Creating a guide fence
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 1: Create a guide fence

Place a piece of your molding at an angle upside down on the miter saw table so that the narrower bevel on the back of the molding rests on the saw table — this is actually the top of the molding, which will contact the ceiling when in place. The wider bevel (actually the "wall" part of the molding) will be against the saw's vertical fence. Secure with clamps.

Cut a piece of plywood or solid stock 30 inches long for a fence.

Apply hot glue to the saw table on either side of its rotating center, and press the fence in place against the clamped molding. Hold it in place until the glue sets. Then remove the crown and cut away the center section of the fence at 45 degrees in each direction.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Power Miter Saw,
      rents for $30 to $50 a day
    • coping saw
      Coping Saw,
      for shaping inside corners
    • chalk line
      Chalk Line,
      to creat a reference line on a wall with an uneven ceiling
    • hot glue gun
      Hot-Melt Glue Gun,
      to glue a temporary fence to the saw
    • rasp
      for smoothing coped joints
    • drill
      to predrill nail holes where molding is prone to split
    • hammer
      Hammer and Nailset,
      or rent a pneumatic nail gun and compressor for $30 to $40 a day

    Shopping List

    1. Crown molding

    To get the number of linear feet you need, measure the perimeter of the room, then add 15 to 20 percent for cut-off waste and errors

    2. 4d finish nails

    3. 6d or 8d finish nails

    4. Polyurethane glue

    (or yellow carpenter's glue, which cleans up more easily but isn't as strong on the end grain of a miter cut)

    5. Wood putty

    6. Paint or stain