Instructions for Cutting Molding

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Home improvement enthusiasts will need several tools for cutting molding. The necessary tools required will depend on the depth of the molding and the specific project. Some of the necessary tools include safety glasses, a dust mask, a tape measure, a pencil, a level, a drop cloth, a ladder, caulk, wood putty, a hammer, finishing nails, a power drill, bits, a pneumatic nailer, a nail set, a C-clamp, sandpaper, and a circular saw. Additional items such as glue, a coping saw, a miter box, and handsaw may also be required. It is recommended to use an angle gauge or 360-degree adjustable protractor to determine the angle of the walls. A power miter or compound miter saw equipped with a carbide saw blade with 80 teeth or more can allow for more angle adjustments. The saw should be square, and the table angle gauge should be accurate to avoid gaps in the miter joint. An angled filler strip can be used to fill the space behind crown molding. Lightweight polystyrene foam crown molding should be adhered to the wall with joint compound. Follow installation guidelines and sand and paint the surface to finish the project.

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  • Anderson, Murray. “How to Install Crown Molding with Mitered and Coped Joints.” (Accessed 02/23/2009)
  • Carter, Tim. “Cutting Crown Molding Without Losing Your Mind.” Ask the (Accessed 02/23/2009)
  • Charles and Hudson. “How to Cut and Install Molding for an interior Corner.” Charles and April 2008. (Accessed 2/23/2009)
  • DEWALT. “Pro’s Column: Cutting Crown Molding With DEWALT Miter Saws.” (Accessed 2/23/2009)
  • Louisiana Pacific. “How to Cut LP Moulding.” Louisiana Pacific Corporation. (Accessed 2/23/2009)
  • Royal Mouldings. “How to Cut and Install Moulding.” Royal (Accessed 2/23/2009)
  • Stimpson, Jennifer. “Easy Steps for Installing Crown Molding.” This Old House Magazine. March 2009 issue.


1. What tools do I need to cut molding?

To cut molding, you will need a saw, preferably a miter saw or a hand saw with a miter box. A miter saw is a power tool that allows you to make precise angled cuts. If you plan on cutting a lot of molding, a miter saw is a good investment. A hand saw with a miter box is a more affordable option, but it requires more skill to make accurate cuts.

2. What is the best way to measure molding?

The best way to measure molding is to use a tape measure. Measure the length you need and add an inch to each end to allow for any mistakes in cutting. Then, mark the measurement on the molding with a pencil. If you are cutting crown molding, it can be helpful to make a cut list to keep track of all the different angles and lengths needed.

3. How do I make angled cuts for crown molding?

To make angled cuts for crown molding, you will need to adjust the miter saw to the correct angle. Crown molding typically has two angles: the spring angle and the bevel angle. The spring angle is the angle of the wall where the molding will be installed, and the bevel angle is the angle at which the molding will be cut. To make a precise cut, it is important to measure and mark the molding correctly and adjust the saw accordingly.

4. How do I cut molding for corners?

To cut molding for corners, you will need to make a miter cut and a cope cut. The miter cut is a straight cut at a 45-degree angle, and the cope cut is a more complex cut that allows two pieces of molding to fit together seamlessly. To make a cope cut, use a coping saw or a jigsaw to cut along the profile of the molding. Then, use a file or sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges.

5. What is the best way to attach molding?

The best way to attach molding is to use a nail gun or finishing nails. Be sure to use a nail gun that is appropriate for the thickness of the molding. For larger pieces of molding, it may be necessary to add additional support with screws or adhesive. If you are attaching crown molding, it can be helpful to use a piece of scrap wood as a backing board to hold the molding in place while you nail it to the wall.

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