Ahhh, crown moulding. How I covet thee. I want to put it everywhere in this house, but it seems so hard!! This was my first attempt at any kind of crown. Up until now, every built-in I have done has been capped off with casing (I think…or it is base…either way, it hasn’t been crown). I’m pretty happy with how it turned out on this project, so I’m not as afraid to give it a go in other places now. Here’s how I went about it!
First I did some research after I discovered that I wasn’t sure which way was up. If you read my little rant, you already know that apparently other people don’t know which way is up either. I had a little bit of a sticky situation though…I didn’t have much room before I hit a corner, and the crown I had picked out takes up more room depending on how you put it up. Lucky for me it worked out.
The research said that the bottom of crown most times has the more decorative elements. Also, the crown should take up more space on the wall than it does on the ceiling (that is what saved me from having to apply mine upside down–it gave me enough room before I hit the corner of the wall). This is all in general–it might not be applicable in every instance. Just don’t ask anyone who knows anything about crown to come into your house and you’ll be fine either way (I crack myself up sometimes).
Anyone interested in coming in and refinishing my floors for me? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? (Who can name that movie?) Look how scratched up they are–and I want them a much darker color now. Uggh. I don’t look forward to that project.
During my research, I read this article from DIY Network.com where they put base moulding on upside down before the crown to build it up. I loved it, so I did the same thing on mine.
But it kinda ended up being a good thing I had planned on this. I originally had a top to the cabinet that was separate that I was going to add between the cabinet and the shelves. Then I made a big mistake and had to modify the plans, but the separate top was 1.5″ thick and I already left 2″ of clearance at the top. That meant there was only air to attach the crown to on the cabinet and that wasn’t going to work. The upside base gave me something to work with!
Happy New Year! I hope your 2012 was a good one, and that 2013 is even better!
I enjoyed looking at what I got checked off of my to-do list last year, so I thought I’d do it again this year. Thanks for indulging me
I started off 2012 declaring that I would finish Pip’s room by the end of the month. Ha! It’s close to being done now, but that was a year ago! This is what I started with:
Then I released my first full-length major motion picture titled
Sometimes the smaller projects can make a big impact. My under-sink situation was out of control in my bathroom so I decided enough was enough and built some under-the-sink storage. It has kept the mess reigned in even to this day and I love it. Read More…
I can only go so long reading something that irritates me before I drag out the soapbox. So I’m dragging it out again, hoping it will purge me of the irritation–and hopefully help you navigate a similar situation. If not, we can lament together. Unfortunately, the cause of my ire is–and it pains me to say this–other woodworkers. Not all other woodworkers, just a select few elitist woodworkers.
I would avoid them altogether, but they pop up regularly when I go to do some woodworking “how-to” web research. If you have done any of that beyond Ana’s site, you have probably encountered them also. For instance, when I was looking into crown moulding recently, I ran across some boards where the “pros” frequent and they were talking about how irritating it is for them when most of the homes they go into have the crown installed upside down–one mentioned that he doesn’t even tell the homeowner because obviously they are happy with it the way it is.
How kind of him. The torment he must feel letting that go.
Have you ever looked at crown? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t really matter which way you put it up–it is visually appealing either way!! And you know what? I used baseboard moulding upside down in my crown application as a way to stack the moulding and get a chunkier look.
Oh the horror.
Interestingly enough, putting the baseboard on upside down was a suggestion from some “pros”. Apparently it is only acceptable to use moulding upside down in certain applications.
Drawer construction is a sure-fire way to bring the elitists out of the woodwork (oh, the wonderful puns!). Some feel that unless you can do a perfect dovetail joint you just shouldn’t bother at all. All I really want from a drawer is the ability of a box to slide out of a cabinet. I can appreciate a lovely dovetail drawer and if you have that skill I am duly impressed. But that does not make you better than me–it means you construct a drawer differently than I do. Mine still works.
