Crown Molding Jig For Miter Saw
What Is Crown Molding?
Crown molding is the process of creating a decorative pattern on wood using a miter saw.
The process of making crown molding involves cutting out a design with a miter saw. It is then installed to cover the seam where two boards of wood meet at a 90 degree angle. This type of molding is extremely popular in the construction of doors, windows, and walls.
Crown molding can be made out of many different types of wood. Some include pine, poplar, oak, and mahogany. The type of wood that you choose for your project will determine the price as well as the difficulty in cutting with a miter saw.
For your first molding project, I recommend starting with pine. It is a soft wood that is easy to cut with even the lowest powered miter saw. In fact, I think it is the least expensive wood at my local home improvement store.
I also get my wood there. If you do not have a truck and therefore cannot transport the wood, it is very affordable to buy small pieces and just cut them down at the store. To start out, you do not need a large amount of wood to cover the seams of your window sashes or walls.
The other supplies you will need for this project are wood glue, for sticking the wood together, and nails for extra support. You can get these at a low cost at your local hardware store.
Crown molding projects can be done by a beginner. I have made several window sashes and wall pieces by myself. I have also made them with friends, for both fun and profit. I would love to help you make yours.
Crown Molding Jig
A crown molding jig is a tool that simplifies the process of cutting crown molding. A person uses the device to clamp a board in such a way that the angle of the cut is ensured. You can also make your own crown molding jig.
You will need to construct a jig that allows a board to be clamped at the exact angle that you want to cut the crown molding at. You could probably buy one of these for around $100. Or you could make your own pretty easily.
You can get the necessary parts for around $30.
The two most important parts are the clamping mechanism and the stop block. The stop block is the part that ensures that the molding is cut at a 90-degree angle. This is the whole point of the jig. The clamping mechanism ensures that you can clamp the board firmly in place.
You can build this with wood from your local hardware or home improvement store. I have included a parts list and a diagram of the jig. This diagram is not to scale. Use it more as a guideline of how the parts connect.
The first part you need to make is the clamp. Cut a piece of wood to the dimensions listed in the diagram. Then drill a hole at each corner of the piece of wood. These are the holes that you will use to screw the clamp piece to the base.
After you have attached the clamp piece to the base, drill a hole in the middle of the long side of the base at the location where the center of the clamping mechanism will be. This will be the pivot point of the clamping piece. Drill a hole in the middle of the clamping piece where the pivot point is located. You can then place a bolt through the two holes to ensure that the center of the pivot point is aligned.
You’ll need to make sure that the bolt is long enough so that it will allow the clamping piece to pivot, but not so long that it will fall out the other side. In other words, the bolt needs to be slightly shorter than the diameter of the hole it’s going through.
Once you have attached the clamping piece to the base and ensured that the pivot point is aligned, drill a hole through the long edge of the clamping piece and the short edge of the base at the location where the stop block will be. This is the hole that you will place the stop block in. The stop block needs to be able to slide into this hole, but it also needs to be held in place when the clamping piece is pivoted to the closed position. To accomplish this, drill a hole through the stop block slightly smaller than the diameter of the hole in which it fits.
This will allow the stop block to slide into the hole in the base, but it won’t go any further. To keep the stop block from sliding back out of the hole, drill a hole in the middle of the clamping piece through the block and into the clamp piece on the opposite side. Place a bolt through this hole and the hole in the base. The bolt needs to be slightly smaller than the hole in the base so that the block can slide in and out, but it won’t be able to do so when the clamp is closed because the bolt will prevent it from doing so.
Now that you have the clamp completed, you can move on to the stop block itself. Cut a piece of wood to the dimensions given in the diagram. Drill a hole in each corner of the stop block. These will be the holes into which you will screw the stop block to the base.
The final step in building the jig is to attach the stop block to the clamp. Once you have double and triple checked to make sure that the clamp and stop block are aligned correctly, place a bolt through the hole in the base plate and screw it into one of the holes on the stop block. Place a washer on the bolt and tighten down the lock nut. Then do this again with the remaining three bolts.
Now that you have built the jig, it’s time to use it to cut some keys. The jig is designed to cut keys for the Simplified Cottage Lock that I described in Chapter 8. The profile of the keys that the jig will cut is the same as the jig itself. This means that when you place the jig over a pin tumbler lock, the key that is cut will open that specific lock.
You will need the following items to cut a key: one pin tumbler lock, the jig that you built, a soft pencil, a piece of paper, and the key that you want to copy.
Before you do any cutting, take the lock that you wish to copy, and place it at the top of a piece of paper. With the lock facing you, place the jig on top of the lock so that the stop block is touching the edge of the paper. Hold the jig and lock down and use the pencil to trace the outline of the jig. Now flip the paper over so that you can see the outline of the jig on the backside of the paper.
This is the side that you will be marking your keys on. Now, take the lock apart and set the tumblers aside so you don’t accidentally mix them up.
You should now have a piece of paper with the outline of the jig on it. Place a blank key on the paper so that it lines up with the jig. Trace the blank key with the pencil. Do this for each of the pins in the lock.
This is very important. If you don’t mark each pin, then the key that is cut won’t open the lock.
When you have finished tracing each pin, flip the paper over and line up the jig on the back side to see if the outline of the key is correct. If everything looks good, then you’re ready to cut the new key.
Now you need to cut the new key. Take the lock and place it at the top of the page so that the jig outline matches up. Place the key that you traced off of on top of the lock so that it lines up with the jig. Now, take your new blank and place it on top of the key that you traced.
Make sure that it is lined up with the traced key. When you are ready, carefully trace the outline of the new blank with the pencil. Be careful. If you push to hard you might bend or even break the new blank.
You are now done tracing the new blank. Carefully remove the pencil lines by rubbing your finger over the traced key. Don’t worry if you can’t get all of the line off. The next step will take care of the rest.
Now that you have the blank key traced, you can start cutting the new key out. Take the key that you traced and place it on top of the blank. Make sure that the edges line up. When you are sure that they do, take the blank knife and press it lightly against the key that you traced.
Move the knife around the edge of the traced key to cut away most of the excess plastic. When you are finished, you should be able to see the edge of the traced key on the blank.
Now, take the knife and gently press it against the blank where the key was traced. Slowly and gently, cut away the plastic around the traced key. Do this for the whole key. When you are finished, you should have a key that fits the traced key.
Take the key out of the jig and place it in the lock that you wish to open. If the key fits the lock, then you have succeeded in opening that lock. If not, you will need to repeat the process until the key fits your lock. Good job on your first successful decoding!
Now that you have learned to make a key for your lock, why not try making a new lockpick from a filed down screw?
When you are ready, ask Mr. Demar to start the next class.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Crown molding jig device (SJ Shangle, KA Shangle – US Patent 6,782,782, 2004 – Google Patents)
- Clamping devices for compound miter saws (KR Schoene, CJ Eccardt – US Patent 5,730,434, 1998 – Google Patents)
- Cornice or crown molding finishing accessory (T Watson, S Thompson – US Patent 6,318,039, 2001 – Google Patents)