Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This site is designed to help homeowners understand and implement basic finish carpentry techniques themselvs in order to save time ,money and the personal satisfaction of doing a project themselves
crown moulding can be extremely frustrating for DIY'ers .Once you become famialiar with the crown and basic physics of cutting it it becomes easy fairly fast. Most people have trouble with cutting crown because they have trouble with the concept of cutting it upside down on the saw.I know it sounds strange but when cutting crown mould you bed it on miter saw ,with the bottom of crown up and resting against saw fence.There are many profiles of crown but generally, the small detail is the bottom of the crown so this would placed up against the saw fence and the top would be down against the saw table
The crown shown in the attachment is shown with bottom up and is a typical crown profile

i will be attaching photos of everything i discuss as time permits so check back with this site at your convenience.also please forgive my punctuation etc. as im a carpenter and keyboards are not my forte but i can help you begin to understand
basic carpentry techniques.
Crown moulding can really spice up a room and add value to your property.It gives an immediate pop to any room ,especially when it is done properly an all that takes is some practice and determination.Personally it is much harder for me to type out
this imformation than it is for me to install crown.

Okay,lets start with the basics.Crown is simply a ceiling trim piece.It is bedded between the ceilng and the wall which provides depth and dimension.It can be installed as one piece or several pieces together to really give some dramatic detail.
Crown can be cut on a miter saw laying flat or bedded .For now we will concentrate on bedding the crown on the saw,because once you understand the principle of bedding the crown ,you begin to really grasp the tricks of using this moulding.i will be adding photos ,as i said earlier , of each process i discuss.]

lets start withe a simple square room. you can join the crown in the corners by cutting a 45 degree angle on each peice and butting them together,or you can square off the first piece on both ends and then work your way arond the room left to right and cope the next piece over the first. Coping means that you would cut the crown on that same 45 degree angle but backcut the angle so it lays over the top of the squared off piece.I know this sounds strange and complicated but once you have perfected this technique it can be applied to many different types of trim,like base ,shoe mold etc..I will attach photos of these type of joints and it will become much clearer to you ,as we go along.

this seems mysterious to alot of people but it is a fundamental skill that is easy with some practice but once you get a feel for it you will always be confident in you joinery because the room your installing the trim in can be crooked as hell but this technique can solve a lot of grief because once you learn it it doesnt matter if a room is perfectly sqyuare when you simply bevel the inside corners at a 45 degree angle if the room is out of square the miters will not fit but when you cope one piece over the other it can make life much easier see attacthed photos of coping an inside corner and just beveling an inside corner remember coping works for many types of moulding such as base shoe nold chairrrail and backer etc its an easy effective method for joiming inside corners.

as i said earlier , im concentrating on explaining how to cut crown here by bedding it on the saw instead of cutting it on the flat because i think that once your mind wraps around the concept of how crown works and understand how it beds ,then you can really quickly get a grasp on getting it on the wall without 6 tubes of caulk,wasted time , and wasted money

lets start with installing the crown in a ten foot square room.measure your first wall and cut the crown nice and snug ,square on both ends . nail this piece on the wall making sure tha it is bedded properly see pic nail it off all along the piece but do not nail within 2 to 3 feet of the ends this will allow you to teak them later they may need to be tapped up or down to improve your finished joint .more on that later. by hte way , before i go on i must tell you that alot of these methods are adapted to the individuals prefernces i know alot ofcarpenters that have their own way of doing this stuff but ultimately the tips im trying to give you are universal techniques for example, some people cope their corners by pushing the coping sa away frome them see pic i preferr to use a pulling motion with coping saw its faster and more accurate and the other way to me is just goofy but thats a personal preference the results are basically the same

when ever your eys glaze ove just refer to the pictures ill add as many as i can as time permits.k back to the room.you should have one piece nailed on wall bedded between tha ceilng and wall
and as i said no nails within 2 feet of eithher end next, measure the next wall measure this wall really snug. when measuring always measure reall snug . as the crown is forced it the wall it will help tighten the corner where your cope joins with your first piece once you are competent that you have a good TIGHT MEASUREMENT bed the crown with the bottom up on saw fence
see pic and cut your inside bevel on left end of board see pic then backcut the crown along the short point of the bevel see pic just takeyour time on this or even better take a couple of scrap pieces of crown snd prctiv=ce this technique, the first few times you try this it will be maddening and you will want to stick the claw on your hammer into your forehead , but once you get it youll always have it and this stuff will be childsplay for you. but it will get you flustered snf irritated at first

