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Thread: Miter Box and Crown

  1. #1

    Miter Box and Crown

    I'm not sure how to cut crown molding using a manual miter box. I'm trying the butt/cope method and getting a poor result. With the piece nested upside down (wall edge to the fence and ceiling edge on the table) and the angle set at 45, the resulting angle is nowhere near mating.

    Everything I've been able to find says to set the angle at 45. I could see how that would work for a picture frame but not compound work. It must be that the spring angle of the molding is 38, but, how do I find the correct cut angle? I know it's closer to 33 but I haven't done enough trial and error to dial it in yet.

    Is there some classic text from an old timer that would teach me the old way to do jobs like these? Is it time to relearn High School Trig?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    savannah
    Posts
    1,100
    I do remodels quite a bit, and do all molding with a Stanley 115 box. Sometimes, especially when I haven't done it in a while, it will make my head spin.

    I may just be misunderstanding the problem, but its very possible that the wall is out of square. Or, your box is out of square.

    I would need a pic.
    Last edited by john brenton; 02-08-2011 at 10:03 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Torrance, Ca
    Posts
    8
    Dan,

    You have the right setup. You only need to worry about setting the spring and mitre angles if you are using a compound mitre box and cutting the moulding flat. Make sure that the spring angle you are using on the mitre box and on the wall are exactly the same. When you are coping the joint, you may not be cutting enough of the waste on the back away, which will not allow the mouldings to come together. It is usually best to spot nail the mouldings to the walls until the corners are fitted so adjustments to the spring angles can be made at each joint. Most wall to ceiling angles and wall to wall angles are not exactly 90 Coping is usually the best way to get a tight joint.

    Gary

  4. #4
    John: I know what you mean about the head spinning. Mine sure was. Rest assured that the miter box is perfectly square and the walls are square enough at the corner. But it didn't help that I bought molding profiled on both faces to make it reversible. A golden opportunity for error.

    Gary: The problem was that I had the spring angle inverted somehow, so that the work was nested but sitting too flat on the bed. The coping is the fun part, but not when the cut is off. Set up properly with the miter at 45, the joint came out beautifully.

    Thank you both for your help. Your assurances sent me back to the saw with certainty that my method was correct if only I could find where I wasn't doing what I thought I was doing. It didn't take long. I knew the Neanderthals would come through for me. Thanks again. Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    10,175
    Dan,

    A little trick you may have seen in one of the magazines is if there is a small gap on an outside corner, a round shaft of a screw driver pressed from one side then the other can close the gap.

    Inside corners will usually look better if they are coped.

    In some areas if you are expert at molding you can make a career of it.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    savannah
    Posts
    1,100
    Dan,

    Yeah, the head spinning thing is especially embarrassing if I'm doing my work outside, or the homeowner is nearby. I've found myself flipping the piece around, flipping the saw guide around, checking my cut list diagram 10 times...only to make the cut, go inside, and come right back out cursing.

    That doesn't happen often, but it has happened. I just hope their are no children around when it does because the f-bombs start dropping.

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