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Tcp
Crown Molding on Vaulted Ceiling with a Curved Point
Tcp

Hello guys, new to the form and had a couple of questions. I'm looking to install crown molding in my living room and it is not a simple square ceiling. It is a vaulted ceiling but at its highest point is a curve not a point. I think I got down how to make the transition from flat 90 to the slope but I'm not sure how I would go about creating that curve at the highest point. My initial idea was to try and cut kerf marks on top and bottom and bend. Any ideas?

A. Spruce
Re: Crown Molding on Vaulted Ceiling with a Curved Point
A. Spruce

There are a couple ways to do a curve, make a template of the curve and have a custom molding made or, segment the curve with many small pieces cut into pie wedge shape to make the curvature transition. Wedges would be easy with a flat molding, but not so much with a crown that is cut at compound angles, so work carefully, expect a lot of waste as you figure out how to make the cuts. I think that if it were me, I'd make a mock up of the curve so that I could cut and fit the pieces on the bench, rather than be up/down a ladder a thousand times doing it. Template the curve with cardboard to get it just right, then transfer that to 3/4" plywood, the using bendy plywood, wrap the curve and nail it secure. This will give you your "wall" (3/4" piece ) and your "ceiling" (bendy piece ), then you can work on the bench.

As for cutting, I would guess that they will be made similarly as the ones used to make the transition from a horizontal line to a diagonal line.

dj1
Re: Crown Molding on Vaulted Ceiling with a Curved Point
dj1

From a finish carpentry standpoint:

Don't attempt this job if:
- you are not experienced.
- you don't have the right equipment.
- you are unwilling to waste good expensive moldings for trial and error.
- you are in a hurry.
- you are on a budget.
- you are married.

This job requires a special 3-D skill even many finish carpenters don't have.

However, if you are qualified, then there is no achievement feeling that can top this type of project.

Tcp
Re: Crown Molding on Vaulted Ceiling with a Curved Point
Tcp
dj1 wrote:

From a finish carpentry standpoint:

Don't attempt this job if:
- you are not experienced.
- you don't have the right equipment.
- you are unwilling to waste good expensive moldings for trial and error.
- you are in a hurry.
- you are on a budget.
- you are married.

This job requires a special 3-D skill even many finish carpenters don't have.

However, if you are qualified, then there is no achievement feeling that can top this type of project.

Well I've done regular flat 90 cuts before. But other than lots of experience Im set on everything else! LOL

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Crown Molding on Vaulted Ceiling with a Curved Point
Sombreuil_mongrel

Buy the proper diameter piece of flex-trim, it will be a perfect curve. Crown molding that is "sprung" (is not solid, but touches the wall/ceiling only at it's own edges) is different to curve than a solid molding, It really can't be bent by kerfing. The fine woodworking article once showed slicing a crown molding into 1/8" thick plies (using two hunks of material to allow for loss to saw kerfs) and then reassembling these leaves in the right order with glue and a form or "caul" to obtain the desired shape. You're deconstructing/re-assembling a laminated piece of wood that has already been molded. The other way, if you have a great big shaper, is to make a laminated/curved blank, and then pass it across the molding cutter.
This intense tooling requirement is why most people will just pay the $$ to Flex-trim corporation.

The wall/rake transition cuts have been discussed here before, and many other places. The upshot is, the corner has to be turned in two different miters, with a small awkward transition piece in between. You turn the room 90* miter first, then the shortest possible transition angle is mitered on for the rake angle.
There is no way to make the turn in one cut, unless you used a different molding profile for the rake portion, which mad been exactly calculated to meet the wall corner (it would be a narrower and oddly-profiled version of a crown shape, as compared to the portion parallel with the floor). They used to actually do this sometimes on exterior cornices, two different molding profiles that actually mated up perfectly at the compound miter cut.
Casey
Good luck.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Crown Molding on Vaulted Ceiling with a Curved Point
Mastercarpentry

I've never liked flexible trim, it never seems to shape quite right and hold up well and often it doesn't match the profile of the solid pieces adjoining it. But I've used it where directed to.

If the raduis here is long enough, you can make a jig like A.Spruce described then steam-bend a solid (not finger-jointed) wood molding to shape yourself. Run these sides first, then cope the end pieces between. You may have to 'tweak' the coped piece's bedding slightly to get a good match at the joints (which may also require some hand-fitting) but usually that is not noticeable from floor level. I've run crown joints that way on a 4/12 pitched vaulted ceiling and it looked great. I think it would do just as well on a 6/12 but that would be pushing it. You can also fit "Crown Drops" at the corners.

Patience, forethought, and careful craftsmanship should get you through here and give you something to be really proud of in the end.

Phil

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