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How To Install Crown Molding Part 1, How To Find your Spring Angle

December 19, 2011
The spring Angles for any typical manufactured crown molding

So you have multiple strips of crown molding, you are ready to begin installation. They are the nicest finish(because you finished them) and they are begging you to put them in their proper place. So you ask your self what is the first thing I have to know or do to make this beautiful crown molding a reality in my home. The First thing you have to know, no matter what or where you are installing your crown molding- Spring Angle. It is the quintessential crown molding first step, minus your wife picking it out at the store. That was supposed to be funny.

Ok so maybe that first paragraph was a bit over dramatic and perhaps there are other important steps but lets talk Spring Angle. Typically, as we have discussed in the past, there are three different spring angles on any manufactured crown molding, do you know what they are? Correct, 38, 45 and 52 degrees. Not correct- if you answered anything else. Obviously. Next brain teaser for all of those watching at home, Why? Well first lets look at who invented crown molding, according to this nice Lady, the “blonde blogger”- the devil may have had his part! That is funny how so many do think this way when it comes to crown molding. But in reality we could trace the true invention of crown molding back to B.C. times, Greek rulers and some pretty amazing temples, now the next question would beg who invented the spring angle. Let’s just say a very smart woodworker/engineer. That is our best guess. Realizing that there was a need for various angles for crown molding was a smart move. Finally the answer to the why. If you put ceiling crown molding in a room that has a ceiling height of 10′ and the crown molding spring angle is only 38 degrees it simply will not show up. It will not matter if you have a crown molding that is 8 inches high, you will not see it. When placed that high in a room you want to be able to show off that detail and really make its presence known, so it is at this point you use a crown molding that has the 52 degree spring angle. That large angle allows the crown to hang over the room rather than be tucked back into the side walls. Presence and Beauty allowing the eye to see what it is supposed to, detail. The same holds true if you walk into a room with an 8 foot ceiling or if you place crown molding on your fireplace mantle. Those last two examples then use your standard forty five degree angle for the eight foot ceiling and the thirty eight degree spring angle for the fireplace. No matter your circumstance or project just always pull out your common sense and think where the crown molding will sit according to the eyes level in the room. That bit of practicality which luckily every woodworker has(common sense that is) helps give you the answer every time.

Calculating Spring Angle or Determining Spring Angle on Crown Molding

After purchasing crown molding a thousand times any woodworker will tell you the spring angle of any piece of crown you hand him without hesitation, but because we know not all of us have that type of experience, we would like to explain how you can figure out the angle on your own. Ask the retailer. Trying to be funny again. Did it work? Here look at this picture, it is the same one from our website, check that out too by putting a click here. If you didn’t click look:

The spring Angles for any typical manufactured crown molding

The cross section of three typical spring angles for crown molding.

To perfectly explain how to determine the spring angle, use this how to diagram and read this, an excerpt from our site:
Finding the spring angle of your crown molding is simple: cut a small section of molding and hold it up the way it will sit mounted on the wall and ceiling. Now measure from the ceiling down the wall to the point where the molding touches the wall. Take that measurement and compare it with the measurement from the wall across the ceiling to the point where the molding touches the ceiling. If the wall measurement is longer, you have a spring angle of 38°. If the ceiling measurement is longer, your spring angle is 52°. If both measurements are the same, the spring angle is 45°.

If that is to complicated for you, another simple technique is to cut a 45 degree wedge, hold up the crown to the wall(at any height) as it is to sit and drop the wedge behind the crown, if it doesn’t fit it is 38, if it fits perfect, it is a 45, and if there is some play between the wall and the wedge you are using 52 degree spring angle.

Simple Right? Questions? Literally call us and ask our phone number is on our website, or email us- (paste that to your preferred email!)

If you know now what crown molding spring angle you will be using order our jig. We sell one jig that is not adjustable per each spring angle. When we first invented cutncrown we contemplated using one jig that can adjust to each of the three spring angles but the issues we saw was movement. Movement creates error. If you use only one jig that is solid and can not move than you remove that additional possibility of error. We wanted perfect everytime and wanted our customers to know that if they were not getting perfect they could immediately take our jig out of the equation when figuring out why the crown molding is not perfect. In order to do that no adjustments on our crown molding tools. You can buy our jigs seperately or together as a kit if you plan to use multiple spring angles. Smart investment based on perfection and time savings, we promise.

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