Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding - Finish Carpentry - Contractor Talk

Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding

 
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:00 PM   #1
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Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


Went to a site today for the finishing of 4 loft apartments in a factory. The framers/rockers never flattened the ceiling joist. ...Many of the old buildings here have joist that are notched onto the plate. The old timers focused on leveling the floor above, but not the ceiling below. The old mills seemed to have variations +/- 1/2" on joist height. It's not uncommon to find drastic shimming when the old plaster or tin ceilings come down.

Long story short. The drywall looks like crap and there's lots of waves on the ceiling to wall angles.

I've had luck doing a built up crown with colonial base on the wall & ceiling. This allows me to shim to correct spring angle as well as flatten out the surface to nest crown. We've floated out the high spots with mud or caulked to conceal the gap.

What have you found that best works for you for hiding ceiling flaws? Is there a particular profile/Moulding that works well for you?

Also, many of the side walls are brick so a nailer will be needed to attach the crown.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:22 PM   #2
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


call your drywaller and have him float the ceiling

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Old 05-17-2016, 04:54 AM   #3
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


That sucks. A) previous carpenters too dumb or not give a chit. B) Rockers too dumb or not give a chit.
Good luck having them come back.
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:14 AM   #4
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


"As a carpenter I will do my best, caulk and paint will do the rest".

That's the axiom I learnt working on old relics - excuse me, I mean historically significant architectural gems.

The walls and ceilings were always wavy and out of plumb, the wood supplied always wandered like a sailor on holiday.

The secret is to misdirect the eye and de-emphasize the swoops and bulges.

I've only ever worried about 3 points: the middle and the two ends of a crown/wall run. In between those, the crowns job is to say "hey look at this long straight line, ignore those crooked walls", so pushing it in and out to follow the contours is wrong.

Here's where the painter comes in: When the paint is rolled up past the actual joint of wall to crown, and that width is consistent along the run to the first angle of the crown - THAT is the line the eye sees.

It's never been about making perfect - it's always been about looking good.
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:41 PM   #5
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


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Originally Posted by SmallTownGuy View Post
"As a carpenter I will do my best, caulk and paint will do the rest".

That's the axiom I learnt working on old relics - excuse me, I mean historically significant architectural gems.

The walls and ceilings were always wavy and out of plumb, the wood supplied always wandered like a sailor on holiday.

The secret is to misdirect the eye and de-emphasize the swoops and bulges.

I've only ever worried about 3 points: the middle and the two ends of a crown/wall run. In between those, the crowns job is to say "hey look at this long straight line, ignore those crooked walls", so pushing it in and out to follow the contours is wrong.

Here's where the painter comes in: When the paint is rolled up past the actual joint of wall to crown, and that width is consistent along the run to the first angle of the crown - THAT is the line the eye sees.

It's never been about making perfect - it's always been about looking good.
I always shoot for, make it perfect, and look great...
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:44 PM   #6
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


On long runs I chalk a line for the bottom and float the top as needed. If there is a really bad bump in the ceiling out come the planer.

But by the sound of it you are talking major issues that are not so easily covered up.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:51 PM   #7
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


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On long runs I chalk a line for the bottom and float the top as needed. If there is a really bad bump in the ceiling out come the planer.

But by the sound of it you are talking major issues that are not so easily covered up.
So on to plan B... expanding foam...
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:01 PM   #8
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


The rockers are still working in the building. I know it can be ugly before it gets pretty, but I'm skeptical of their ability to float these waves. They have some of the units partially taped, but a mess overall. I may just let them finish and float the ceiling myself. I know it will be a case of rockers saying "the framers should have" and the framers will say" drywall guys should have shimmed it". I don't want to get in the middle of it. The client contracted them individually and has been running the job until now. I don't want to start pointing fingers. It's my job to finish it and make it good perfect... Or good.

I'm doing paint, tile, doors, millworks, appliances, some finish plumbing/electrical. So how it looks falls on me since I'm the last guy in there.

I was considering running S4S on the wall/ceiling to set the crown on and using a cove Moulding to finish the exposed edge. I was think the curve of the cove may better conceal and heavy caulk joints to the drywall ceiling. 10'6" ceiling height also helps

I too try to keep the crown straight. Using the base allows me to shim the hollow spots and get if flat/straight. Then I have a clean slate for the crown and down have to worry about racking it to conform. I feel the base hides the caulking a little better than crown alone, plus the added detail makes it look fancy.
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:31 PM   #9
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


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Originally Posted by philcav7 View Post
The rockers are still working in the building. I know it can be ugly before it gets pretty, but I'm skeptical of their ability to float these waves. They have some of the units partially taped, but a mess overall. I may just let them finish and float the ceiling myself. I know it will be a case of rockers saying "the framers should have" and the framers will say" drywall guys should have shimmed it". I don't want to get in the middle of it. The client contracted them individually and has been running the job until now. I don't want to start pointing fingers. It's my job to finish it and make it good perfect... Or good.

