How to Use a Coping Saw for Crown Molding


With the use of power tools, many traditional techniques for finish carpentry have become obsolete or are considered too time-consuming. One of these techniques is that of "coping" corners. Today, many carpenters simply cut matching miters to make corner joints in crown molding. For instance, two pieces of crown molding that meet in a 90-degree corner each would be mitered at a 45-degree angle. This provides a perfectly acceptable, tight joint -- but they usually must be caulked, and the joints can separate over time. A coped joint provides a more precise fit.

Things You'll Need

  • Miter saw
  • Coping saw
  • Rasp
  • Measure the ceiling where your first piece of crown molding will be installed. Make a straight cut on each end with your miter saw so the molding will butt against the side walls. Install the molding.

  • Measure the ceiling where your next piece of molding will be installed. Cut a 45-degree miter with your saw in the end that will meet the first piece of molding. Make the cut so it angles into the corner. Make a straight cut on the opposite end.

  • Rub a pencil along the mitered edged as a guideline. Start cutting along the mitered edge, holding your coping saw at an angle toward the back of the molding. Follow the line, shaving off the back side of the molding where you made the miter cut. You will be leaving just a sliver of the molding face intact and the curve of the molding profile will be pronounced.

  • Place the coped molding on the ceiling, butting against the first piece you installed. The cut curve of the molding will fit snugly against the first piece in the corner. Make any adjustments by shaving a little more of the back side of the coped molding, using a rasp.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take your time, and, if necessary, cut your molding a little long. Once the coped joint fits, you can always cut off the other end of the molding to the length you need.

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