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Deck Designer/Builder
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Discussion Starter #1
I know there are lots of posts here about crown moulding but I couldn't find the exact questions I have plus I wanted to ask you guys first. I am going to install crown in my own family room. It's a 15' x 16' room with 8' 1/2" ceilings and the room opens up to the rest of the upstairs across an open railing/staircase - the one end of the room has no wall at all. So, here are my questions:

1. I will be painting it white to match the baseboards and window trim. What material would you recommend for the crown? MDF or finger-jointed pine?

2. Should the thickness of the crown (from the ceiling down the wall) match the width of the baseboards or is it okay to have it wider? What looks better?

3. When it comes to the outside corners where the room ends, I want to stop the crown and not continue it into the upstairs hallway. How do I go about doing this? My thought is that if I cut off the crown flush with the outside corner then I will have the opening behind the crown showing?

By the way, this is the first time I will be installing crown (in case you couldn't tell - lol)

Thanks in advance,
 

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DecksEtc said:
I want to stop the crown and not continue it into the upstairs hallway. How do I go about doing this? My thought is that if I cut off the crown flush with the outside corner then I will have the opening behind the crown showing?
I've never installed it myself either, but I've seen plenty installed. :rolleyes:

Have you thought about cutting a 45 at the end of the crown, and then cutting a small 45 to cover up the end? (I know the description sucks) I've seen it done, and it looks pretty good.

Post some pics!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I thought of that too Kevin but I wanted to ask for expert opinions here. I'll definitely post pics when it's done.

One more question, more to do with painting but still related. I've put the tinted primer and the first coat of paint on - the colour is a very deep, rich burgundy. I was wondering if I should install the crown now or after the final coat of paint (it may need up to a 3rd coat because the colour is so dark)? I'll be dapping the seams & joints so I'm assuming after the crown is installed but wanted to check here.

Thanks again,
 

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I'll try to answer 2 questions here.

Bear in mind, I'm no carpenter. But all the chair, base, and crown I've painted has ended with what I would call a cap. Cut a 45 back into the wall, then cut another 45'ed sliver, and slide it in the wedge to create the cap. Hopefully someone with more carpentery knowledge will chime in on the name/procedure for this.

As for the paint, I'd leave the last coat for after the install. You will need to putty the holes, and possibly caulk in to the wall/ceiling, so touch-up will be necessary. And seeing how dark colors aren't very touch-up friendly, just figure on recoating the whole thing.

Hope that helps.
 

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ProWallGuy said:
... has ended with what I would call a cap. Cut a 45 back into the wall, then cut another 45'ed sliver, and slide it in the wedge to create the cap.
Much better explanation - that's what I was getting at.
 

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The Deck Guy
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Let me put you guys out of your misery... :D

It's called a SELF RETURN!!!!!!!

Yes, it's a smart call to paint the crown prior to hanging and then just touch up the nail holes and where you've caulked. It's a hell of a lot easier to paint on sawhorses than at 8-1/2 feet.

MDF is a pain to work with compared to FJ Pine. Although coping seems elusive and difficult, its easier to achieve a tighter inside corner by coping (you can't really cope MDF).

Also, cut the crown in position in your saw and either buy crown stops or clamp a scrap to your saw table to hold the crown on its spring angle.

There a 7 million sites out there about hanging crown. Google it and you'll see what I mean.

If it's your first time, buy an extra 8' to practice on. You WILL burn a 16' footer otherwise!
 

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I only like MDF based on the fact that most FJ pine has tons of imperfections, is usually warped, and is so hard and dry it likes to split a lot.

I would use a solid hardwood myself, usually poplar crown isnt too expensive.

Just take it slow and yes do a return when you want it to stop. It basically just 45's back into the wall like everyone else said. I like to cope myself, as you can cut the pieces a little long and flex them into place to be nice and tight.

*IF YOU USE MDF:*

Regular yellow carpenters glue DOES NOT hold very well in MDF. It just soaks into the material and has very little holding power. They make a WHITE "molding glue" (thats all the label says) that works well. It takes a long time to set up and dry, which is good for your case as you'll probably be messing w/ the corners quite a bit before they line up right. Regular white Elmers glue actually holds better in MDF then wood glue.

Good luck, use a little putty and caulk if you dont get it real tight, and paint it a nice high gloss white and it should look pretty good.
 

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I'm with PPro on the poplar, You'll probably have to go to a millwork for it.

IMHO MDF ranks right in there with particle board and OSB, you won't see any of it on my sites.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the input guys.

My girlfriend decided tonight that she wants me to carry the crown from the family room into the upstairs hallway - which eliminates the whole "ending on an outside corner" dilema. I'll have 11 inside and 7 outside corners to deal with now (instead of the original 5 inside and 2 outside). She doesn't want the crown to be overly elaborate in design so the cost shouldn't be too bad for pine or poplar. There's a total of approx. 125 feet to do so the cost isn't a huge factor either. O prefer working with real wood as opposed to MDF anyway. Also, there are only 2 runs of greater than 12' so I won't have to get a lot really long pieces.

