Step 2: Make the first scarf cut

Making the cut
Photo: Kolin Smith
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When two lengths of molding are required for a long wall, join them with an angled, overlapping scarf joint.

If you're working counterclockwise around the room, adjust the saw for a 45-degree miter cut to the left. (Swing it to the right if you're going clockwise.) Then put the crown, upside down as before, on the saw table between the wood guide fence and the vertical saw fence. Make sure the piece you're keeping is on the side to which the blade is turned.

Hold the molding securely, then cut through it slowly.

Leave the blade in the same position, and cut the adjoining length of molding with the piece you're keeping on the other side of the blade.
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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