The no-swear approach to cutting crown moldingcomments (16) May 21st, 2009 in Blogs
I once had a “Do-It-Yourself” type of customer who was remodeling his kitchen and had refinished the floors, installed face-frame cabinets, and set a laminate countertop. But when it came time to fit the crown molding to the several obtuse angles created by the corner cabinets, the project stalled. He asked me to help out.
Now, being fairly new to the trade, I had never done a crown job with those sorts of complicated angles, and what simple crown jobs I had finished were partially saved by the amateur’s best friends - caulk, putty, and paint. But I chose to remember Theodore Roosevelt’s famous words “Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”
I didn’t want to shatter his confidence by spending the day walking back and forth from my miter saw to his kitchen cabinets; sneaking up on the right fit, and whittling down the pile of expensive crown molding. Instead I made a template of the cabinet angles and took it home to my basement so that I could swear at my miter saw in private.
I wish I had known back then that Bosch makes a Digital AngleFinder. Place this little whiz-kid of a tool on the inside or outside angle that has you scratching your head, and the digital readout tells you the exact miter-saw settings necessary to cut the joint for a flawless fit.
Sure, $170 seems like a steep price for a tool that you may use for only a few projects. But let me remind you of the grossly over-inflated pricing on prefinished crown molding for kitchen cabinets, or the alarming feeling that settles into the pit of your stomach when you realize that you can’t buy caulk to cover sloppy joints in the cherry or maple molding in your dining room. So, next time you’re paying $80 for an 8’ stick of crown molding, and mentally crossing your fingers as you ever-so-gently nudge the miter and bevel settings on your saw to sneak up on that perfect fit, give that AngleFinder a second thought.
Besides, if you’ve ever tackled crown molding before, you can probably buy the tool with the money that’s accumulated in your swear jar.
By the way, for those of you that already have the old version of this Bosch tool, you'll be happy to know that the newest version does not require you to re-enter the spring angle of the crown each time you take a measurement.For more on crown molding installation, check out Tucker Windover's new video workshop.
posted in: Blogs, finish carpentry, kitchen, measuring and marking tools, bathroom, cabinets, nailers, miter saws, living room, levels, dining room
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