Testing the angle
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 5: Test the angle cuts

Turn the pieces so they are stacked precisely one on top of the other (make sure to put the piece with the pencil lines on top). Then take this stack to the miter saw, put one set of the boards' edges against the saw fence, and adjust the blade angle to match the diagonal line.

Saw through both pieces at the same time along the diagonal line. This cut bisects the angle of the outside corner.

Hold the cut pieces against the ceiling as shown and check for a tight fit. If necessary, mark in which direction the angle is off, adjust the saw to match this corrected angle, reassemble the two boards as before, and cut them. Then test again to be sure.

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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