Cutting Giant-Size Crown Moulding

Cutting really huge crown moulding like 24 inches wide poses a unique set of problems. Here are stories, examples, and suggestions. April 24, 2009

Anyone ever cut 24" tall crown molding?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor V:
Not as one piece, but as multi-piece. My largest one piece crown to date was 22", and yes, when you get that wide in one piece it is a pain.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for your reply. It is one piece. The sample shown is only 16" long. My partner and I both agree that we are going to need a much bigger sample just to use as a template. Right now we are looking for a saw to cut this thing.

From contributor S:
What about a sliding table saw? I think it would work.

From contributor J:
I'm just curious. How is a one piece molding that wide run?

From contributor R:
Not nearly 24", but I built this pediment working locally for this company. The crown sections are about 12 inches if I recall correctly. I ended up cutting a guide angle out of plywood and used it to guide a circular saw set at the proper angle. Clamped the guide to the crown with the bottom edges lined up, and then made the cut. The cuts were often not perfect, but a little work with a sharp hand plane and the angles fit pretty well.

From contributor W:
I installed a 22" cove crown some years ago. It was run in two 1/2's and glued together, and the architect, owner, and millwork provider all stated they wish they had not done it as it was poplar and wanted to move!

From contributor I:
Below is a multiple piece 17" crown we make. We found the trim guys preferred to assemble it themselves to allow them to use standard miter saws for install. We were real close on the moulder runs so sanding was not to crazy. Way back in the day I owned a "Sawbuck" which was great for wide moldings but I still don't think it would do 24" wide. I wonder if some well made compound angle guides and a skill saw cutting from the back would do the trick.

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From contributor P:
Or maybe a table saw with a weegee board (homemade miter gauge that fits in both grooves)? I have done this with a slider.

From contributor A:
Imagine back to the day before power tools. They had monster exterior/interior crowns on plenty of American Victorian buildings and houses. They also didn't have caulk, nor ultra sharp jap saws.

From contributor K:
The old timers they did them the same way I often do complex compound miters or joints for handrails. Draw two pieces up close to one another and get the miters pretty close, then run a hand saw through the miter carefully cutting both pieces at the same time. It isn't hard as one might think and makes for some pretty perfect joints.

From contributor C:
Try a Festool plunge circular saw, on a guide rail, mounted on MFT table for repetitive cuts and fine tuning. That thing has got me out of so many tough cuts.

From Gary Katz, forum technical advisor:
I'm not sure if you can cut that size crown on a standard mft table. It's just too big. You really need to build a large miter saw. I used a huge one with a tree-felling saw for cutting polyurethane crown. It worked great as long as I cut on the pull stroke only!

Trim Techniques

From contributor G:
MFT = multi function table?

From the original questioner:
We are getting it installed.

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Some pieces are 21' long.

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Job is all done.

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