Crown Molding With Staggered Cabinets

Other Versions
Making a smooth transition from cabinet to cabinet. July 20, 2004

How do you handle the end of a cabinet crown molding when a shorter cabinet meets a taller adjacent cabinet? Do you make the taller cabinet deeper if possible to butt the crown into? My immediate question is for frameless, but I'm curious about faceframe too.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
We do mainly face frame cabinetry. When we stagger cabinets, we generally make the depths different. The normal is 12" and we butt the crown into a 15" deep cabinet.

From contributor P:
If the cabinets are the same depth, such as one 12" upper bumped up higher than another one, we cut a 22.5 on the molding about 3-4 inches from the edge of the lower cabinet and then let the molding run into the bumped up cabinet on a 45 degree cut.

From contributor K:
If you want to keep the depth of 12" for all the cabs, you could also use galley rail on the shorter cabs... nice effect.

From contributor V:
When you go up, you usually go out. However, on one job, I went up and in with a feature cab. I planed down solid cherry and made 1/4" x 4" x 15" crown returns. I then scribed the profile of my crown onto the returns. I then scroll-sawed the scribe line. I made the return approximately 1/4" proud of the crown. It made a great look.

From contributor A:
When going up and down without going in and out, I make all the doors the same height. The taller cabinets are either 96 or 128mm taller, and I put a slab front over the door for the crown to return into. If that isn't clear, let me know and I'll try and find a picture to post. It is relatively easy, and looks great.

From the original questioner:
Thanks to all for the ideas - several good suggestions. Contributor A, I think I understand what you're saying, but if it's not too much trouble, a picture would be interesting to see.

From contributor B:
I make the uppers 12, 14, or 16" deep, and the crown dies into the deeper cabinet perfectly. Here's a pic of a set I did that is kind of extreme in being staggered, but it is exactly what they wanted!

From contributor A:
As you can see, the doors line up, but the cabinet heights are staggered with a slab above the doors for the crown to return into.