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  • Crown Molding

    OK, so the wife wants crown molding and chair rail put up for her birthday on Friday (no, I'm not planning to have it done by then but I do want to get started on it by then, or at least purchased). So, having never put either up before, I'm looking for some advice/tips on installation (in particular for the crown) short of paying someone to do it (which I may end up doing depending on my work schedule but do want to take a shot at it).

    To give you an idea, I'm going to need 185 linear feet of Crown Molding and 48' linear feet of Chair Rail, figuring 15% overage, or 213 linear of CM and 56 linear feet of CR. The wife has identified the type she wants, so that's done, and it's not any of the so called "easy install" stuff - it's the wood kind that gets nailed to the header (which looks a lot better than the other kind IMHO).

    I've got an air compressor and finish nailer so that's checked off my list- I know I need a compound miter saw (Will either borrow or buy) and a coping saw (buy). Am I overlooking anything that I'll need?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Originally posted by SomeCiscoGuy
    OK, so the wife wants crown molding and chair rail put up for her birthday on Friday (no, I'm not planning to have it done by then but I do want to get started on it by then, or at least purchased). So, having never put either up before, I'm looking for some advice/tips on installation (in particular for the crown) short of paying someone to do it (which I may end up doing depending on my work schedule but do want to take a shot at it).

    To give you an idea, I'm going to need 185 linear feet of Crown Molding and 48' linear feet of Chair Rail, figuring 15% overage, or 213 linear of CM and 56 linear feet of CR. The wife has identified the type she wants, so that's done, and it's not any of the so called "easy install" stuff - it's the wood kind that gets nailed to the header (which looks a lot better than the other kind IMHO).

    I've got an air compressor and finish nailer so that's checked off my list- I know I need a compound miter saw (Will either borrow or buy) and a coping saw (buy). Am I overlooking anything that I'll need?

    Thanks in advance.
    band-aids. lol kidding *sort of*

    dont forget a compass or some way of measuring angles if you have any odd angles to deal with. possibly wood filler if you get cracks or holes. possibly a nail set and a hammer (to make sure your nails are properly sunk as you may get some that the finish nailer doesn't get). a quality tape measure *sounds like i am being condescending but i have seen some friends try and do stuff around their houses with crappy tapes and they usually need to measure 10 times and still cut 5 or 6 times..* oh and a good quality level. you may find your ceiling is out of true or not level while working on it and wonder why the cm looks crooked in some spots, you may need to adjust or compensate for this.

    I am no finish carpenter though so im not the best person to be posting about this stuff imho, django and quad and others are farrrrrr more knowledgeable.

    hope this helps


    Matt
    Still think Craig is in the "Chase" for that sense of humour. :neener 1:

    Comment


    • #3
      I've never done chair rail myself but, it shouldn't be much more difficult to cut than 1/4 round. Well, I wouldn't think so anyway! The big difference being matching it on the walls as opposed to the floor. I would imagine a laser level would help here.

      I purchased a cheap angle gauge at Lowes several years ago that works great. It is a protractor style made by "GENERAL" and is orangish/yellow, sort of like DeWalt color. It will do most any angle I've ever needed and has a set screw to keep it in place. Basically you shove it in the corner and set the screw and look at the angle and adjust your miter saw. I rebuilt our stair hand rails in solid oak with a floating shoe rail using this. It works, and I'm terrible with angles. Biggest thing I ran into was making sure the saw gauge was correct.

      Likewise, I used this same gauge when I installed crown molding in our master bedroom. I did lots of reading prior to the crown molding installation. Best advice I saw was to cut it upside down. It's been a good while since I did this and I don't have links readily available but I'm sure a few google searches will find it for you. Imagine the base of your miter saw being the ceiling and the fence being the wall.

      Pretty much set it against your fence and base of the saw and cut it exactly upside down from how it will be installed. This way its just half the angle of the corner and removes all the flip flopping of the material and cutting angles of the saw.

      I tend to overkill stuff and so I installed furring strips around the perimeter that I nailed into the studs, well every other one or so. I then used this to attach my crown to. I also cheated and didn't use solid wood crown so I counter sunk screws to these strips which I filled in.

      The other thing you will want to do is walk into your rooms and remember this viewing angle. You will want to back cut 45's for long runs were the are most pleasing to the eye so the seams won't show. From the main entrance to the room you won't want these to be obvious. Walking out of the closet/bathroom....not such a big deal.

      That's a good bit of molding man! I never did this before we bought our current house and it looks pretty good, not to toot my own horn. If your patient and willing, and have the tools it shouldn't be a problem. Once you get it down it's nothing more that adding ports to a trunk.

