# Measuring for crown molding - by yourself?

• posted on October 18, 2005, 1:55 pm
I looking for some suggestions on how to measure for crown molding around an approximately 15x15 room with only one person. I have used up my husband's patience already and I'm hoping I can complete this on my own! Would driving a small nail at one corner do the trick? I know this is a dumb question but this is my first time with crown molding and I'd like to get it right. (I have a compound miter saw, a compressor and a nail gun - the tools aren't problem - just the measuring.) Thanks!!
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 11:05 am
Well to measure for how much to buy, you could use the nail at one end to hold the tape measure trick (then buy more than required). Or measure at the floor.
But to measure exactly for cutting the piece, I would want someone else holding the measure at the other end (where the piece will actually go) so I could get an *exact* measurement.
There are all sorts of new-fangled measuring gizmos at the store. Might want to see what they have.
"Christine Cato" wrote in message

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• posted on October 18, 2005, 11:39 am
On Tue, 18 Oct 2005 09:55:05 -0400, Christine Cato

Sounds like you're trying to use a tape measure. Don't. Use a pair of pinch sticks. Take a couple of straight, light weight pieces of wood (like an eight foot 1 x 2 ripped in two), make one 45 degree angled cut on each end to create a point in one plane.
You are going to operate these from near the midpoint of each wall. Extend the sticks in each direction until the ends contact the two intersecting walls and make a pencil line across the two sticks where they overlap. Label this line as "xxxxwall" and move to the next one and repeat. Four trips up the ladder and you have a permanent record of the distances between the walls. Realign the marks for a given wall and measure the distance between the ends of the sticks for your dimensions.
You may need to drive some nails for supports to keep the ends from sagging as you work alone, but the holes can be hidden by the moulding.
Of course, if you cope the joints, you don't need exact dimensions in the first place.
Issue no. 152, December 2002/January 2003 of Fine Homebuilding has an article that would be helpful to you.
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 11:45 pm
wrote:

This is exactly the information she needs. Good post.
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 1:10 pm
Forget measuring -- how do you plan to hang it by yourself?
-Tim
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 2:25 pm
Tim Fischer wrote:

--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 6:41 pm

I'd start with two nails near one corner: One on the bottom mark, the other on the top mark, then set the molding on those two nails, slide it into the corner and nail it up from the free end toward the two nails. Pull the temporary nails when you get the moulding nailed up that far, a dab of spackle on the holes and you'll never know.
John
--
Remove the dead poet to e-mail, tho CC\'d posts are unwelcome.
Mean People Suck - It takes two deviations to get cool.
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 3:04 pm
Thanks for the suggestions. Materials are already purchased based on rough measurements. I think what I am going to do is use more than one piece per run as someone suggested so that I can measure a smaller distance. Its going to be painted, so I think that will be ok. Its an OLD house - so measuring at the floor is not really feasible.
As far as nailing it up - its a small crown, so I think painters tape will support it long enough to tack it up.
Any other suggestions for crown molding before I take the plunge? Thanks!!
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• posted on October 19, 2005, 1:25 am
Well good luck -- doing it by yourself sure seems like the hard way to me. It's going to be pretty hard to get it level if the crown has any bend it in at al...
-Tim
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 6:52 pm
On Tue, 18 Oct 2005 09:10:34 -0500, "Tim Fischer"

Actually, a few small brads underneath will usually do the trick.
--
Larry
snipped-for-privacy@lmr.com
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 1:44 pm
Christine Cato wrote:

In addition to the comments on "how to measure", for pieces longer than about 8-10 ft make the piece roughly 1/16-1/8" longer than the actual measurement. That will allow you to "spring" it into place and make a crisper, tighter joint.
There was an article in FHB not long ago about crown which addresses the question and has lots of other tips from a pro.
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 12:43 pm

FHB? Everyone but me knows what this is?
Bob
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 7:50 pm
wrote in message

Fine Home Building magazine
www.taunton.com
JLC =Journal of Light Construction magazine
www.jlconline.com
Both have various forums...
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 5:59 pm

i think you'd have a better looking finished product if you would add a seam in the middle so you can get it just right. its not the worth the trouble of fighting it alone to eliminate the seam. JMO.
Rob
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 6:09 pm

Lotsa ways, but an easy one is to put a mark on the wall an certain distance that's easy to add (say 100 inches) from one corner. Then measure the distance from the other corner to that mark and add them up. If you're coping the joints, some guys will cut coped pieces to a certain length and tack them up, then measure between them...
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 7:38 pm
Christine Cato wrote:

If your measuring for amount needed just measure the floor and add what you think you need extra. Always get extra. Have you ever done crown molding? This is not a job for an amateur. You will probably waste more crown than you put up. I'm not saying this because your a woman. You don't know how many times I've been called to install crown after the homeowner went through most of what he bought trying to install it himself.
It's the cuts that will drive you nuts. Cutting upside down and thinking backwards is not an easy task to acquire. I use a 12" miter saw and a special jig I have developed to make the job easier. I don't cope I miter all inside right and left corners with the use of this jig. Makes the corners perfect specially when it's natural wood crown. Fiber board crown is a little easier because you can use caulk and paint to hide flaws. But I usually don't need to do that with this jig.
Do you have a large protractor, in order to measure the angle of your walls? It has to be a long one. Not all walls are 90 degrees.
Rich
--
"you can lead them to LINUX
but you can\'t make them THINK"
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 9:29 pm

I noticed none of the other posts suggested a laser or rolling measuring tape. Does everyone consider these to be too inaccurate or what?
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• posted on October 18, 2005, 11:09 pm
Before you start, I suggest that you make sure that all the pieces of molding you have are actually the same size thickness. I undertook a crown moulding project and just couldn't figure out why one of my scarf joints looked so bad. After close examination, I realized that the thickness of the 2 pieces was off by 1/8 inch. No amount of caulk was helping disguise it. When I went back to the big box store, I found several pieces of moulding that were not quite the same thickness being sold together. I had heard of color variations in building materials but never had thickness variation.
For nailing the moulding, I've heard of people using adhesive first, but it seemed kinda messy to me.
Good luck.