Step 3: Complete the scarf joint

Completing the scarf joint
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Apply a thin, even layer of glue to the scarf joint on the molding that's now nailed in place. Install the adjoining piece of crown so it creates a tight- fitting scarf joint.

Fasten the second piece with finish nails top and bottom, and wipe away any glue from the scarf joint.

After the glue dries, use 100-grit sandpaper to sand the joint smooth.
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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