measuring for crown molding

Okay, total lame-o question here:
Gotta measure a room for crown molding. I know enough to bet that wall-to-wall distance at ground level is not likely to apply to ceiling level. So I should do my measuring up where the wall hits the ceiling to determine proper cut length for the molding. Problem is, the stupid tape measure sags and kinks and falls before it reaches the opposing wall. Darn frustrating when atop a ladder.
So -- how do you smart guys do it?
--
Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
71 Type 2: the Wonderbus
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On 12/7/2004 10:06 PM US(ET), Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Guys (plural), at least one of which is smart enough to read a tape measure. Put the other guy at the 'stupid' end. ...or one guy and one gal (positioned as above).
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A finish brad in the far corner, and hook the point of the tape over that, or even a wad of duct tape holding the tape tight to the corner. Unless your room is real small, you will be using more than one stick of trim per wall anyway, so the corner-to-corner measurement doesn't matter that much. (You want a lap joint, not a square butt.) If the walls are crooked, recommend you look at the foam crown mold- much more forgiving. If you don't do trim work for a living, plan on messing up the first few cuts- buy an extra stick or two. You may wanna google the threads about coping inside corners and figuring the miters for outside corners....
aem sends....

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One way is to carefully measure both directions from a mark near the center. Or get something rigid and light like aluminum channel or PVC pipe, measure the length, use it to measure partway, and measure the rest with your rule. It can be pretty hard to install one-piece crown molding with mitered corners and get the joints tight. If you know how to do it, coping the corners makes it easier to get tight joints. Another possibility is to make joints somewhere between the corners. In other words, use two pieces for each wall. Do not be surprised if the corners are pretty uneven. Cutting part of the point off the mitered ends may be required. Hope this helps. Don Young "Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"

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Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott wrote:

ceiling
to
tape
If you want the easy way out go with a laser measurement system (laser ruler or laser tape measure). They are cheap enough now that one can afford it to take that little hassle out a one man job.
http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/602-9835517-1286261?_encoding=UTF8&frombrowse=1&asin 000ALR30
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/602-9835517-1286261?_encoding=UTF8&frombrowse=1&asin 000ALR30
There is no way that a laser measuring device is accurate enough for trim.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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On 12/8/2004 12:39 PM US(ET), Robert Allison took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

That one is accurate to 99.5 percent of the distance +/- one inch. Just keep a bucket of caulk handy to finish up. :-)
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On Tue, 07 Dec 2004 19:06:02 -0800, "Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"

When you buy the molding, add 1 extra foot to each measurement. To measure a wall you can put a temporary drywall screw in the corner to hold the measuring tape end (the small hole will be covered by the molding anyway). Another way is to get a friend to hold the tape end.
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Thanks all for the excellent suggestions. I just checked out the the laser/sonic measuring device and its accuracy is +/- 0.5% @ 10 feet. Which comes to +/- 5/8'' max error. I reckon the wavelength of the ultrasound pulse is too long for better accuracy.
I like the idea of a brad or drywall screw - totally obvious solution. Easier than roping my wife into standing on a ladder, too.
--

Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
71 Type 2: the Wonderbus
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"Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott" wrote:

You might also invest in a "Fat Max" tape. Mine stand out horizontally to 11'.
--
Robert Allison
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On 12/8/2004 2:59 PM US(ET), Robert Allison took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Have you gotten a blood blister on the end of your thumb from that extra tab on the top of the tape end yet?
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willshak wrote:

After the first 10 or so, I learned. It is amusing when someone asks to borrow your tape. You can just stand back and wait for the "ouch!"
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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I am tired of all the clone tapes and new designs. I asked Santa to just give me the old fashioned chromed plastic Stanley tapes back, 25 or 30 foot, best clip in the industry.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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DanG wrote:

I am not sure who you are responding to here, but the fat max is about as standard as you can get, it is a stanley, but it is wider. I do alot of measuring for estimates by myself. I can easily take measurements that with an ordinary tape, would require a second person.
I, too, don't care for all of the "inovations". The final straw is the new electric tape that is out for Xmas this year. Have you seen it? It extends with the push of a button. We all know how hard it is to have to pull that tape out manually!
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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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