you simply follw this routine right around the room and on the last piece you measure reall nice and snug and cope your final piece on both ends commonly refered to as a double cope

the reason you want to go left to right is because in my opinion, it easier to cope in this direction see pic

crown can be a real pain in the ass, but there are very simple things that mak it much easier

every crown has what i referr to as a sweetspot. by this i mean, that every crown is just a tad different and if you can find that sweet spot or where it seems to want to bed and get a nice joit then you can simply mark that spot on your miter saw and simply bed it there consistently and all your joints will come together much better see pic

virtually all crown has a squared off part along the top and bottom the squared off part on the to should rest flat and tight to ceiling and if you are bedding the crown right then the bottm sqared off point wil be tight to the wall i know from many hard years of doing this stuff that by simply bedding the crown a little high on your miter saw ,or in other words [rolling it up]
it can dramaticall increase your results. im tellin ya this works see pic just roling the crown up or down even by minute amounts can really change the ange and bevel of your cut see pic

just practie it alittle and you will begin to understand the bedding process. the most important thing here is that just by rolling the crown up or down really affects the tightness of your inside corner see pic

there are many types of crown that dont have a bottom or top they are the same on both ends see pic these you just bed them and cut them as desribed earlier. i started with crown on this site because over the years ive met so many people that were frustrated and frankly about to go insane because they were trying to run crown without any idea of how to do it . it becomes really easy if you just get your mind around the physics of how it beds in between the wall and ceiling. and also once you can cope crown, coping anything is a peice of cake, such as base etc

when you come to an outside corner in a room it is the opposite of an inside corner, obviously, and the outside corners are where it can get dicey only because the are very visible and caulk can only help them so much. inside corners are much easier to hid sins in than outside corners because they are far easier to caulk. outside corners need to be really nice and tight to acheive good end result. to me , a badly done outside corner is a real eyesore see pic

a lot of what i think frustrates so many people with crown is they just dont get the bedding,upsidedown on saw ,and direction that the crown needs to go to go up fast and tight

try cutting an inside corner and an outide corner on scrap to get a feel for it before ya try to put it on the wall , crown is expensive and you can waste alot of money and end up with a bad job really easy hopefully the pics etc can get you started
crown can get really nasty when you are trying to put it in small rooms,such as bathrooms and powder rooms because the smaller the pieces you are trying to join the harder it gets simply because you cannot bow it in like you can longer pieces see pic

for this reason you really need to practice the above before you run crown in small spaces
if you get anything out of what ive gon over i hope it is that crown is not mystical and anyone can do it with a minimal amount of practice
trust me ,if youvenever done it it will test your resolve but eventually youl realize how easy it really is if i were to run that 10 foot square room i would charge at least 75 dollars just for labor and the materials would be about the same depending of course what kind of crow you want to run
it would take me as long to get the tools off the truck as it would to run the crown probably 30 minutes tops so you can really save alot of money doing it yourself

alot of the fancy large mouldings you see in houses today are simlpy crown with a few pieces added same order ,same process just more pieces so it appears to be a much bigger piece of trim

speaking of tools, i realy,really recommend usin a pneumatic finish nailer to apply the crown hand driving nails in crown can be a costly ,miserable,horrific undertaking
please just rent a saw or borrow one and a compressor and nailgun to do this work just trust me on this its so worth the money hand driving nails in crown is a bitch and almost always not as good in the end

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WELCOME Ive been a finish carpenter for many long hard and lean years.As a result of this ,Ive learned thru trial and error, and expensive heartache, some lessons that DIY'ers can use to make their projects more enjoyable,less expensive and much more fullfilling.Below is a list of common projects that homeowners can do themselve to add value and beauty to their homes and get brownie points with the wife.
















Please bear with me , as im much better with wood than typing but i can save you some money and time.i will start breaking down these categories on this blog as time permits .Check back often.