      I hope this makes at least some sense. I've been having some beers and playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2 this evening. When I saw your post I thought I would respond but I'm just as likely to get up tomorrow and read this and think "what the ****!, that makes no sense at all" and delete it!

      :saywhat:
      Coach Pat Summitt - Folding at Home

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tthurman

        I hope this makes at least some sense. I've been having some beers and playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2 this evening. When I saw your post I thought I would respond but I'm just as likely to get up tomorrow and read this and think "what the ****!, that makes no sense at all" and delete it!

        :rlmfao: :rlmfao: :rlmfao: :rlmfao: :rlmfao: :rlmfao: :rlmfao:
        Still think Craig is in the "Chase" for that sense of humour. :neener 1:

        Comment


        • #5
          Crown molding is the most difficult trim to install and is a two man job for amateurs. Wood or painted (mdf)? Painted is more forgiving. If it is wood I'd lean towards hiring someone unless you really enjoy doing this type of stuff. I do the inside and outside corners with a compound miter saw (I just haven't learned to cope). I use the cheap yellow compass others have described with a list I have of all the miter and bevel angles. It works surprising well. I can post the list and other advice,if you want it, once I know if they are painted or not.

          Chair rail is real easy. The only thing is most places I work are not very level, so instead of marking with a level I would measure up from the floor or baseboard in each corner, and connect the marks with a chalk line. Check with any window moldings and such for parallel. Parallel in more important than level in cases like this, so judge what will look "straight or level". With a chalk line you will see right away how it looks. Using a chalk line applies with the crown as well but not for quite the same reason. I usually take a small piece and put it in it's correct position and mark the top or/and bottom in each corner. Connect the marks with a chalk line and then try to follow them as much as possible (depending on how crooked or straight the framing is). With out the line you don't really know what the proper location of the molding is as you go along nailing it.

          Comment


          • #6
            I had never done crown/chair/baseboard molding before I finished the theater in my basement, but in that project I had to do >100 corners (16 inside corners and 12 outside corners for just the crown). I became pretty proficient!

            As mentioned above, you only need a miter saw, not a compound. You can just hold the molding upsidedown at a 45° angle against the fence to get the proper cut.

            There are a bazillion gadjets out on the market to make coping easier, but all you really need is a coping saw. I'd also highly recommend a 4-in-1 file so you can get pretty close with the saw and then finish the last little bit of shaping with a swipe or two of the file. For a lot of corners, I used the EasyCoper (easycoper.com), which is just a plastic piece that lets you use a jigsaw for a lot of the cutting. Getting close with the jigsaw and then finishing off with the file saved me a lot of time.

            Comment


            • #7
              I installed 8" crown moulding in my living room and kitchen. It was much harder than I anticipated and took 3 times as long as I thought it would. I used finger jointed solid wood moulding that I primed and painted before installation. If I would have tried to stain it it would look like crap because I wouldn't have been able to fill in the imperfections with caulk or putty. I did one inside corner with a coping saw and the rest with normal angle cuts. Just make sure you have plenty of spare wood. Maybe I had to recut as much as I did because my saw was from Harbor Frieght Tools and maybe it's not that accurate. I don't know why but like mentioned before if there are slight imperfections in your walls and ceilings it will impact the fit.

              I bought a book from Lowe's that had tables that show the two angle settings on the compound miter saw. Even having the correct angles per the book it still didn't all line up perfectly and I had to fill and paint. I had to cut and recut 2-3 times with slight variances from the books listed angles to get the best fit. I guess the more someone does it, the easier it gets because I have watched pros do it and they do it fast and it fits very tight. If you don't 3want to have to deal with cutting the corners to an exact fit you can just buy corner blocks and then the cuts are all straight. Lowe's and Home Depot carry them.

              The larger the moulding the harder it is because it doesn't flex if needed too. Good luck and let us know how it comes out.
              ------------------------------------

              http://www.chasehometheater.com/foru...php?albumid=14

              Comment


              • #8
                Fine Homebuilding is a good source for info, might be worth joining.

                Here's a tip for by yourself diy.

                http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-...x?nterms=65282

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LoudandClear
                  I installed 8" crown moulding in my living room and kitchen. It was much harder than I anticipated and took 3 times as long as I thought it would. I used finger jointed solid wood moulding that I primed and painted before installation. If I would have tried to stain it it would look like crap because I wouldn't have been able to fill in the imperfections with caulk or putty. I did one inside corner with a coping saw and the rest with normal angle cuts. Just make sure you have plenty of spare wood. Maybe I had to recut as much as I did because my saw was from Harbor Frieght Tools and maybe it's not that accurate. I don't know why but like mentioned before if there are slight imperfections in your walls and ceilings it will impact the fit.