And just to be clear–I have run into some woodworkers with professional level skills who are encouraging and supportive to beginners and others. I do not lump them all into the same category. Clay Dowling immediately comes to mind–you’ll find him over at Ana’s site giving helpful advice in the forums and comments.
This is the comment that sent me to the “Add a new post” button on the blog. I was recently mentioned in this Slate article and here is a comment made after the article:
I just love these “You can build beautiful furniture too” stories, whether aimed at men or women.
When I was in college I could turn out a serviceable bookshelf/cabinet storage/wall unit thingie or a bed frame, but the workmanship was pathetic (kind of like the stuff pictured on Anna White’s website). I don’t do it for a living, so it took me years to turn out furniture that had near invisible joints, properly compensated for temperature and humidity changes, high quality finish etc. It took more years to learn to do work that occasionally wins prizes.
“Eventually…you will want an expensive compound miter saw, but to start, go with something less pricey” is probably the worst advice anyone could give. You don’t have to pay top dollar (and you can find amazing bargains at yard sales) but there is nothing more frustrating than shoddy tools. If you don’t have experience you don’t even know why you’re so frustrated.
“I think a jigsaw is less intimidating than the circular saw?” Ummm… maybe so, but jigsaws and circular saws are intended for different kinds of work. They’re not in any way interchangeable tools.
Ahhhh, wonderful commenter, I bow to your obvious superiority–you even win prizes for your skills (as I roll my eyes). Some of us have to work with what we have and we aren’t in it to win prizes, and a jigsaw will in fact cut through wood quite well. If you are going to build an entire house full of furniture it would not be ideal to do it with a jigsaw, but if you have one already and want to see if you might enjoy throwing some boards together to make something, by all means grow some thick skin, ignore this commenter, plug in your jigsaw and try it out! If we all read this kind of drivel and believed it, we wouldn’t ever try anything new.
None of my projects would win a single prize, but I love every one of them. I’m proud of every one of them. And I wouldn’t have built even one of them had I been around that commenter for more than 5 minutes.
He is right in one respect–quality tools do make a job more enjoyable. I encourage you to invest in quality tools, but you can start out in woodworking without a lot of them. You can see if you even like DIY without taking out a second mortgage (even the more affordable options for tools can add up) or spending your weekends scouring the yard sales. You won’t win prizes, but you will get some things accomplished in your home.
Well, obviously my title is somewhat misleading…I DO care–I care that people who want to try their hand at home improvement projects might read comments, articles, forum posts, and the like from people like our commenter above and decide they can’t or shouldn’t. If you care a lot about winning prizes for your projects, my blog is probably not for you. If you don’t expect perfect and you’re willing to try something out, you are in the right place.
You need to have thick skin and be able to ignore people who need to feel superior. You need to keep your reason for woodworking at the forefront–I want to finish up our house and to do it within a budget I can stomach, so I build the projects myself. I kept in mind that I was a beginner in the beginning and tried to keep those projects in rooms that were off the main area. As I improved, I moved to more visible parts of the house.
Reading comments like the one above fires me up, not because it affects me, but because it might affect someone else. I truly could care less about opinions like that–I take what I can learn from the search I conducted (like the crown moulding tips) and discard the rest. I truly hope you don’t care either.
What do you think of the comment? Have you run into similar people while on the web?
I have attempted to cope moulding in past projects with limited success, so I was a little leery of how well it would go this time. It was one of the things I was determined to learn because I would like to put in crown moulding on the entire first floor eventually, and from what I read, it sounds like coping is a necessary skill to make it look good year-round due to expanding and contracting of the wood during seasonal weather changes, and from walls that may look perfectly straight, but are not (so you don’t have a perfect right angle to split in half and you have to figure out what angle you DO have–not fun I imagine). I am here to tell you that you can master this skill in very little time with the right tools!
