How to Cut Crown Moulding

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Example of a self-returned end

Crown moulding can be cut with a compound miter saw, a standard miter saw and even with a table saw.

  • Obtain a "compound miter saw" and follow the directions which come with the saw. This saw tilts, angles and slides to make compound cuts. Crown mouldings are not all milled at the same angle, however, so it will take some "trial & error" before you get it right. This option is better for large mouldings that will not fit in an ordinary miter saw.  Check out Wayne Drake's website for instructions on cutting crown moulding with a compound miter saw.  [Mr. Drake is not affiliated with Crown Moulding & Door.]

  • The easier option for small to medium crowns is to use a standard miter saw (10" will handle most crowns.) The key to cutting crown in a standard miter saw is that the moulding must rest at an angle with the TOP of the crown on the saw's table (imagine the table is the ceiling) and the BOTTOM of the crown leaning against the fence (imagine the fence is the wall.)
    Then, turn your miter box one way or the other (depending on whether you want an inside or outside corner) to 45 and make your cut. Waste a few inches of material to make some "templates" for yourself. Then, when you need to make a similar cut again, it will be easier if you have an example piece to look at.

  • To end a crown mid-wall, try "self returning" the crown as in the photo above. The crown is mitered the same as an outside corner and returned back to the wall, a process called self returning.

  • We stock Mr. Drake's book, "Crown Molding & Trim Install it Like a Pro."  The book sells for $20.95 plus postage. Click on the book cover for an enlarged view of the cover.

Crown Moulding & Door Co., Inc.
157 Radio Road
Corona, CA 92879
Phone: (951) 371-5621
Fax: (951) 272-3055
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revised November 02, 2020 by Rick Keane