Crown Molding efficiently requires cutting crown molding then coping
crown molding inside corners. The following woodworking video may save
you considerable time when installing crown molding, simply by changing
the blade you are using when coping crown molding prior to installing
Sorry for the redundant, meaningless
drivel above. I know you aren't an idiot, that
was for the benefit of the search engines whose designers seem to be.
Without the gibberish you may never have found this page. The remainder
of the text will not be gibberish to a trim carpenter and I believe
it worthwhile to read before watching the video.
resolution (41 MG): Video Coping Crown Molding with a jig saw. (8 minutes)
(14 MG): Video Coping Crown Molding with a jig saw. (8 minutes)
I would recommend that you download
the higher resolution video, even though it could take 10 minutes on
a DSL connection. Go pop a beer or something while it's downloading.
For this video I selected a crown with
a 45 degree spring angle (the angle that the molding forms with the
wall on its way to the ceiling) because it is generally much more difficult
to cope than the 38 degree crown typically sold in lumber yards and
As a crown molding profile approaches
a horizontal plane it must be thinned down to the extent than it's thickness
would equal one molecule if its mating piece of crown is one molecule
above a horizontal plane. Otherwise it will not fit. If the profile
dips below the horizontal, then it is not
copeable. Most of the uncopable
crowns I have used were products of the imaginations of people who had
never installed, or even seen installed, a single stick of crown - namely,
interior "designers" and architects.
Since 45 degree crown is already starting
off 7 degrees closer to the horizontal than "standard" 38
degree crown, it generally needs to be radically thinned in 2 places
on the profile in order to fit. One purpose of this video is to point
out these sections and illustrate just how thin "thin" is.
Crown molding is best cut on a standard
chop saw using the traditional "upside down and backwards"
technique, despite what the manufacturers of sliding compound miter
saws ( "SCMS" from now on) would have you believe.There are
a number of reasons for this. The principal ones are as follows:
1. To flat cut crown on a SCMS two
angles must be set instead of one, the miter angle and the bevel angle.
The scale for setting the bevel angle has graduations so close together
that it is not possible to get a truly accurate setting - assuming that
you even know what it is. Regular chop saws require a miter angle only
which has graduations a long distance apart, allowing for accurate setting.
The bevel angle is effected automatically by the position of the crown
molding in the saw itself.
2. A "perfect" cope will
only fit perfectly if a number of conditions are met. The molding coped
must be identical in every way to its mate -ie. in width, and in the
amount of cupping present, and in the exact same position as its mating
piece with regard to the spring angles of both. And the chop saw cut
that establishes the coping line must be exactly right.
If the piece to be coped into is rocked up an
eighth from the "correct" wall height for any reason (low
adjacent ceiling joist, adjustment to maintain cabinet rail reveal etc.),
the spring angle has been changed. With the standard chop saw, the crown
to be coped can be simply rocked down an eighth lower on the fence and
cut - no other adjustments necessary. This will establish a "perfect"
profile match with the crown already up. To do this with a SCMS requires
a complete re-calculation of both the miter and bevel angles prior to
3. With outside corners, the intersection
marking method can be used with a standard chop saw simply by rocking
the molding's position in the saw until the intersection marks line
up. Again, this would require a re-calculation using a SCMS.
4. Most 45 degree crown will be at
least slightly cupped by the time you get to use it. I believe this
is because it tends to be wider than the "standard" stuff
and often has more pronounced detailing - meaning it has been milled
from thicker stock. Deeper and more detailed milling on the face causes
it to cup in that direction. The back then becomes like a cylinder (with
a very large radius of course). This does not matter when it is cut
traditionally since the back of the molding is not touching anything.
But when cutting on an SCMS, the molding
is sitting on its cylindrical back while it is being cut. The saw operator
has to guesstimate that he has each piece in exactly the same position
before cutting and while cutting. And he has to be right every time
or else the cope won't fit. Or, he has
to use shims under each edge of the molding extending right up to blade,
so the middle of the back of the crown molding does not touch the saw
bed and cause the molding to rock. The only way to do this fairly efficiently,
is to make up a sliding bed for the SCMS such as the one Gary Katz demonstrates
in his video series on "Mastering the Miter Saw". However,
in that video, Gary is not cutting crown. You can bet that he cuts it
traditionally when doing it on a job.
