how to install crown molding using a jig. (Part 1 of 2)

Simplified Method for Cutting Crown Molding - Part 1 of 2
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Crown Molding Installed on CabinetWe've covered a method for cutting crown molding and installing crown moulding in our main Crown Molding Tutorial. In this section we present another simplified crown molding installation system using a jig. As you already know, nothing (except our simple wainscoting tutorial :) ) dresses up a room or a cabinet like the crown molding. This accent beautifies a room the way a frame embellishes an oil painting.

So, doesn't the typical do-it-yourselfer take advantage of this transformation? Well, installing crown molding has always been considered a challenging project. Cutting compound angles and accurate calculations for inside and outside corners has historically been a nightmare.

Cornice block installed with molding

In our view and experience, the biggest problem has been cutting the angles. This is tough because first off most walls actually are not at 90 degrees. Go around and check and you'll see 89.5, 91.2. This makes crown installation difficult. If you have a nice way of calculating the actual angles, crown molding installation is actually a breeze.

In this crown molding installation tutorial we use two new tools we found that eliminate these problems and make an easy job of cutting crown molding and installing crown molding. The first of these tools, Rocklers TRUE ANGLE, is a large protractor that measures every corner and tells you the exact angle to set your miter saw.

The second tool, and in our view the most important tools for crown molding installation, is the Rockler's Compound Miter Jig . By holding the molding on your saw's bed at exactly the same angle that it will be installed on the wall, the jig eliminates all guesswork and even obsoletes our crown molding angle chart.

Advantages of the Rockler Compound Miter Jig

Crown Molding Compound Miter Jig

1. It's incredibly easy to set up and use, and requires no expert knowledge.

2. Crown moldings come in so many profiles that few of them sit against the wall at a perfect 45 degree angle. The most common deviation is 52/38 (the top of the molding meets the ceiling at 52 degrees, while the back meets the wall at 38 degrees), but every manufacturer has their own specifications. This has always been one of the biggest headaches in dealing with crown moldings. The jig solves the problem with a single adjustment. Hold the molding in place, slide the fence and lock it. That's it. Do this once for each molding on the job (which usually means once per job) and you can throw away the calculator.

3. The Rockler Compound Miter Jig lets you make compound cuts on a single plane saw (such as a radial arm saw or most older miter saws). You no longer need a compound miter saw to install crown molding.

4.It eliminates the need to cope inside corners. Until now, trim carpenters often installed one piece of crown molding with a 90 degree cut, then used a coping saw to cut the actual profile of the molding on the second piece so it would fit tightly against the first. Imagine having to make all those complicated cuts, and ruining a long piece of molding with the slightest slip-up. The jig lets you create a true miter in every inside corner: one cut on a power saw does the job.

5. It adjusts in seconds. Once the jig is set up for your crown molding, there's no need to change it.

6. The old way of installing crown molding was to have two people each hold a piece of the molding in opposite corners, then snap chalk lines around the room. With the Rockler Compound Miter Jig and a short template that you make from your crown molding, all that work is eliminated.