Alter Eagle, Master Carpenter

Alter Eagle a residential construction company  Lic.#769640

Classical hardwood & ornamental architectural trimwork. Installation & design.

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Northern California's

Based in


Based in Sebastopol California

Installing Crown Basics

Classical hardwood & ornamental architectural trimwork, installation & design.
Master Carpenter - Finish Carpentry - Decks - Custom Structures

Some of our local Cities:   Healdsburg, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma and Novato, California

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Owner Tutorials - How to install crown moulding
Which way is up on crown molding? / Difference for Bevel and Miter / What is a spring angle / Crown videos
How to install crown molding basics

Installing crown molding (or moulding) can seem daunting for beginners, so I'm going to try and simplify it as much as possible. Craftsmen will find this easy, but it's hard to remember the math, so I'm going to give both of you information hopefully you'll find interesting.

This is the archived version of my Tutorial for the new site visit:
more information and the udates will be there:

Dental crown molding which way is up
The most popular crown molding which way is up

This is called a dentil and usually the decorative element of the trim is placed on the bottom.

In classical architecture this shape is known as a Cyma Recta, from the Greek words for "wave" and "upright".

This is a fairly common element in crown molding it's shape is called an "ogee" Most of the time this will be at the ceiling.


First is to know which side of the crown goes up?

Please use the crown forum, not my business email thank-you.

If you shop online please pick up something at amazon while you are here, 
(it helps me keep this tutorial free ).      Thank-you  -Gordon-

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Amazon link

The full kit 2 batteries & charger, 18-Volt 16-Gauge 20-Degree

The 18v by DeWalt
check the 

Video at Amazon

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Amazon link

If you already have 18v dewalt this unit comes without the batteries

Video 1
Video & slides of the the set-up
I use on the job site.

1.39 MB or 1,425 KB

Tool links for my Job site rig.
The 12" Dewalt sliding compound
miter saw
placed on the
Delta universal mitersaw stand
with the additional
crawford roller stands at each end.

Above Text links to Amazon

Video 2
A quick before and after slide video
of crown projects
682 KB

The Bosch Digital protractor / angle finder
I use this when I'm going to cut on flat. See flat page 

With the 52/38 crown, you will place the crown as in the picture to the above.
The short run to the ceiling and the long rise to the wall. You will have more crown on the wall plane rather than the ceiling plane.

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Above is the typical framing you will be nailing to. Look for studs at 16 on center for most homes.
See the setting up page for more

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Amazon link

I use the Zircon  sensor, to locate studs.
More on the setting up page.

Second is to know what is difference between a bevel and miter?

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Bevel is moving the blade side to side to the angle on the arm
(Bevel: tilt of blade)

Miter is moving the blade side to side to the angle on the table
(Miter: angle on table)

The DEWALT DW708 12" Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw
 I use on the job site. 
I use a Bosch in the shop.

Amazon link

Amazon link

Wear saftey glasses | Keep track of your fingers |
Secure the saw & support long pieces |

For more details and pictures, click on   left Amazon text links .

DeWalt 706 will cut up to 6 5/8 crown
DeWalt 708 will cut up to 5 1/4 crown
DeWalt 705s will cut up to 5 1/4 crown
DeWalt 703 will cut up to 4 1/2 crown

Third what is a Spring Angle?

Starrett 505A-12 ProSite Protractor Under $40.00
If you get a tool to cut crown (in position)
this is it !

Red scale shows the angle for a miter joint
Black scale shows the setting for fitting a single piece to an angle.
I use this protractor, the tool is excellent quality and made of metal careful buying the plastic ones just download our paper one instead.

Use it for cutting crown in position, finding angles.

Amazon link

Position the crown in a square like this and move it back and forth until the top and bottom flanges are as close as possible to meeting flush  most are beveled an additional 2 degrees.

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The spring angle for this crown is 45/45 That isn't always the case, the pre-settings on most miter saws are set up for 52/38

One way to get that angle is to use your sliding T bevel and match it to a protractor.
If you don't have a protractor print out one of these. The pdf is the best choice of the two.
Without the prosite protractor you'll have to convert the angle to the miter saw angles.

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A protractor to find the angles, click on image for full size then right click and print or down load the PDF & print out (better)

The most common spring angles in the U.S. are 45/45 and 52/38

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