Crown Molding Cutting Techniques

Fine points of cutting crown molding on a sliding compound miter saw as compared to using a straight chopsaw. August 7, 2006

I just got a LS1013! Would like to know how you cut crown laying flat? I know the bevel and miter angles but if you cut your crown face up and start with the saw extended and make your cut towards fence the cut is splintered on the face of the crown. Or should you pull the saw to make this cut? I know this sounds stupid but I cut my crown on a 12" Dewalt with the crown leaning against the fence and upside down on the table. I have the charts for the angles for the new saw and know how to set up but how to get a clean cut?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor A:
Don`t take me wrong, but why did you change your 12" Dewalt for the LS1013?

From the original questioner:
I got a great deal on this saw and with the extra width of cut I thought it would be more useful. I thought that I would get used to the new settings for this saw just as I did when I first started with the 12". So how do the guys that use the slide type box cut crown?

From contributor B:
Maybe you should check your blade? Get a good blade and take care with the speed of your cut.

From contributor C:
When I cut a smaller crown, I use a Bosch 3912 (it has a tall fence) and cut against the fence. When larger crown, to cut it flat, take a few scoring cuts pulling toward you. Then finish your cut pushing it through the piece. And go slower than on a standard chop. I don't know about the stock blade on the Makita, but if you have a blade with less aggressive hook angle (or even a negative hook), try that out if you feel more comfortable pushing the slider through the work.

From contributor D:
Try a new stock blade that came with saw, I think it's a Tereau (not sure of spelling). It's a thin rim and cuts very smooth with little blow-out on back and bottom. I think you should push into cut but if it chips out, try doing a light scoring cut on the pull stroke, then plunging down and pushing in.

From the original questioner:
I have a Forest Chopmaster on Ė didnít even try the stock one. The scoring cut on flat stock good idea. How do you do this on crown - hit the high spots? With your stock face up on the slide saw it seems like cutting face down on the tablesaw. I will try all your ideas and itís probably just me stuck in my ways.

From contributor E:
I own both saws you mention - the Dewalt 12" and the LS1013 - and have to say the LS1013 is truly the more valuable saw. I can cut stair treads with it which is very useful when installing solid maple treads and I can cut very large crown by using the correct angles. When cutting any finish lumber, I always score first by bringing the blade down into the wood and pulling it back toward you - then, plunging the blade down and pushing it back to finish the cut. I get extremely clean cuts this way. Plus, with the 10" blade I get less flex and blades are a lot cheaper than the 12" blades.

One more tip, if the crown is not overly large, I screw a straight piece of hardwood to the short fence on the LS1013. That gives you a nice straight and tall fence to work with to cut crown the old fashioned way. Plus, you can line up your pencil line on your crown with the cut you made on the hardwood fence so you know exactly where the blade will go when you bring it down.

Don't get down on your new purchase. In time, you will come to appreciate the new opportunities it will give you that the Dewalt 12" just couldn't. It took me some getting used to, but like I said above, the LS1013 is a very nice saw.

From contributor F:
I agree, but wear the paint off of the blades before you can get a good cut!

From contributor G:
I have had my LS1013 for a few years. I install 1 to 3 kitchens a week with my partner, and most have crown. I made an honest effort to cut my crown flat, but in the end I much prefer to cut it in the nested position, for a couple reasons. First, no question, its faster; second, less room for error, as youíre only adjusting the miter on your saw. I will say this - the fence on the LS1013 sucks. I would recommend the crown jig from Rockler, made by Benchdog, I think. I have been using it for a year or so and it eliminates the lack of fence on the saw. It does take a little getting use to but once you do I believe anyone would prefer this method.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor R:
When cutting flat, make sure that you check the spring angle, as it varies. I use an 8 1/2 inch slide that works like a dream.