I shall never mitre and inside corner again. Ode to the coping saw.

300 linear feet of crown moulding. Of course, thanks to less than perfect care by modern home builders, each inside corner is a nightmare of compound angles.

Will any be 90 degrees? No. Will the ceilling be square the length of the wall? No.

Am I tired of looking at other crown molding jobs that have gaps in the corner? YES!

The answer is the beloved cope cut…or coping cut. I must wirte an Ode to the Coping Saw…some day.

Coping the molding is a wondeful thing. Just cut the inside corner at a 45 degree angle, trace the profile of the molding and cut it along the profile with the beloved coping saw. Toss in a Dremil to shave off any snug bits after test fitting and one can love the experience. Damn if those corners don’t meet like melted butter.

I must leave now if only to stare at numerous tight fitting joints.

Time to sit on the porch and sip some lemonade.

WHAT?! No woodworkers, carpenters or hanging out today!?

I applaude you. I have watched Norm and various other TV carpenters do this and it looks like a tedious, royal pain in the ass.

I was gonna say the same thing. I’ve seen Noham do it many times. Good on ya Philster for doing it right! :slight_smile:

I’m very impressed. My house is 50+ years old and the crown molding here defeated me. A year later my husband bought these “cheater’s corner” thinggys at Home Depot. They don’t look too horrible, but whenever I see them, they remind me of how the house won.

I teach an adult evening ed class on repair and remodeling for women, and dozens of ladies have learned how to do coped joints in an evening. Granted, we’re not working with crown, but the principles apply to shoe and base. Students also learn how to project the angle of an outside corner to determine settings on a power mitre, as well as using finish and brad nailers. :smiley:

Did you see that This Old House ep that had the automatic coping jig?

God, I creamed my pants, I’ll tell you whut.

You just need a compound miter saw. They are perfect for crown molding

WTG Philster. I’ve been coping crown mold, base board, and way too many other types of moldings for over 20 years. It is the superior way to make the joint no question. One tip, if you slant your cope cut enough you won’t have to dremel or recut the back edge of the pieces.

I recommend having the teeth set so that you cut on the down stroke also.

You’d be amazed at how many people try to run ceiling molding and find themselves just totally flumoxed. It really is an art (or so I tell the wife anyways).

the real fun comes when you can make it turn a 90 and then follow up the rake of a sloped ceiling.
good times…

don’t forget, it’s the only way to compensate for those out of square corners when running base too.

How in the name of Norm did I miss that!? Must go search TOH site for that puppy.

Man, that is worth creaming one’s pants for.

Since you folks checked in, I was thinkng, and I have to say that while I coped small joints on mantels and shoe moldings on baseboards, I never bought a huge amount of crown molding and decided to cope every damn inside corner. I’ve built mantels, bars, desks and other stuff, but always helped others with crown and they made tight mitred corners…but a few months later, they were caulking them or they just didn’t look perfect.

And to the poster who claimed all ya need is a compound mitre saw to do moldings, I can tell you I have the top o’ the line DeWalt double bevel compound mitre saw. No flipping wood on this gizmo…and I have compound settings charted for every conceivable anlge…

But…while you could create the inside mitre to end all inside mitres, and it will never be as cool as coping it. Like dovetails on a drawer, coping corners is a sign of someone taking the $hit seriously and doing it right…well, not just right, but with craftsmanship.

From watching the Norms of the world, and even reading about the more fanatical woodworkers who won’t even use a brad or a dovetail jig, there are certain things you must always do to raise your game to another level. Dovetails, coped corners, mortise and tenon joinery, and others.

And when I go to bed, I won’t regret taking a short cut, or taking the cheaper or easier way out. It just feels better.

Hey Phil, why don’t you come over to my house next weekend for uhhh, no particular reason. Nope, no reason at all.

Just drop by after 11 because that when the delivery gets here.

Uhhh Pizza delivery. Yeah, that’s it. Pizza.

What, no caulk?

What…what’d I say…?

Phil, it’s a Kevin show. The project that had the remodel for the older parents, iirc. The eps that were showing just before the Bermuda House. Tom Silva was showing it to Kevin.

I miss Steve.

Program #2314

Host Kevin O’Connor arrives just in time to see the installation of the new fence, trellis, and gate. Then, landscape architect Stephanie Hubbard gives Kevin an update on the site plan, explaining how new plantings will help conceal the utility shed in the back corner of the Cottage. Kevin surveys the progress on the first floor and finds a new custom front door in place, as well as a built-in hutch in the dining room made off-site by local cabinetmaker Jon Sammis. General contractor Tom Silva shows Kevin coping techniques — traditional and new-fangled — as he works to build and fit a cap for the crown molding in the dining room. Kevin stops off at the historic Noah Brooks Tavern in Lincoln, Massachusetts, to see the Junior League of Boston’s Show House — an annual event that brings in more than 30,000 visitors to see the work of some of the best interior designers in Boston. Then, Kevin makes a trip to The New Yankee Workshop to see master carpenter Norm Abram’s progress on the frame for the interior sliding window unit.

[Tim Allen Grunt] Arrrr Arrrrr AAARRRRRR!!! [/t.a.g.]

I coped the crown moulding when I installed it and I was pleased with the results. I would suggest to anyone thinking about trying it is to do a few practice pieces first. My 1st coped end looked like crap but my 4th was really good.

Oh, great. Thanks a lot. After we have to buy the compound mitre saw, the table saw, and a ton of other tools, now my husband will have to have a coping saw!

Our crown molding and baseboards are giving us fits. There is not a single sqauer corner in the entire bloddy house! And it’s not even 15 years old!


For real fun, try teaching Habitat for Humanity volunteers to cope base moulding. To fit in out-of-square corners. Day after day. House after house. Over and over. My boss said to me today: “Marty, you’re a patient man”.

Please, oh PLEASE, someone post a link to the actual coping jig itself? I’ve checked the TOH ep guide and Googled, all to no luck!

That aside, I LOVE woodworking…I just don’t have time for all of the projects I would like to do, nor money for the materials…or the tools…I’m still making do with a Craftsman portable 10" saw for which I’m building some jigs…but I’m improving my tool collection slowly but surely. The biggest problem is a place to put all my stuff. I’m using my CARPORT like a shop - and I need MORE ROOM! Especially if I get that nice Unisaw I’m saving for…

Speaking of which - what about nice saws? Grizzly seems to make some nice ones, and they’re MUCH more reasonable than Delta. I’m even leaning a bit towards a good contractor-type rather than cabinet-based because they are SO much less expensive, and Grizzly’s contractor-style seems to have all of the same hardware; 3-belt drive system, 220v motor, milled cast iron top - just like their cabinet unit…anyone got any input?

Tom Silva said it was brand new, special order, not even Norm had one, and very expensive.

You could tell, tho… He loves it.