A crown molding is a piece of decorated wood placed along the seams where the ceiling meets the wall. The top and bottom edges of the crown are both beveled (cut at 45 degrees angularly) so that both parts lie flat against the wall and ceiling to form a right triangle.
To deal with wall corners, two pieces of crown moldings may be joined together with a miter joint. A miter joint is made by beveling the ends of each component to be joined, usually at a 45-degree angle. Miter joints are also used when making picture frames.
A miter saw is needed to cut a miter joint. The miter saw is composed of a circular saw, a fence, and a miter index. The fence is the straight edge where you align your crown. The miter index allows the saw to angle the blade in relation to the fence.
Most miter indexes have fixed angular “stops’ at the most common cutting angles (15, 30 or 45 degrees).
To cut miter joints, you need the following materials and tools:
- compound miter saw;
- crown molding;
- scrap wood; and
- safety equipment (goggles, gloves etc.).
Always Remember: SAFETY FIRST
It will help to practice first on scrap wood or spare moldings before moving on to the real thing.
How to Make an Outside Joint
Step 1. To do the left component of the joint, place the crown on the left side of the saw and turn it upside down. Press it against the fence diagonally. The bottom part should be flat against the fence with the top lying on the cutting plane, forming a right triangle. To distinguish which part is which, the bottom part of the crown is always the most detailed.
Step 2. With the molding on the left side of the saw, swing the saw 45 degrees to the right.
Step 3. Turn on the saw and place it over the area where you want to cut. Push the saw downwards and then push it away from you.
Step 4. Here now are the instructions for the right component. Place the crown molding on the right side of the saw. Turn it upside down. Place diagonally on the cutting area.
Step 5. With the molding on the right side of the saw, swing the saw 45 degrees to the left and then cut.
That is how an outside joint is done.
To do an inside joint, you just have to switch the positions of both the crown molding and the swing of the saw.
How to Cut an Inside Joint
The right component of the inside joint is made by placing it diagonally on the right side of the saw. Swing the saw 45 degrees to the right, then cut.
The left component of the inside joint is done by placing it diagonally on the left side of the saw. Swing the saw 45 degrees to the left, then cut.
- If you are having trouble keeping the crown molding still while cutting, place a long piece of plywood underneath and nail a block of wood on it alongside the crown molding.