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Cutting crown molding is not the easiest task for a DIYer. You need a quality saw with a bevel that swings both ways and quite a lot of knowledge about angles. There’s no denying this can be a challenging task for those less experienced hobbyists, but how hard is it really?
As it turns out, cutting crown molding on a flat is not too complicated, as long as you take your time and know the basics.
Sometimes it’s enough to have a chart with angles close by and this will save you a lot of trouble with calculations.
This article will show you how easy it is to take angles and make associations between them so you can adjust the saw for the perfect cut. You’ll also learn how to flip the crown molding on the saw so that the cutting and measuring process will be easier for you.
If you’re making a basic crown molding cut with the fence and table acting as the wall and ceiling, you will need less adjustments on your saw. As for cutting crown molding on a flat with a compound miter saw, you have to determine more angles as follows.
The spring angle is the angle at which the crown molding shoots up from the wall and to the ceiling. You can measure this with a protractor by inserting it between the wall and the crown molding until it’s fixed. Based on popular crown molding designs, this angle should be either 38 or 45 degrees.
Whenever you’re setting crown molding you can’t be off with the corner angle. You can get away with the spring angle being one degree or so off, but the joinery won’t fit properly if the corner angle is off. Because not all corner angles are 90 degrees, you should use the protractor to measure the corner angle just as you do the spring angle.
Bevel Angle and Miter Angle
Once you know the spring angle and the corner angle, you can determine the bevel and miter angle for your saw. You can do this one of two ways: using an angle finder or using a crown molding miter and bevel angle chart. The second option may take a bit longer but it won’t cost you anything since there are plenty of online charts that you can look up.
If you’re using an angle finder, check the instructions in the user manual to see what are the necessary steps to take and what abbreviations are used when displaying angles.
When you make your first cut you should do it with the bottom edge of the molding pushed up against the fence. This will let you have a better view of the marking. You will also most likely do this with the right end acting as the left-hand corner because the molding is upside-down.
Now that you know all the preparations you need to make, it’s time to learn how to cut crown molding on a flat with a compound miter saw. The first angle you want to adjust is the bevel. Tilt the bevel to whatever degrees you need according to the angle finder or crown molding angle chart, and lock it down.
The next step is adjusting the miter. Remember that when cutting inside corners the long point should be against the fence. For outside corners, you want the short point against the fence. Now you can adjust the miter either left or right, depending on what corner you’re cutting, and lock it at the desired position.
Once your angles are set, be sure to recheck the position of your fence. If you have a sliding two-piece fence, you might want to slide one side of it out of the way. Only inexperienced DIYers hit the fence while cutting crown molding on a miter saw.
After your first corner is done, flip the crown molding end to end to readjust your miter position. Remember to recheck all calculations before you do this since you might not always get the same values for both corners.
Learning how to cut crown molding on a flat with a compound miter saw properly takes time. It certainly looks scarier than it actually is but thanks to all the charts that make the angle associations for you, you just need to learn which is which.
Cutting crown molding on a flat is more about taking the proper measurements and going through the adjustments than it is about controlling the cutting speed. Even if it’s a bit more technical than regular two-dimensional molding cuts, it’s not something you can’t master. It can even be fun if you like working on projects that take longer to complete.