A couple of questions about crown molding


Q1: The crown molding we purchased has a very decorative pattern. It is very similar to the third molding shown on this site:
http://www.invitinghome.com/Crown_Molding/Molding_List.htm
While it is possible to match the pattern when making a scarf or butt joint, it is not possible in the corners. What is the best way to handle the inside and outside corners? Just make the cut and match the best you can? Use some caulk to feather in the mismatched contours? Show guests your new crown molding with the lights dimmed?
Q2: We have bull-nosed outside corners. This means there will be a small gap at the bottom where the molding meets in these corners. Would it be best to cut small quarter round plugs out of 1" thick wood that would slip up into these gaps? Or does it work just as well to fill the gap with a little caulk, smooth it out, and let it go at that?
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GREAT questions........................
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I'd post these questions in rec.woodworking, too. You should be buried in responses by the end of the day.
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On Wed, 07 Feb 2007 16:59:37 GMT "JoeSpareBedroom"

Thanks for the tip. I was not aware of that group.
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I'm betting you'll be needing to use those decorative blocks that go at corners, and which help you avoid having to miter/cope the angle. Also, as far as your bullnose corner, aforementioned blocks would likely have the same issue (unless you could somehow contour its inside edge before installing), and IMHO is best resolved with caulking...
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You might want to check This Old House. Tom Silva did a segment on how to properly cut corner joints so they will match.
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:

I have used the blocks you suggested in the past. But, I left out one bit of information. In these rooms I have several corners that are not 90 degree angles. This means the blocks are not a viable solution.
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wrote:

Use blocks that aren't 90 degrees either. For corners that are nearly 90 degrees, you can bevel the edges to match, and for those that are closer to 45, or 135, you'll probably have to make up custom blocks, or use turned spools.
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wrote:

The two options I can come up with are: (1) Carefully pare off enough of the pattern at the corners to get to a blank space, and have featureless molding through the turn. (2) Use corner blocks.
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Splitting the corner may make it easier, see here: http://www.askthebuilder.com/555_Installing_Fancy_Crown_Molding_Corners.shtml or http://tinyurl.com/2oyhuu
Best is probably the blocks as already suggested.
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You can get the two peices coming out of the corner to match each other if and only if the pattern at the join has left/right symmetry.(*) With the top one, you'd have to be really careful to place the molding so that the grape clusters don't appear on the corner at either end.
(*) Umm.. I don't precisely mean symmetry, but I don't know how to say what I DID mean.. SOmething like: you have to be able to find a section of the pattern that is a reflection of the the part that feeds into the corner...
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This book explains it all in a very easy-to-understand manner .. .. .. I've used it for reference many times over thae past 4-5 years .. .. ..
http://www.compoundmiter.com/molding.html

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Ike wrote:

Yes, it is.
You need to ensure that at each corner the molding coming from the left and that coming from the right are exact mirror-images of each other. This will mean wasting a bit of molding at each join in order to match the pattern, as well as some very careful trimming to get it just right.
However, while it's possible to match any particular joint, you may end up not being able to match the last joint in a room. I have no idea what would normally be done in this case--maybe design your molding application so that it doesn't actually cover every surface so that you never have that last "impossible" joint?
Chris
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On Wed, 07 Feb 2007 15:38:06 -0600, Chris Friesen

Find a semi-inconspicuous place to add another joint midway between corners.
Because the best solutions always involve another joint.
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On Wed, 07 Feb 2007 15:38:06 -0600 Chris Friesen

I did not know it is possible to make cuts so that the joints became mirror images when their is a repeating pattern. I had looked at my test cuts and had come to the conclusion it was not possible. Looks like I need to make a few more test cuts as practice.

Luckily for me, in the largest room with the most joints the crown molding ends at a curved soffit. In another smaller room I'll make the last joint the one in the dark corner.
Thanks to everyone for their very helpful suggestions. I plan to take my time, measure carefully, and make test cuts on some scrap ends I have from a previous project before cutting the real pieces. With a bit of luck I should end up with a job I can be proud of.
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Just being repeating isn't good enough, the pattern has to have a reflection. If you had molding with, for instance, a bunch of tigers on it, all facing left, then it won't work. If one bit of molding is cut through the middle of a left facing tiger, then the other peice has to be cut through a right-facing tiger. (Of course, if it's a zoomorphic pattern, it's going to look a bit strange anyway...)
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The high density foam crown molding (moulding sp?) I am using is C814 on this site:
http://www.architectural-ornament.com/productList.aspx?catId
It does have a repeating pattern, but not one that I am sure a mirror image can be made in all cases. When I click the "Enlarge Photo" button and zoom in on the mitered corner I cannot tell if the seam is a mirror image or has been filled with caulk. Any opinions?
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wrote:

You can always match one corner, and pick that corner that is most noticeable. Crown molding requires some fuss because in the end it is easily on display for everyone to see your mistakes. Don't depend on caulk to cover up bad mistakes.

Walls are not perfect and you can only bed molding so much to conform so you will have gaps. Fill larger gaps by gluing in scraps of wood, sand smooth, caulk, paint. For stained molding more skill is required. Patience is a good thing.
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