I'm doing paint, tile, doors, millworks, appliances, some finish plumbing/electrical. So how it looks falls on me since I'm the last guy in there.

I was considering running S4S on the wall/ceiling to set the crown on and using a cove Moulding to finish the exposed edge. I was think the curve of the cove may better conceal and heavy caulk joints to the drywall ceiling. 10'6" ceiling height also helps

I too try to keep the crown straight. Using the base allows me to shim the hollow spots and get if flat/straight. Then I have a clean slate for the crown and down have to worry about racking it to conform. I feel the base hides the caulking a little better than crown alone, plus the added detail makes it look fancy.
I like the way you think as a carpenter, and it sounds like you already have a good plan.

Putting on my builder cap, I would expect to get a call from the guy hanging the crown straight, and I'd say thanks for the heads up, I'll bring a mudder back in to plane the walls and ceiling to the crown when its done.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:35 PM   #10
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


Adding a fake freize with an applied moulding on the wall also helps. A straight line there, a couple inches from the crown allows the bottom edge to undulate some more. The more pieces you add the more you can split, the farther you can get down the wall the more room you have to fix the problem.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:12 PM   #11
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


If the ceilings/walls are bad I, make sure the profile is copable (no details the drop below horizontal and turn back up). Copes are more forgiving for fit and can be tapped up or down easily to close a joint and get tighter to walls.

If there is a ceiling/wall moulding as part of the built up I only nail the front/lower edge when running as I install. If there are joists that hang low I nail to them and let the moulding float past the irregularities. As I go around installing the crown I use a nail length that reaches through both crown and ceiling moulding. If the moulding needs to be pulled down more to tighten it to the crown I'll drive a trim screw so it doesn't penetrate the back of the trim and pull it down with a pair of sides or pliers before nailing.

Occasionally I'll scribe a bit of the top. I try to avoid it because screws with the long straight lines and tends to stick out. If there is a gap 1/8" or larger it gets floated after the moulding is run. I really like the Magic Trowel for smoothing out floats. Makes me look like I'm actually a good taper.

The more messed up the walls the wider I try to make the reveals between layers of a built up's. A little extra wiggle room always helps.

For dealing with off level conditions I often change the spring angle of the crown. Common technique for cabinet crown that hits a hard ceiling that's off. Say you have a window that is set level and cased. The ceiling above might be flat but off level. Depending how close the casing is to the ceiling a variation will stick out. Say the crown has a 2" rise. Measure between the ceiling at both ends of the window and pick the largest number to use as you spring angle. That side gets cut in position at the correct spring angle for the crown. Say the others side measures 3/8" less. You cut the crown for a 1 5/8" rise. Pretty easy to do when cutting in position. Mark a rise of 1 5/8" on the saw fence and slide the crown stops to the new run. To get things tight you have to plane or rip the back of the crown to relieve the top edge. One side is cut with a different angle than the other but the horizontal line reads straight. The pic shows the fences on my saw for running a crown on a level cabinet frieze with a ceiling that was off 5/8" from one side to the other.
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:35 PM   #12
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


Is there a similar trick for when the ceiling slopes down close to the corner?
I was dealing with one the other day where the last two feet of the ceiling from the corner sloped almost 3/8". I couldn't figure out a technical solution, just had to do trial and error to get something close by using different angles and planing down the back of the crown at the top, but I felt there must be a better way.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:50 PM   #13
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


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Is there a similar trick for when the ceiling slopes down close to the corner?
I was dealing with one the other day where the last two feet of the ceiling from the corner sloped almost 3/8". I couldn't figure out a technical solution, just had to do trial and error to get something close by using different angles and planing down the back of the crown at the top, but I felt there must be a better way.
Changing the spring angle a bit usually works. I'll try carrying the line of the bottom of the crown through first and try a couple cuts at that rise and plane the top edge to an acute point to the face. If it doesn't close well or I don't like the look I split the difference somewhere in between the designed rise needed to keep a straight bottom line and the rise it would take to close the corner. I start the change a few feet back from the problem spot and float the difference or have it floated by someone else. Sometimes you need to scribe a bit off the top band of the crown in addition to the spring change. 2' is a very short distance to twist the crown unless it's mdf. Just takes a little patience to find the right combination for that corner.

If you are cutting in position it's very easy to change the angle. Snap a line for the bottom of the crown and measure up to the ceiling for the rise. To change the rise you mark your new desired rise on the saw fences with a combination square, hold the top (bottom in position) of the crown to the line, and slide a crown stop until it meets the crown. All the math is done by the fence and stops.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:12 PM   #14
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Re: Hiding Framing Irregularities On Crown Moulding


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Also, many of the side walls are brick so a nailer will be needed to attach the crown.



That is true,however a continuous solid wood nailer is the route to go even on frame construction.


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