Installing Crown Molding : (Continued)
Content: Three Crown Molding Pictures
One Wainscotting Picture
One video (Coping Difficult Crown Molding)
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Installing Crown Molding - Continued# 1

Picture of crown  molding installed before pilasters.

Crown Molding Held Down from Ceiling

Because of the wildly fluctuating ceiling dimensions the crown was stopped short. As mentioned, the crown and face frames were coated on the job after installation. Everything that could be left off, prior to coating was; pilasters, neck molding, molding under the tops, and shelves.



Installing Crown Molding #2

Picture of crown molding held off ceiling.

Uppers and Lower Cabinets Fastened with Spacers


All the cabinets were attached to each other with plywood spacers behind the face frames. Screws were generally used through the fronts of the face frames for the connection. This one was evidentally nailed or glued. No fasteners were used where they could be seen. Not so much for aesthetics, but because it was easier and faster and more adjustable this way. The spacers were not full width, which allowed side to side adjustment, but still prevented front to back misalignment.

Notice the farmhouse casing in the background to match the rest of the house? Before spraying casings and paneling, I added a flatener to the CV. It actually complemented the waxed 0000 wool finish on the cabs.



Installing Crown Molding #3

Picture of pilasters slipped in crown molding pocket.

Shop Coated Pilasters and Plinths In


The last step was installing the lower plinths, pilasters and odds and ends. You will have noticed, no doubt, that I install the pilaster wraps before the pilasters I am wrapping. I find it much easier to take a couple swipes with a hand plane to the edges of a pilaster that Murphy won't let slide in under the wrap, than to re-cut crown molding that is 1/64ths too short for a pilaster (though that situation certainly has ever happened to me personally).

That is also another reason why I back relieve my pilasters - just in case some day one winds up too thick and needs to be thinned down slightly with a hand plane. The upper pilaster neck molding never did go in and looks naked without it. Oh well.




Panneled Wainscotting

Picture of panneled wainscotting and chair rail cap with milled returns.

Lookdown on Chair Rail, Stool, and Wainscotting

Disagreement is life and I disagree. It seems I am in a miniscule minority in using milled end grain returns for chair rails, window stools, crown caps, mantles and the like. The end of every board from a real dead tree that I have ever used has end grain on it. I don't find it's looks any more apalling than the ends of my fingers as compared to their tops. Course if the ends of my fingers have been engaged in rhinoplastic exploration that analogy doesn't apply.

Also, end grain returns do not swell up and fall off when rained on, do not need nails, do not need putty, and do not get knocked off by abuse. Indeed, end grain stool horns can be screwed from beneath up into casing legs to improve the fit. It also prevents the tradesmen climbing through the window and sitting on the stool for lunch (when you are not there to yell at them) from ruining a good fit.

This picture shows a stool horn probably 1/2" longer than customary. It was done for a reason I have long forgotten. But it could not have been run this long with mitered returns without looking totally ludicrous.

Besides, milled returns are faster and easier. And when something is Better, Faster, and Cheaper, I try to do it that way instead of a way that is Crummier, Slower, and More Expensive.

If you have any questions, please ask Gary Katz. His website is loaded with great illustrated articles on trim techniques, tool reviews and articles. Best ask him at the jlconline finish carpentry forum though.

But if you have answers, please notify me immediately at my email address,

Here is a link to our video index. A high speed connection is necessary for viewing. One of the videos shows my technique for coping difficult crown molding with a jig saw NOT outfitted with a collins coping foot. It is 8 minutes long and may take a while to load. As usual "No fees, No registration, No cookies". Coping difficult 45 degree Crown.

THE END... Aren't you relieved?

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