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  1. #1
    Jay Guest

    Default Scribing Crown Moulding

    How and what tools do most of you use for scribing crown moulding to walls and ceilings that are out of wack.

    Thanks,

    Jay

  2. #2
    Gary R Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    Jay,

    A lot of guys get into trouble installing crown without carefully inspecting the job before hand. Then as they are installing the molding discover how bad the walls and ceilings are and panic cause it is not looking too good. I never scribed the crown to the ceiling or walls. If the ceiling is really bad I do not hesitate to point out to the customer that installing crown will look terrible and will not meet their expectations, and the only remedy is to fix the ceiling. Sounds drastic because it is. If the ceilings and walls are not too bad you can float mud to the gaps after the molding is installed, but I find it much easier to use a long aluminum straight edge along the wall and ceiling, marking all the dips and bumps. (before molding installation) Then floating mud and feathering it all out until everything is relatively flat. Checking it with the straight edge between coats. It entails a bit of work, but the prep of the walls will pay off after you see how good the crown looks.

  3. #3
    Gary Wiese Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    Jay, if you don't have the opption of floating the ceiling like most of us then try this. I use a power plane or a belt sander, I like the power plane better. I clamp the crown to my bench and plane to the scribe line, then I finish it up with a block plane.

    Gary

  4. #4
    Derrell Day Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    I never (almost never, anyway) scribe moldings to fit irregular walls and ceilings.
    Two reasons... I feel molding profiles are to be preserved at all costs and planing and sanding take away the profile. It will look bad no matter what. I am responsible for the trim.
    Second.... If the walls and ceiling are so out of whack as to need sacrificing the molding, the customer needs to bring in the other trades who are responsible for screwing things up in the first place and have them prepare the walls to receive trim.
    I have seen a trend over the years of sorrier and sorrier concrete work, poor framing, poor sheetrock installation and finishing and expecting the finish carpenter to correct it all with apiece of trim.
    That is why I carefully look at every job before I bid, and explain to the customer why my price is what it is. Until we stand firm the trend will just get worse.
    My 2¢

  5. #5
    Dick Seibert Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    I agree that molding should never be scribed to irregular walls. The only things that should be scribed to walls and ceilings are cabinets; those scribe strips just reek of amateurs. If the customer doesn't want to float out the ceilings, have the painter caulk the gaps between the crown and the ceiling. At least that way it leaves the option open to float the ceilings at a later date without making the top of the crown profile too narrow.

  6. #6
    bjcas Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    I agree that todays houses are sometimes put up in such a fast manner, that it is wise to bring a straight edge along to show why it costs to do a certian job. why sacrifice how your work looks because somebody else through up some mud on the wall or slammed the framing together.

    bj

  7. #7
    Swan Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    Never do anything that will make your work look bad because that is what everybody will see forever, Your good work will get you jobs not poor work. The most you can do is let the customer know why you have to do it right. Swan

  8. #8
    Gary Wiese Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    I agree with all of you guys crown should never be scribed, but do you really walk away from every job just because the builder or contractor doesn't want to do it right?

    I voice my opinion every time a customer asked me to scribe molding that shouldn't be scribed, but it never gets through.

    I just finished a cherry room that had ceilings from hell. When I walked through the house to see what needed to be done the first thing I saw were the ceiling. I hoped there isn't any crown going there, I said, yep it’s the cherry room, said the contractor. I asked the contractor if it was going to be fixed, nope, do your best. My boss asked me how it looked when I got done, I said like s--t, but the home owner liked it.

    So you guys never get jobs like that?

    Gary

  9. #9
    Steve Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    Derrell; well said!

    I've been screamin' about this crap for years; hope somebody finally listens up!¿All work to be installed plumb, level, and true-to-line, unless noted otherwise."

    That means ALL work from the ground up!

    None of this "well, we screwed up the foundation a bit, but the framers'll fix it." Then the framers say the finish guys'll make it work; the finish crew says the painters will make it look right.

    I'm sick of it. If some of you guys are not interested in learning or doing your job right, why are you still doing it? Pride-of-craftsmanship can't be the reason! Please find something else to do.

  10. #10
    Gary Wiese Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    Steve, you sound like a home owner who thinks everything is perfect.

    ”I've been screamin' about this crap for years; hope somebody finally listens up!”

    You better scream a little louder because nobody is listening!¿All work to be installed plumb, level, and true-to-line, unless noted otherwise."

    Maybe for you, but I live in the real world.

    “That means ALL work from the ground up!”

    Give me a break!

    “None of this "well, we screwed up the foundation a bit, but the framers'll fix it." Then the framers say the finish guys'll make it work; the finish crew says the painters will make it look right.”

    Yep, that’s how it works, except I try to give the painter something to work with, but some things do get by.

    “I'm sick of it. If some of you guys are not interested in learning or doing your job right, why are you still doing it? Pride-of-craftsmanship can't be the reason! Please find something else to do.”

    ”Pride-of-craftsmanship” That’s why I am still in it. There is some pride in knowing I can make something that looks so bad look really good. Scribing crown is not the right way to do it, but those jobs pay my bills while I am waiting for the good jobs to come along. I use to think like you, I was 20, and by the time I reached 21 I realized something was wrong. I will continue as a finish carpenter, but if you are sick of it maybe you should find something else to do.

    OK, I’m sorry, I’ll be good now ;)

    Gary

  11. #11
    Swan Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    I had a remodel on a high priced house that had 2 ¾” difference in the floor level and they wanted me to follow the floor with my cabinets. I only set my work level except on houseboats. The 6 ¼ toe kick looked bad but when water is spilled on counter it doesn’t all run to one corner. Swan

  12. #12
    Dick Seibert Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    Swan:

    You bring up an old dispute. I don't necessarily buy the argument that cabinets should always be set level for two reasons: 1) the eye tends to follow parallel lines, and if the building is out of level, and the cabinets are level, everything *looks* out of whack, and 2) What if the house is ever jacked up to level what happens? There are arguments for each way. Maybe we are building boats (sometimes?).

  13. #13
    Swan Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    I push very hard to address the isues before the instalation but I still will not do something wrong to make outhers work look good. If house is jacked up its still not that much of a job to reset cabs. I will not cut a door out of square to match bad floor. If customer fixes floor later your work looks bad. Thanks for your ideas. Swan

  14. #14
    mike Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    Jay, after reading all the posts I have another tried and true suggestion. Do not scribe the crown, instead install a 1x2 with a routed profile on the ceiling. Scribe the 1x2, fasten to ceiling and wall if it needs it. Then the crown is installed. Blocking is eliminated, no caulking and the extra piece looks good. I generally rout a small cove on the edge and leave a 1/2" reveal from the crown to the coved 1x2.

    mike

  15. #15
    Derrell Day Guest

    Default Re: Scribing Crown Moulding

    hhmmmnnn, vveerryy iinterestinkk...

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