Friday, September 30, 2011

How to Cut Crown Molding: The "Nested" Method

How to Cut Crown Molding
There are three main ways to cut crown molding, Flat, Cope and Nested. The "Nested" Method of cutting crown molding is the method that I use, at least for me, it is the one that I have had the least amount of trouble with. This is the method that I will be explaining here. There are a few simple rules that I can teach you that will help you save some of your sanity and a little cash in your wallet because you wont be pulling your hair out wasting a 20 foot stick of crown making all the wrong cuts.

Prepairing The Work Area:

The first thing that you want to do is set up a clean work area with your compound miter saw in the middle, with enough room on either side of the saw for whatever length crown you have. I usually set a piece of plywood on some saw horses outside, and nail or screw my saw down to the plywood and my plywood down to the saw horses, so that I can eliminate any movement of the saw during cutting and if someone tries to steal my saw while I am inside, they have to take the plywood and saw horses with it.

The Tools:

Now that we have the work area set up, you need to get your tools together. All you are going to need for cutting the crown is, safety glasses, a good measuring tape, a sharp pencil and your saw setup. Depending on how experienced you are with a Miter Saw, you might want to think about using a wood clamp to brace your crown to the Miter Fence, this will help you with making cleaner cuts and not "rolling" the crown while you make your cuts.

Placing the Crown on the Miter Saw

The "Nested" Method
Place the crown against the miter fence, "Nested" in its natural angled position. You can see this "Nested" position in the picture to the right. You will feel the crown lock into its natural angle, and the more crown you cut the more you will be able to feel the crown lock into place. The Bottom of the Crown, usually the more detailed side, always goes up against the Miter Fence, and the Top side of the crown always goes Down against the Miter Table.

Making the Inside, Outside Right & Left Cuts:

There are four cuts that you will be making, assuming that you have square 90° corner bead drywall corners. When I refer to the right or left side, if you are facing the corner, outside or inside, the right side is the right, and the left is the left. Always measure and make your marks on the top of the crown which is placed on the bottom when cutting, whether it is an inside or an outside corner, sometimes this will be the long point of the cut, and sometimes the short, but remember, always measure and mark the top side of the crown.

The following is a list of which way to swing the Miter Saw at a 45° angle, and which side is the waste for each cut.

     Outside Right Corner:

          Swing the Miter Saw to the Right 45° and the Waste goes to the Right.

     Outside Left Corner:

          Swing the Miter Saw to the Left 45° and the Waste goes to the Left.

     Inside Right Corner:

          Swing the Miter Saw to the Left 45° and the Waste goes to the Right
     Inside Left Corner:

          Swing the Miter Saw to the Right 45° and the Waste goes to the Left.

The Conclusion:

Following these simple steps, using a few simple tools, I hope that the average DIYer can figure out how to cut their own Crown Molding without much material waste or headache. Although it may seem simple, one of the hardest things to wrap your mind around, at least for me, are angles, and even more so when you involve multiple angles in the same cut. I hope that if you print out the list of the cuts above and place it in front of your miter saw as you make your cuts, you wont make a single mistake throughout your project. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave me a message or a comment below.


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