Coping crown molding?

Hello, I recently installed some baseboards and coped the inside corner joints and they turned out great. Now I want to take a crack at some crown moulding and I've tried the same method but not having much success. Anyone have some tips or links that might help out?
--
BeerBoy



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If you're trying to avoid making the compound miter cut for a joint, coping will only 1/2 help. The nice things about coping is that you generally get a better fitting joint, and the piece preceding it will be a simple square cut on both sides.
It's hard to describe, but I'll give it my best shot. First make sure you have the angles right, so get a couple of pieces and cut them as you would for a regular mitered inside corner. Once you're sure the angles are right you're good to go.
We'll assume a square room here. 1st piece, wall to wall square. Next piece square on one end and coped on the other. Next piece same as the second. Last piece coped on both sides.
To do the cope, measure from the bare wall to a point on the installed piece. Make the same measurement on the piece to be coped. Leave it 3/16 to 1/4 long...it'll help for a nice tight joint. Now make your cut as it were a regular inside corner. Now here's the coping part...
You want to use the cut line that demarcates the face from the mitered end grain as your guide. Primed material helps to see this line, and I will run the side of the lead of my pencil down that line so it stands out better. Starting at the top of your piece, make a 90 degree cut with your coping saw to get started, then angle away from the cut at slightly more than 45 deg from the face (it can be a lot more, it won't be seen), and follow the line on the front. Just go slow and easy so you stay on the cut line on the front. Use a piece of scrap when you think you're done, and check the joint for tightness and square. When it doesn't fit right the first time, just make note of the proud spots, and cut some more material away. The first time will really give you a feel for how much material you need to cut away and at what angle. You'll catch on pretty quick.
I hope this helped. In the time I typed this I coulda done a whole room...it's so much easier to show someone.
Good luck.
--Mike

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Also keep in mind the difference between American and European crown. I cut my European crown on a compound miter saw, the stock laying flat on the bed of the saw. For 38x52 degree crown set the bevel at 33.9 and the angle at 31.6. American crown can be cut flat at 45s, or held up against the fence at the angle it sits on the wall (still at 45). Here's a web page with pictures: http://interiordec.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=interiordec&zu=http://www.hardwoodinfo.com/display_article.asp?id06
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You haven't said specifically what the problem is, but I'll take a guess here. When you're cutting the miter relief for the cope, are you laying the crown flat and doing a compound cut, or are you laying the crown down against both the fence and table and doing a straight miter? Try the latter if you haven't already.
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I cut the crown doing a straight miter cut, angling the moulding against the fence and table. The problem I am having is after this when I'm making the cut by hand. It seems no matter how much I "fine tune" the coped end it just doesn't want to fit nicely against the other piece. It sounds like I'm doing what I should be but maybe I just need to keep fiddling with it to get right.

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There's a $2500 power tool for doing this type of work, quickly and accurately. Demonstrated on This Old (multimillion dollar) House last year.
Tom Silva has all the new toys. Of course, his folks would use them more than a couple of times, too.
My buddy, who works for a moulding distributor, loaned me a book last year, when I was installing crown for the first time, and excercising language I thought I'd long since forgotten. I wish I remembered which one it was, so I could recommend it to you. Getting the combination of angles correct, to compensate for crooked and out-of-plumb walls almost takes a computer program, or one of their super-duper-angle finders.
It's no wonder that some of the eighteenth and nineteenth century fancy homes had plaster moulding, cast in place.
Good luck.
Patriarch
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BeerBoy wrote:

Here's a book I purchased when I was redoing all the moulding in my old 1868-era house - it's was worth it's weight in gold and the cost of the book paid for itself from the waste I otherwise would've made. I *highly* recommend it:
Crown Molding & Trim: Install It Like a Pro! by Wayne Drake
I bought mine off Ebay, but here's a pic of it here: (Amazon.com product link shortened)99779409/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/102-7600844-9632969
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Thanks for the help. I finally got it figured out out. I decided to try to cut the first miter with the moulding laying flat on the saw and the blade beveled and mitered according to the chart in my manual (31.6 miter and 39 something bevel). After this, I backcut along the line and it fit like a glove. On my first tries I didn't bevel the saw. I mitered it at 45 and held the moulding against the fence and the table at an angle. It's supposed to work but maybe it wouldn't because the crown itself doesn't sit exactly 45 to the wall and ceiling. Not really sure why it didn't work but I got it to work with the stock laying flat so it doesn't matter. Thanks again.
P.S.: Does anybody know where the "degree symbol" key is on the keyboard?
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wrote:

wherever the person who created the font you're using put it. not all fonts are gonna have one, even.
but on my windows box, the default arial font has it at alt+0176. that is, hold down the alt key and enter the numbers 0176. like this....
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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

on the numeric keypad, not the numbered ones at the top of the keyboard.
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wrote:

I get this:
167 176 186
Just try them all until you see something reasonably close.
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On Sun, 07 Nov 2004 09:11:15 -0500, Guess who

all versions of windows since, well, a long time have included a tool called character map. look for it in the acessories folder on the start menu.
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I just bought it myself from the local Woodcraft store. Lots of nice pictures and it starts with the basics and goes on from there. One nice touch was that the book starts with a chapter on how to square up your CMS. Even talks about how to turn vertical corners as well as horizontal corners for vaulted/cathedral ceilings. The only downside is how they unabashadly pimp the Tru-Angle (R) angle finder thingy..
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Rob Sluys wrote:

Not a downside for me...it gave me the idea to make my own! *haha!*
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