In case you happen upon this post without seeing the project I am talking about, here is the built-in I will be referencing in this post
First I want to show you how I put the Living Room Built-In right next to the wall to make it look built in without removing any base moulding. In previous projects I have removed all the base, cut the base so I could slide the cabinet next to the wall, and reattached the moulding around the cabinet. If you want to go that route, you can look at Pip’s built-ins or the laundry room built in and see what I did on those. It will involve this:
There is a LOT of moulding to remove on the wall where this built-in resides. I dreaded the thought of having to pull it all up, so…
I originally planned on using a Dremel MultiMax like they do in the video “Cutting trim from a wall” so that I didn’t have to remove all the moulding. But in the end I decided to do something a little different so that I could move the cabinet if needed in the future.
I traced around a scrap piece of the base on the back corners of the cabinet and cut it out with a scroll saw. I should have erred toward cutting it out a little shorter than my base because the cabinet sits on carpet and causes the base around the cabinet to stand proud from the base already on the wall due to the carpet height.
Did you follow that??!! It wasn’t a big deal–I had a small hole that I filled with caulk–you’ll see it a little farther down in the tutorial.
So now it slides right up to the wall and can be moved along any point of the wall and still look built-in once the moulding is applied to the front and sides. However, now the only way to apply the moulding to the sides is to cope the wall end to fit over the existing wall moulding. Here’s an example of a coped joint from Family Handyman if you want to check out their instructions. Maybe you can get good results with a coping saw–I couldn’t. Then I found this YouTube video and now coping is possible for me! Read More…
First we had a flurry of activity around here to get the Living Room built-in finished before Christmas hit, and now I’m settled in by the computer with a flurry of snow accumulation happening outside, as I write up the reveal post for the Living Room built-in (we think about 6-7″ right now and it’s still falling). I’m breaking from my regular format and doing the reveal before all of my write ups on the process this time, for no other reason than I want to My goal was to have everything done but the doors before we had Christmas at our house, and it ended up that the entire thing was done! Yay!
Befores and afters:
I’ve got an update for anyone who is considering purchasing the Kreg Rip Cut, and one warning for those of you have already bought it.
First the warning. Please be aware of this is you have the Rip Cut! I was using it this weekend and I had just finished a cut when I realized that the Rip Cut was preventing the blade guard from coming down to cover the blade after the cut was finished!!! I think it happened when I calibrated the red arrow because I thought it needed adjusted. I had not had this problem before when I used it. Just be aware of this because after the cut, the blade is not protected with the guard if you do the same thing. Each time you connect the Rip Cut, make sure the guard swings freely in all positions.
Now for the update to my review. In order for this to make sense, you first need to know that a rip cut is the long-ways cut (on a sheet of plywood it runs the 8′ length of the plywood). A cross cut is one that follows the width–across the 4′ side. Keep in mind that this tool is called the Rip Cut and it works beautifully for that purpose. I love this tool for that purpose–it has made cutting up a sheet of plywood so fast!!! BUT (you knew that was coming) it will not replace my homemade straight cutting jigs–at least not completely.
I need my homemade jigs in order to make a cross cut that is longer than 24″, which is the maximum span the Rip Cut can cut to. If I had thought about that for a second, I would have realized that fact I, however, didn’t think about it until I needed a 34.5″ length this weekend. Doh!
The first time I used the saw with the Rip Cut, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to bother taking it on and off–that I would only use it when I would need it for longer periods of time. This weekend I was taking it on and off pretty regularly, and I wasn’t avoiding using the Rip Cut just because I needed to put it back on. I’m happy about that!
So there you have it. I love the Kreg Rip Cut, but if you get one, make sure your blade guard is keeping you safe!
With the holidays quickly approaching, now is probably not the ideal time to jump into a new project, but that doesn’t appear to have stopped me before! I am knee deep in a new built-in for our living room. I’m finding that I am getting quicker with all aspects of a build– finally. But I added a new feature, which always means I procrastinate completing that part. Since this cabinet and shelves will be visible from both sides, I wanted to recess the back panel by rabbeting a groove. That meant I got next to nothing done today as I avoided the garage and the router table. But first: the plans.