                  I bought a book from Lowe's that had tables that show the two angle settings on the compound miter saw. Even having the correct angles per the book it still didn't all line up perfectly and I had to fill and paint. I had to cut and recut 2-3 times with slight variances from the books listed angles to get the best fit. I guess the more someone does it, the easier it gets because I have watched pros do it and they do it fast and it fits very tight. If you don't 3want to have to deal with cutting the corners to an exact fit you can just buy corner blocks and then the cuts are all straight. Lowe's and Home Depot carry them.

                  The larger the moulding the harder it is because it doesn't flex if needed too. Good luck and let us know how it comes out.
                  I've done it upside down on a miter saw and it is way easier imo on a sliding compound miter with the compass and angle list. I usually keep small pieces of scrap molding to do trial pieces, try those in the corner first. Sometimes you have to put little shims under the edges to get a nice closed joint. Any gaps between the crown and wall can be filled with a good latex caulk.

                  Here is an interesting idea to do a big ornate molding. Fairly easy for the big effect you get. Baseboard molding on the wall and ceiling and crown in between.

                  And remember my motto: "a little putty, a little paint, makes a job what it ain't" .:D


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by django1
                    Crown molding is the most difficult trim to install and is a two man job for amateurs. Wood or painted (mdf)? Painted is more forgiving. If it is wood I'd lean towards hiring someone unless you really enjoy doing this type of stuff. I do the inside and outside corners with a compound miter saw (I just haven't learned to cope). I use the cheap yellow compass others have described with a list I have of all the miter and bevel angles. It works surprising well. I can post the list and other advice,if you want it, once I know if they are painted or not.

                    Chair rail is real easy. The only thing is most places I work are not very level, so instead of marking with a level I would measure up from the floor or baseboard in each corner, and connect the marks with a chalk line. Check with any window moldings and such for parallel. Parallel in more important than level in cases like this, so judge what will look "straight or level". With a chalk line you will see right away how it looks. Using a chalk line applies with the crown as well but not for quite the same reason. I usually take a small piece and put it in it's correct position and mark the top or/and bottom in each corner. Connect the marks with a chalk line and then try to follow them as much as possible (depending on how crooked or straight the framing is). With out the line you don't really know what the proper location of the molding is as you go along nailing it.
                    Painted. Definitely painted.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone for the input and advice. I'm going to buy the molding tomorrow, so, wish me luck. I'm going to buy a miter saw too (although I'm going to learn about the easy cope tool too), would like to keep it 500 or less, so let me know of any specific recommendations you may have.

                      Thanks!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SomeCiscoGuy
                        Thanks everyone for the input and advice. I'm going to buy the molding tomorrow, so, wish me luck. I'm going to buy a miter saw too (although I'm going to learn about the easy cope tool too), would like to keep it 500 or less, so let me know of any specific recommendations you may have.

                        Thanks!
                        You want some help? I can bring my compound miter saw, finish nailer and plenty of air hose if you supply the booze....
                        John W.
                        Indy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Pretty much any Dewalt is a decent buy. This one should be enough for most, but not the largest, crown molding.

                          Makita is nice too in my experience. This sliding compound miter saw is more versatile and you can cut wider molding flat but you can't cut things like 4x4 very well.

                          If you stay in those two brands you pick up something that is a pleasure to use. The Dewalt's tend to be thought out a bit better and the Makita's are made a bit better quality , IMO. If you are going to be moving it around a lot consider weight. If changing blades often consider blade size. The big ones are pricier. Enjoy.

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                          • #14
                            Here are my high tech helpers: the protractor is 6.95$ (btw the chart is for a crown that is applied at 45 degrees to the wall ceiling. There are other, rarer, types)



                            [IMG][/IMG]

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                            • #15
                              One thing not mentioned is that not all crown is placed at 45 deg angle in the corners. It depends on the Spring Angle of the wood you buy. The crown I installed had a 52/38 Spring Angle so it didn't apply at a 45 deg angle. Instead it had a 38 deg angle to the wall, not 45. As a result the table that Djanjo1 posted below wouldn't apply if yours is 52/38 crown. This website has a table that covers the two common Spring Angles. http://www.installcrown.com/ Click on the angle Generator link to view the table.

                              I agree 100% on getting a good saw. I think my troubles were caused by using a $99 saw. It Didn't make precise cuts. Delta also makes a decent saw IMO.
                              ------------------------------------

                              http://www.chasehometheater.com/foru...php?albumid=14

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