If you’re in the middle of a home-improvement makeover, don’t let the bugaboo of cutting the inside corners of crown moulding slow you down or even potentially scare you off. It may take you several attempts before you get the process down just right, but after a few tries, you, too, can cut the compound angles necessary for inside corners just like a pro.
But, one warning: While you’re practicing, use the least expensive moulding you can find. Since you’re almost sure to not “get it” the first one or two times, you don’t want to wind up with what may amount to a very expensive pile of firewood.
The First Piece is Easy
The first piece you cut will be a fairly simple cut that fits into the corner of your wall/ceiling. It’s the next piece that’s tricky – this piece must be cut at an angle that conforms (fits) neatly into the corner with the first piece. So begin by setting your miter saw at zero degrees, square-cutting the first piece of moulding, and nailing it into place.
The second piece of moulding comes next. Place it upside down on your saw, adjusting the blade to miter cut it. For a piece that needs to come to the corner from the right, turn the saw blade 45 degrees left to make you cut with the bulk of the moulding at the left side of your saw. Of course, for pieces that meet at the corner from the left, do just the opposite: Swing the blade to the right with the moulding also to the right.
Coping the Edge
Using a pencil or marker, mark the profile of the moulding’s front edge for your coping cut. With your coping saw, bevel the edge as needed, angling the saw’s blade about five degrees toward the back of the moulding piece. “Back beveling” – as this is called – is a technique used to follow the profile of the moulding as you cut. You will need to use the saw table or other appropriate measures to brace the moulding as you cut it.
Check For Fit
After you’ve coped the piece of moulding to where you think it has a good chance of fitting, check it by placing into the corner and against the moulding piece you’ve already nailed into place. The first try rarely fits perfectly, but don’t despair! You may only need to use a rasp to remove a little more wood or to smooth the coped cut out a little.
If you’ve cut too much off the piece, you’ll need to start over with a new piece of moulding, so as you cut, always do it a little at a time, checking for fit often. Once you’ve found the perfect fit, nail the moulding into place. That’s it! You’ve demystified the problem of inside crown moulding corners and with a little practice, no one will be able to differentiate yours from those made by the even the most high-priced carpenter.