As for the painting, after the primer and 1st coat, it looks like it's going to need 3 coats to get really good coverage - the colour is very deep. I'm thinking I'll prime and install the crown after coat #2, fill the nail holes, dap ad then do the final coat.

Time to break out the coping saw and get at it!

Thanks so much for all the input!
 

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Greg Di said:
Let me put you guys out of your misery... :D
It's called a SELF RETURN!!!!!!!

Yes, it's a smart call to paint the crown prior to hanging and then just touch up the nail holes and where you've caulked. It's a hell of a lot easier to paint on sawhorses than at 8-1/2 feet.

MDF is a pain to work with compared to FJ Pine. Although coping seems elusive and difficult, its easier to achieve a tighter inside corner by coping (you can't really cope MDF).

Also, cut the crown in position in your saw and either buy crown stops or clamp a scrap to your saw table to hold the crown on its spring angle.

There a 7 million sites out there about hanging crown. Google it and you'll see what I mean.

If it's your first time, buy an extra 8' to practice on. You WILL burn a 16' footer otherwise!
Nice post. RT :Thumbs:
 

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Teetorbilt said:
IMHO MDF ranks right in there with particle board and OSB, you won't see any of it on my sites.
I like to use it based on its ease of installation. I dont have to worry about a not so perfect saw blade splitting it, or cutting an intricate piece only to have the pine split into a million pieces when my nail gun shoots into it because the stuff is so dry. MDF usually installs super easily.

However, I would not put it in my own home. As soon as little Jimmy takes his new 3 wheeler and drives the front tire into an outside corner, the stuff crushes like cardboard (probably cause it basically IS cardboard).

In the end, I agree. I do wish wood was so easy to work with though.

Oh, and I do like getting the stuff from a millwork. You can usually see some not so popular milling profiles there. I dont want my house to have the same crown that Bob down the street got and had installed from a big box store.
 

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PPro, wood is very easy to work with, been doing it for almost 50 yrs. now. You young guys just aren't with it.
 

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I never said it was "hard" to work with, just that MDF is easier IMO. I've never had MDF split on me like FJ pine does. Also a lot of the FJ pine around here has huge gouges taken out of it and sometimes is already split right down the middle. If I'm cutting a long piece of base and start nailing it on, after nailing it to 4 studs I dont want to find an imperfection that I happened to miss while cutting it that causes me to remove the whole piece and start over. Homeowners get pissed as well cause they think I'm "wasting" material (even though I'm not).

90% of the work I do is FJ Pine, and it just keeps getting worse every year. Maybe you Floridians have better stuff there. ;)

I'm not complaining about FJ pine, just that MDF is easier to install. It will not ever enter my own home however. Poplar for me.
 

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One of these days someone is going to explain to me how gluing a bunch of scraps together is cheaper than working with full boards. One would think that the cost of machinery, maintainence, labor, etc. would make it more expensive.
 

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I agree w/ ya there, the cost of putting them all together is probably cheaper than finding enough wood thats 16ft long to make into one full piece. Then they just sell those pieces as stain grade.

The FJ stuff usually has some crappy grain patterns as well. Its just a mix of junk they cant sell as the real deal.

I like to think of it as the hotdogs of the lumber world. Nobody really knows what goes into it, but somehow its cheap and everyone likes it.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
One of these days someone is going to explain to me how gluing a bunch of scraps together is cheaper than working with full boards. One would think that the cost of machinery, maintainence, labor, etc. would make it more expensive.
I never figured that one out either!!
 

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A fella in town here does handyman stuff, demos, has a bunch a junk out at his place he sells for too much usually, started making his own fj studs. Gets the scrap from a local truss manufacturer, fj's and glues them, then builds/sells garden sheds outa them. I haven't seen his machine yet, he said he built it. He sells the studs for $2.25 when you can get #2 or better spruce in the store for $2.99. Don't know the price of fj studs in the store- I never buy them. If I get the time I'll go have a look at the machine, not interested in using them w/o a stamp. But I guess he's found out how it works, the material is free. He sells the garden sheds off the highway, I saw one yesterday, he had used his fj for the rafters/plates! Guess he figures he'll be able to sell a second one after it snows. :cheesygri R.
 

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Greg Di said:
Let me put you guys out of your misery... :D

It's called a SELF RETURN!!!!!!!
LOL! :cheesygri

MDF rocks.

Anybody who doesn't like it and says only wood will do is just a poser in my book. Real men who use wood grow it and mill it themselves, everybody else is just taking the easy way out if you don't grow the tree from a sappling and harvest it yourself and mill that one piece of molding that you need that day yourself in your own lumber mill.

Oh, and the really, real men would also mine thier own iron ore and smelt it themselves to build the machinery and saw blades used in their mill. :rolleyes:
 
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