Twisted Rope Molding Install Advice

Ok I got all the crown installed and only one ceiling was a problem. Now I have the twisted rope to install. Any advice on cutting the 45 or 22-1/2 angles on this stuff. Its asymmetrical and I think its all right hand. I can get it close. Is that the best I can hope for? I'm kind of a perfectionist and this doesn't seem good enough. I have heard cut one and line up the next one behind it and turn it backwards and cut. This stuff is really brittle and it fractures easily. Is there a process or pro method of dealing with this. I've done tons of dental but no rope up till now. Its really a pain getting the corners to line up!!!!
Thanks guys
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SNIP

If you are thinking that the corners will line up perfectly and make a mitered corner that will look like a piece of rope was stapled at a 45 degree angle, forget it.
Since the trim's pattern is a raised shape that isn't symmetrical (as opposed to one that has squares or circles and most of those are iffy) you will distort the pattern shape when you cut into the trim.
IME, there are no tricks.
For scarf joints in the field, cut as needed to fit. Put the longest pieces you can in the most easily visible areas and put the joints where they are harder to detect.
For flat installation where the miters are across the width (I just put some of this over a tile backsplash to cover the tile edge), I do one of three things:
- get a different molding. (no kidding!)
- work the 45 degree joints with smaller pieces of trim, say 2 - 3', fitting them as needed. You can get a good fit by nibbling off a little at a time
- if it is some of that cheap Italian crap that is heat pressed, you are up against it as they don't always use exactly the same thickness of wood. This kills your pattern.... so make a corner piece a touch bigger than your molding. This is like the cheat we use on terrible walls when installing crown. We put corner deco pieces in the first, then run crown to it. So put a little decorative piece up exactly on the corner and run your pieces to it. To me, this looks fine if you get a spiffy little piece of something to put up. If this is the small, 3/4" rope, a 7/8" square that has the corners worked down and is slightly thicker than the trim looks fine. I think they sell little rosettes already made for crafts at some of the larger hobby stores that would work as well.
If you are putting up the molding where you are making corners by cutting your miters with the thickness (1/4" or so) I have cut and fit until my eyes bloodshot trying to get it the way I like it. Sometimes the patterns lend themselves to a nice job and sometimes not. Then there is always the possibility that you get a different pressing run from your supplier, then sir, you are completely screwed unless you are painting this stuff. In the case of painting, cut and fit a really nice joint and then take your 220 grit fitting tool in a small square stick and remove anything that detracts from your work.
As always, just my 0.02.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

...[good response elided for brevity]...
What he said, especially the corner block, imo also is way to go.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Thanks Robert, seems there is not secret trick. This is being installed on top of the flat area of crown and it's stained trim. It is the small rope, 1/2".. Like your idea of corner blocks. Also wondering about putting the 45 corners together first then scarfing in the middle, but who's to say that the scarf will line up. Will have to experiment without wasting any.
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That is absolutely the best way to do it in my experience. In fact, for all embossed trims, that is the best way to go, whether it's an installation on crown molding like you are doing or molding on a jewelry box.
I always make a test miter to see what the joint should look like.

OK... now there is a bit of trick to that. Make your mitered corner, but make sure your scarf joint winds up with the miter in the >middle< of the high point of the embossed pattern. It has less profile to match, and is easier to adjust. Down inside the nooks and crannies of the patterns can be a nasty experience when lining up your miter.
The second tip is to make the scarf joint 22 1/2 degrees. If you flatten out the miter to make it closer to a butt joint, it will make it >much< easier to match up. Think about it this way, if you cutting a butt joint for your scarf, you wouldn't worry, right? So the 22 1/2 gives you the miter for appearance, but makes it easier to get the joint perfect since you have now taken out the longer edge.
The 22 1/2 scarf idea also works on any complicated trim profile. You can use 30 degrees or whatever you want to make the miter angle less acute, but I use 22 1/2 because all miter saws have that as a detent making it repeatable throughout the project.
I also do it when the trims are prone to splitting as you don't have the longer, feathered edge of a 45 degree cut.
I even do that on 2X6 fascia as it really helps with splitting as it provides a much thicker piece of board to nail to when making up the joint.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I tried it and yes it works great!! I tried a couple of things today. I placed 2 ropes in the miter back to back and cut the 45. That worked pretty well for mating the 2 45's. But still used a utility knife to trim the proud parts. Then I tried the scarf cut (22-1/2 degree)in the middle on another piece after getting the 45's lined up, and that seemed to work better. So that is what I did for the rest. Takes a little getting use to but it turned out pretty good. The stuff is still a pain in the ass but sure looks classic and the customer loves it.
Thanks so much for the valuable advice!!!
btw when I do fascia I don't use nails, I use T-25 deck star screws. Go in easy and will not pull out when the stuff dries out. But will start cutting the scarfs at 22.5
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Anytime. I am glad to be of help and pleased that it worked out for you. And I appreciate the feedback!

You will never go back to 45 degrees. You can hide the thicknesses of the wood easier and the less acute angle splits much less when attaching to a rafter.
Robert
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