Crown molding question

I screwed up cutting the last piece of a particular profile for a repair job, and the client has no more scrap long enough. Can't find the exact profile for the 15" piece I need.
This stuff is solid maple with a light stain, and while I can find a very close match, it's out by just enough to be really noticeable.
I'm hoping to avoid eating the cost of replacing the room's worth, at over $10/lf... So I have to ask:
Has anyone successfully joined two lengths of the stuff? Scarf joint? Lapped splice? All suggestions welcome.
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On Wednesday, September 26, 2012 9:50:52 AM UTC-7, Dave Balderstone wrote:

What about using the piece with a close color match and doing a light over coating of a gel stain or glaze that feathers out onto the adjoing pieces. This might work or maybe just create a bigger problem.
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The scrap I have is already finished, so it's the join line I'm most concerned about. OTOH, this particular piece is in a reasonably unobtrusive spot...
Thanks, Mike.
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

You really only have two choices: 1. A join that gives a line perpendicular to the length at the join 2. A join that gives a sloping line along the length; i.e., a scarf.
If it were me, I'd do the scarf. Unless you can make a hooked scarf, they can be tricky to join as the two pieces want to slide. A hook cut at each end will eliminate that but will introduce two small vertical lines. My suggestion would be to join them with thickened epoxy as no clamping is needed, easy to slide into position.
The bigger problem is hiding the joint. A long scarf will help but on maple it is still going to be visible. Some paints and fine artist brushes will let you get pretty close. For paint, water colors - like the kids use - work. The sheen won't be right but if you get the color and grain, a quick coat (or two or three) of wipe on poly, either water or oil, should enable you to fix the sheen.
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dadiOH
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I have three piece of scrap, so can afford to do a bit of experimenting. A match isn't a big problem, as the typical maple blotchiness is a feature, not a bug, on this particular install.
Thanks. I'm feeling a lot more confident that I have a good shot at making this work.
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[This followup was posted to rec.woodworking and a copy was sent to the cited author.]
dave@N_O_T_T_H_I_Sbalderstone.ca says...

Joints in molding are routinely required when the lengths needed in the room are longer than the lengths of material from the source supplier. So it is practical to consider that a similar type joint can be made for a short length. Joints are often made by cutting the material at a 45 degree angle from the flat so that they overlap with the next piece in the installation. (This is in contrast with s straight butt joint that has faces that are perpendicular to the wall).
Two things that you could consider...
1) Pre gluing the short pieces together in the 45 degree joint before trying to install on the wall so that the joint stays closed up and keeps alignment.
2) You could consider making a small triangular block of wood such as pine that you fit behind the crown molding up into the corner between the wall and ceiling to place behind the joint area. Fasten the pine piece to the wall and then fasten the molding into this backer piece to help keep the joint closed up.
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Michael Karas
Carousel Design Solutions
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yes, I've done it on baseboards, etc. Never on crown, and never on stained & finished hardwood, only on painted molding where a little caulking can hide damn near anything.

That's what I was thinking. I should have mentioned that this is along the top of kitchen cabinets, and only attached on one side, not both, which means that...

... a backer piece should work a treat.
I've got nothing to lose by trying, and about $300 in material plus my time installing it to gain.
Thanks, everyone.
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On Wed, 26 Sep 2012 10:50:52 -0600, Dave Balderstone

A lot of cabinet manufactures provide pre-finished crown to match the cabinets. For some reason (probably shipping) most come in only 8' lengths so joining them is often required. Here's what we do. Stand the first piece on edge on your miter saw (with the back flat against the fence) and cut the inside 45. Install that piece being sure to position it to maintain the straight line needed for the ending piece. Cut the overlapping 45 on the ending piece. You can often cheat here a little and cut the overlapping joint at 45 and just a hair more. This will help the joint stay closed at the front. You can always cut it back to a true 45 if you don't like the fit. Testing the joint and angle with a small scrap is helpful but not required. If the ending piece runs in to a wall (square or inside corner) I'll fit that end first and measure back to one point on the first piece. If the ending piece continues around an outside corner, I'll fit the joint first and then mark the corner for the turn.
Good luck,
Mike
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