Okay, I can't cope and I've been trying to put miters in my crown
mo(u)ldings. In the corners where the angle is REALLY 90 degrees, the fit
is great (using my Delta combination miter set at the proper angles) but
where there are imperfections, it ain't so nice. Filler sucks but I've had
to use some. So, I've tried coping with a coping saw and a band saw but it
never comes out to be a nice tight fit. Anybody use a different method?
Any recommendations... aside from telling me to learn to cope? Practice,
I cut a 45 degree angle into the moulding to expose the profile and the try
to cope out the profile with the coping saw. I angle it back so as to
remove some of the back-stock. Just can't seem to get it to fit. The use
of a Dremel with the sanding drum sounds make it might help finish it off
and I did get a good price on eBay on a VS scroll saw. So, I'll be
experimenting and practicing.
I'm redoing the wood trim in my house to sell the sucker before I retire....
damn soon, I hope. I have been spending on tools and books like a crazy man
so I'll have something to do that I can actually enjoy doing when the day
gets here. When I was younger, I wasn't interested in woodworking but now
it seems the only thing I am interested in.
In between cutting a 45-degree angle and trying to cope the
profile, add one more step. It's almost trivial; but it made all
the difference in the world for me:
Take a #2 pencil, and (using the /side/ of the point, highlight
the profile edge to get a very thin black line.
Clamp a support board in your vise (or clamp it to the front edge
of your bench if you dont have a vise) and hold the molding
firmly in place on top of that with your non-dominant hand.
/Now/ cut so that the kerf is in the waste and just kisses that
line. Take your time and use the saw slowly and gently; and keep
the saw blade as close to perpendicular to the back of the
molding as you can.
You should have better results than ever before. Speed will come
with practice - what you're after here is gentle precision. When
your cut is complete, take a moment to look at how well you were
able to follow that edge, then fit the coped end to its mate and
check for quality of fit.
Now do any fine tuning you want with a Dremel, although it's my
guess that you probably won't need to. (-:
If it came out well, ask yourself: "Why? what changed?" [hint: No
matter what you might think, it wasn't just the pencil line!]
It can be really satisfying. The danger lies in doing such a good
job that you don't want to sell the house... (-:
Yeah, it will fit Jay, and it will fit perfectly, if the walls are perfectly
perpendicular to one another. Most walls are not. Backcutting slightly is
a simple enough way to allow for any error in the wall construction.
Maybe not your problem here, but after a while having trouble with this, I
discovered that different pieces of the same molding profile from the
lumberyard sometimes had slightly different profiles. This was not helpful
in getting a good fit. Just something to check.
I use a Collin foot on my jig saw.
Using a fine tooth narrow blade all I have to do is cut the miter, pencil
line to edge to make it stand out and cut away. The Collins foot lets me get
all the angles with no problem.
You got it right...practice makes perfect. If this is the first time
you are attempting to cope corners, then take a couple hours just to
practice. The extra few bucks spent on 8' of molding for practice
will pay off nicely and this learned skill will stay with you. Craig
Savage's book, "Trim Carpentry" is a good selection.
I have has good success using a Dremel tool with the small sanding drums.
The drums come in 1/2" and 3/8" or 1/4" diameter. Cut the angle on the
miter saw as you would normally would but instead of using the coping saw
use the Dremel tool. Use the larger sanding drum to "hog out" the bulk of
the material. Clean up with the small drum for a perfect joint. With very
little practice, you can achieve fast and perfect joints.
when coping crown you must back bevel the cuts.if you stand it on a
bench and look at it as it wil;l go up you will see what i mean. i use
a jigsaw with a down cutting blade but this is not for the faint of
heart! down cutting blades eliminate tearout on the face of the crown
molding but they are difficult to master. the jig saw tends to want to
jump a lot. i lay the plate on the miter and this gives all the back
cut that i need. hope this helps. oh! and practice practice
After you get as close as you can with your coping saw, use a knife with
a very sharp, very thin blade to shave away the inside of the joint. I
use a homemade tool made from the last three inches of a flexible fillet
knife. I sharpen it with a few passes on a ceramic rod and keep it sharp
enough to split a hair when it's dragged across the blade at an acute
angle. Make yourself a small jig with a sample of your corner moulding
attached as it would be on your ceiling so you can check for fit very
quickly. With just a very small amount of practice, you can shave the
wood down to a few hundredths of an inch and get a joint so tight you
won't see light passing through the other side. A few months ago I put
painted mouldings in my living room. I painted the mouldings, mounted
them, and coped the appropriate corners. I was able to shave joint right
down to to the backside if the paint. The fit was excellent, and looked
like I had filled the joint with putty then sculpted it and painted it.
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