06:44PM | 05/30/04
Member Since: 05/29/04
2 lifetime posts
I'm new to the "home improvement" scene, but I love working on my home. I've recently had wallpaper hung and now I'm ready to install the crown molding, trim around the bottom, and a chair rail. My question is...what is the best approach to cutting the inner and outer corners so they will butt up against each other without gaps? A neighbor told me I needed to use a coping saw for the chair rail....? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Teri


07:27AM | 05/31/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Greetings TeriB,

Ahhhh yes, Crown molding. I've sure had my run-ins with this stuff, even quite recently in fact!

Here are my personal views....coming from one who's NOT a pro but from one who has to re-figure this out every time I attempt it!

There are probably hundreds of ways to mess up crown molding. I think I've done several dozen myself.

First and foremost, make scrap pieces that approximate the shape of the crown molding. I had good luck doing this! Then you aren't ruining the real thing.

To make the scraps, I used my table saw and made pieces the same height as the actual crown molding--and cut off (ripped) the same angles (top and bottom) as the crown molding--in my case 45 degrees.

Personally, I recommend coping where possible, say on the inside angles.

In my installation (for outside corners--very visible!), I ended up setting my compound miter saw with the miter at 35 degrees and the bevel (tilt) at 30. Keep track of your fingers!!!!! Your situation could be different.

A regular poster to this forum has some excellent tutorials on crown molding. See: and also look through his other links on that site.

When I made my scrap "imitation" crown moldings, I experimented with angles...then triple-checked all my measurements and tried them in place. I took careful notes about measurements, which side of the blade, top-to-bottom, etc...anything that would help when cutting the real thing.

THEN I tried using those notes to cut yet more scraps of crown molding. Believe it or not, I still made mistakes. Like I said, it is mighty easy to mess up!

After a while you get better at knowing which is the outside-most portion of the cut. This is helpful but you probably won't get it right away.

Good luck. And my suggestion: practice, practice, practice! And best of luck on a great job!


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


10:32AM | 05/31/04
Member Since: 12/27/02
545 lifetime posts
Thank-you K2! Good advice too..

I'd like to see you start at the basics though of "how to install crown molding" here:

For a beginner, I would also suggest you use the "cut in position" method. Where you hold the crown to your spring angle rather than laying it flat... it's a little easier to understand.

Also if you are using medium density fibreboard crown, which is the more stable of the paint grade rough stock available, I would suggest you just miter & use carpenters glue. Shim the corners to get good contact, the glue will hold much better as it is a stranger contact than the actual wood. Same with the scarf joints, use a 45 and glue, rather than butt joints.

The chair rail you would a little bit long for the inside 45's so that it will "snap" in and that you would cope.

Keep an eye on I am opening a retail/install store and the web site will have a lot more info on cutting & placing crown as well as tons of info on other architectural trims & moldings. I am in the process of making a streaming video of some of the processes now, and will hold classes if you live in the SF bay area.

Alter Eagle Construction & Design


11:12AM | 05/31/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Thanks for the follow up, Altereagle! And for the better place to start on your website.

Teri: Is this a great board or what! :)

I also like the idea of using the "cut in position" method that Altereagle mentions. I kind of wish I'd done that myself. If my experience is any guide, you probably still should do some practice cuts on scrap.

Altereagle also tells the proper way of how to cope on that web site. Worth reading!

Maybe when you're done you can take pictures and provide the URL to us. It'll look great!

As for Altereagle's classes, that's all one needs, is yet another reason to travel to SF! I haven't been there for probably 15 years. Beautiful place.

Best regards,

-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


06:22PM | 05/31/04
Member Since: 05/29/04
2 lifetime posts
Thanks everyone for all your help...I'll definetely visit the websites mentioned for more hints and tips. Now I just have to remember to 1)...count my fingers and 2)...practice, practice, practice HA HA HA


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.


type the code from the image


Post_new_button or Login_button

Few projects are more fun than upcycling a vintage piece in a surprising way. Outfitted with a sink and a delicately tiled... Built on a rocky island in the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, this wooden house was cobbled together ... Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks A... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... A Washington State couple called on BC&J Architects to transform their 400-square-foot boathouse into a hub for family bea... Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy... For windows, doors, and mirrors that could use a little definition, the Naples Etched Glass Border adds a decorative flora... The thyme growing between these stepping stones adds a heady fragrance to strolls along this lush, low-maintenance garden ... Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book page... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Reluctant to throw away any of those unidentified keys in your junk drawer? Hang them from a few chains attached to a simp... A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ...
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon