Step 12: Complete the return

Completing the return
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Bore two pilot holes through the tiny triangular return with a 4d finish nail chucked in your drill.

Apply a thin coat of glue to the return, then press it into place and hold it for a minute or two.

Nail the joint gingerly with 4d nails through the pilot holes only if the glue fails to hold.

Set the nails and fill all nail holes with putty.
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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
      Rasp,
      for smoothing coped joints
    • drill
      Drill/driver,
      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