4 posts / 0 new
Last post
tandmj
Coping vs. Miter Cuts

For crown molding I have had pretty good luck just using my compound miter saw for all my corners - both inside and out. But in removing old crown, I see where some of the longer runs have been cut square and the adjoining pieces were coped. Is there a general rule of thumb about when to cope a corner rather than miter it?

jkirk
Re: Coping vs. Miter Cuts

when i cope inside corners i evaluate three things

1) what type of wood am i using
2) how complex is the profile
3) is it a new home or a old home with plaster

if im using mdf i mostly mitre, its much more stable than real wood

if the crown is pretty basic and not a more ornate type which we buy through a trim supplier i will mitre

with new homes most of the time the walls are square and the drywall is pretty flat so mitres are usually pretty easy, just need a angle finder and maybe one recut to fit it. with plaster walls the plaster is usually pretty funky and uneven which makes it tricker to get the exact angle so i cope. this compounds even more with baseboards. do to the kicker thats installed before the plaster goes on the wall, makes it much harder to get an exact measurement

as for tools, i use a jigsaw mostly, the odd time if i need more of a back cut ill do it on the table saw freehanding. i know a handful of trim carpenters that use mini grinders equipped with a flap sander to do this though it generates a ton of dust

ejm
Re: Coping vs. Miter Cuts
tandmj wrote:

For crown molding I have had pretty good luck just using my compound miter saw for all my corners - both inside and out. But in removing old crown, I see where some of the longer runs have been cut square and the adjoining pieces were coped. Is there a general rule of thumb about when to cope a corner rather than miter it?

I prefer coping.

Simply because it makes a nicer joint and it will not open up over time

Gizmo
Re: Coping vs. Miter Cuts

I use to cope 100% of the time for many yrs. Ive been doing nothing but Mitering 100% now for the last 13/14 yrs.
Ive found out I get less shrinkage/movement when the miters are cut tight and glued.

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.