that---and transfer that to the crown. Then cope the profile cut and 'sweeten'(shape) the edge to match.

A book on ftrim installation will show the cope process.

RE: How do I cut crown molding in this shape?

Thought I'd report back to all those of you that offered suggestions. I bought a profile copy tool and a coping saw, but lost patience with the manual work it all entailed. Finally DH went out to Harbor Freight and brought home a scroll saw and a small belt sander, and they made the work immensely easier. Here's the finished product.

Thanks again for all of your ideas.

RE: How do I cut crown molding in this shape?


Nice job on the moulding, but what caught my eye was the texture/design on your ceiling.

OT .... It looks very similar to the one done in our home in 1975 by a man who started out doing plaster on the East coast. He used a round natural bristle brush on a pole and touched it against the ceiling which had been covered with fresh taping mud. I've never seen another one like it.

RE: How do I cut crown molding in this shape?

Really? It's fairly common around here. It's called a "stomp" texture and I had to do some research to figure out how to do it. We've had to do some ceiling repair along the way. And we're the (proud?) owners of a stomp brush. It's not my favorite texture, but I don't dislike it enough to take it out.

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