How to Cut a 90-Degree Angle on Crown Molding

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Cutting and installing crown molding is a interior remodeling task that requires very precise measurements and cuts. That said, it's not an especially challenging task if the proper equipment is available. Cutting the molding to fit into corners is usually one of the most challenging steps, and 90-degree angles are very common. There are two ways to cut a 90-degree angle on crown molding: you can cut the molding to 90 degrees or you can cut a molding joint for a 90-degree corner. These steps will show you how to do both.

Things You'll Need

  • Crown molding 360-degree adjustable protractor Pencil Paper Miter saw

Cutting Crown Molding to 90 Degrees

  • Determine whether a 90-degree cut will give you the design aesthetic that you want. There is no rule stating that you must install crown molding all the way around a room, and straight 90-degree cuts are usually best when you want a piece of molding to end in a corner. But if you want the molding to go around the corner, you'll actually want to make two 45-degree cuts rather than one 90-degree cut. Skip to the next section if you want your molding to go around the corner, or proceed to the next step if you want it to end at a corner.

  • Measure the corner to make sure it is exactly 90 degrees. Use a 360-degree adjustable protractor to take the measurement and record the exact degree of the angle.

  • Set the angle on the miter saw controls to 90 degrees or to whichever angle was measured in the previous step.

  • Select the piece of crown molding you wish to cut and place it on the miter saw. Turn it so that the bottom of the crown molding is closer to the blade than the top, then lean the bottom of the crown molding against the top of the gate. The gate is the vertical, slotted strip of metal at the back of the cutting area. You must hold the molding in place so that the bottom edge is touching the top of the gate and the top edge is flat on the cutting surface.

  • Make sure your fingers are out of the cutting area, then turn on the saw and lower the blade completely while holding the molding in place with your other hand. Raise the blade, turn off the saw and wait for the blade to come to a complete stop. Your 90-degree angle is now cut and is ready to install into a corner.

Cutting Crown Molding for a 90-Degree Corner

  • Measure the corner with a 360-degree adjustable protractor to make sure it is 90 degrees. If it is any different, record the angle.

  • Set the angle on the miter saw controls to 45 degrees or half of the angle that you measured with the protractor. Turn the blade to cut the angle from the left to right, or to the inside of the crown pattern.

  • Take one of the pieces of molding that you want to go into the corner and put it on the miter saw. Position it with the molded side facing out and the bottom of the crown resting against the top of the gate. Lay the top of the crown against the cutting surface.

  • Hold the crown molding in this position with one hand, making sure your fingers are out of the way. Use your other hand to turn on the saw, lower the blade completely, raise the blade and power the saw off. Wait for the blade to stop spinning before proceeding.

  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 with a second piece of crown molding. The two pieces will fit together to form a 90-degree joint in the corner.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider purchasing small plastic clips called crown stops to make cutting easier. Crown Stops attach to the cutting surface of your miter saw to hold your crown molding in place while you cut.
  • Use extreme caution when working with a miter saw, and make sure you keep your fingers out of the way when cutting. Double check the angle settings on the miter saw before making your cut.

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