You will notice in the video, that
the cope I do won't fit while it's still clamped to the bench because
the clamps have straightened out the crown while it's being coped. But
once it has been released from the clamps and has returned to its previous
cupped state, it fits its likewise cupped mate.
Prior to installing the coped piece,
I generally back plane the top edge of the crown with a power plane
from the end back an arm's length. This way, if there is a low joist
near the joint, or if the mating piece is rocked slightly, the coped
piece may still fit. But even if it doesn't, I have removed enough material
that a block plane should be able to quickly scribe in the coped piece.
If you have a Makita power plane, you may want to check out this video
to vastly improve it's performance. Makita Power Plane.
More on installing crown molding can
be found in the Installation Section of "Building Radius Cabinets
- A Photo-Essay". Here is
a link directly to those pages. They load quickly. This takes you back
up to the Coping Video Link.
Woodworking Video Index
10 Total so far. Newest one 24 Sept 06
Check back ocasionally.
regret that all the woodworking videos here require DSL or Faster connections
to view. Their nature requires decent resolution to be worthwhile to
the viewer. Anything less would be a waste of your time. Thank you.
Video How much pressure? ( 7 MB, 2 minutes 50 seconds )--------Demonstration
of the pressure that Clam Clamp's exert on miters as well as a few gluing
Drawing an Ellipse ( 19 MB, 640 x 480, 3 minutes 48 seconds )
Video Drawing an Ellipse (
10 MB, 320 x 240, 3 minutes 48 seconds)
This is the first of three videos dealing with ellipses, and shows how
to draw them simply and perfectly without strings or formulas.
Making a jig to cut ellipses. (38 MB, 640 x 480, 7 min. 40 sec.)
Video Making a jig to cut ellipses.
( 20 MB, 320 x 240 , 7 min. 40 sec.)
As usual it takes a long time to describe how to make anything and this
jig is no exception. However, it is both simple and fast to make with
stuff you already have in your router box.
Cutting an Ellipse (with a router and jig) ( 6 MB, 1 minute 15 seconds)------
This is the final video in the ellipse series, and as you can see, it
takes much less time to cut the ellipse than to describe how to get
started on it.
Coping Crown Molding ( 41 MB, 8 minutes 18 seconds)
Video Coping Crown Molding (14 MB, 8 minutes 18
Note: These two links will take you to the top of this page where the
link to the video actually is. The reason is that there is a lot of
text regarding coping that you may want to read before watching the
Video Makita Power Planes. (20
MB, 3 minutes, 640 x 480)
Video Makita Power Planes. (
10 MB, 3 minutes, 320 x 240)
This short video shows how to modify Makita Power Planes to get a 3/16th
or more depth of cut per pass for more versatility.
Slotting casing for Biscuits. (25 MB, 2 minutes, 640 x 480)
Video Slotting casing for
Biscuits. ( 4.5 MB , 2 minutes, 320 x 240)
This short video shows the fastest way to slot casing that I have found,
without getting cocked slots.
Tweaking a Biscuit Jointer ( 7 MB, 2 minutes 57 seconds)-------
How to widen the biscuit slot on biscuit jointers, and why this should
be done. Tips on biscuit jointing and clamping MDF casing.
Plugging and un-plugging screw holes. ( 8.5 MB, 4 minutes 40 seconds).
Video: Plugging and un-plugging
screw holes. High Resolution (38 MB). Same length.
Tips on plugging screw holes and removing the plugs when they break
off down in the hole.
Un-copable crown molding. (5 MB, 3 min. 23 seconds.)
Recognizing Un-copable crown molding.
( 25 MB, 3 min. 23 seconds.
Clam Clamp Specs | Quips
Techniques | Film
Clip | Inventor's