I made myself draw it out to scale this time. Remember that I am sometimes surprised at how my projects look when I’m done because I planned it all out on scrap paper. Not this time! (Hopefully anyway)
I started the rabbeting today and ended up using a straight bit and table with fence, rather than using a rabbet bit with a bearing. Mainly because I already had a straight bit AND I’ve already used a router table. Can you imagine how many more days I would have procrastinated throwing in using a router hand-held for the first time? Yeesh.
Remember my disclaimer: Use these plans at your own risk because I’m always changing them. I think I am already changing the 1×8 to a 1×6 for the top face frame. The plywood cuts better be right, because I’ve already got them cut out (but not assembled) for this one.
It will be interesting if I get this one done before Christmas. I think I will be done with everything but the doors, but we’ll see I’ve still got Christmas shopping to do!
On Dasher, On Dancer, On Prancer and Vixen, on Skil Saw and Kreg Jig and…oops. Kinda got side tracked from Christmas! The last few days I jumped into my next project. Let’s face it–I’m finding it difficult to find the ideal time to start and finish these projects, so I’ve got to learn to do it in less-than-ideal time frames. Like during the Christmas season–the most
stressful, uh, wonderful time of the year!
This project has been on the docket for awhile, and Hubs has been pushing for it to go to the #1 spot for several months now. I wasn’t feeling it, so I kept putting it off. I’ve done a few built-ins now, and they all kind of have the same feel to them, and I wanted this one to be a little different. I studied some of my pins for this area on my Pinterest board and wrote up some plans (coming in the next post). We’ll see how it goes. Instead of vanilla, this one may be french vanilla (Is there really a difference between those two flavors??)
Here’s the area before.
Don’t envy my bookshelf styling. I can’t really even give you a tutorial on getting the look yourselves…it’s really just a gift. A gift that my Hubs wishes I could return
Plans to come soon!
When we built our house we decided that we would do all the interior painting to save some dollars…but then decided we would paint all the walls and ceilings and hire out the trim. That was a very wise decision, because not only did we save a bunch of time (and our marriage), but we got to know our painter and he taught me two very valuable things I still use to this day.
1. Blue painters tape is A.W.E.S.O.M.E. I don’t know how I ever lived without it. That may be a slight exaggeration–I can live without it, but it is still pretty fantastic. I have got a pretty steady hand when I am trimming a room, but nothing can match the crisp line you get with painter’s tape around all moulding. One word of warning, however: I tried using it on my ceiling once, and it pulled up the paint on the ceiling (It was not fresh paint). I have no idea why, but it did. I now trim at the ceiling with a steady hand and no tape.
2. Stu, our painter, taught me that if you are painting with any sheen other than flat, you must keep a wet edge until you come to a corner or end. When you start a wall, you need to keep going on that wall for its whole surface corner to corner, top to bottom because if you don’t, the sheen will be uneven. In other words, don’t put your roller extension on and paint the entire top part of the room, take off the extension, and roll the rest of the room–stick to one wall at a time. Here’ s a picture example from my house where for some reason we painted a portion of the wall and left part for another time. I think it was because of having to paint by the ceiling on the stairs.
Not a great picture since it was really low light, but you can see to the right of the door, how it shows the edge we let dry before finishing painting that wall. Same paint, same sheen (eggshell).
I also make sure that I do all the cutting-in, trim painting first and then roll, and roll as close to the ceiling and other edges as I can. Don’t worry about a wet edge from the cutting in. I haven’t noticed sheen differences from any of that in my other rooms, and little things like that generally are blaring, thorns-in-my-side if they show up All of this applies to any painting you do–a cabinet side will show sheen differences too.This will mean that any touch-ups you do in a room with paint besides flat, will show up in sheen differences also, unfortunately. So keep anything like that as small as you can–don’t use a paintbrush when a Q-tip will work.
I hope these tips help you achieve a professional looking paint job in your home!