Cutting Crown Molding by Hand

I'm building a mantle for my fireplace, and I need to make 2 corners from crown molding.
I do not have a compound miter saw. None of my local hardware stores will make the cuts for me, and none of them sell a miter box with the required angles built in. Is it reasonable to try and make those cuts by hand? I figure I can approximate the angles to within +/- 10 degrees, then use sandpaper until the edges fit together right. Am I fooling myself?
-TC
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TC wrote:

Well, -10 degrees wouldn't be much good and I sure wouldn't want to sand off +10 degrees but cuts like this were made long before there were compound miter saws. Or power saws period.
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Why not build a mitre box (three boards) to fit the molding and have a lumber yard or friend cut in the required slot using either a radial arm saw or a power mitre box? Failing that just lay out the angles on the box yourself and cut it by hand. Then you can cut all the molging you want.

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You can always tell comments from those who have been there and done that. Well posted.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Make your own custom miter box with the angle you desire. The box is just three pieces of scrap lumber, but make it so you can secure it to a work bench with clamps. Moldings are normally cut upside down, with the bottom of the molding resting against the vertical back of the miter box and the top of the molding resting on the horizontal surface of the miter box. Make your box such that your molding rests in this manner and you'll save yourself grief. The cuts will be quick and easy after you make the box. Using sandpaper to correct a bad cut is not something you want to do. After you fit and glue the corner together burnish it with a few light strokes using a screw driver shaft.
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plus or minus 10 degrees isn't even in the ballpark for crown. Even a 1 degree error is quite obvious. sanding it to perfection from there? Nah.
David
TC wrote:

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Your putty or filler will hide any mistakes you make, perfectly. So go for it.
Pj
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Thanks for all the advice. I was preparing to make my own miter box, as recommended, when I ran into a bit of luck. A complete stranger at the hardware store offered to lend me his chopsaw. Actually, he insisted. I kept the saw overnight and made all the cuts I needed.
A complete stranger. Really!
-TC

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