When cutting crown molding with a compound miter saw, the molding will lie flat on the saw table for these cuts. The angle you will set your bevel at now depends on the spring angle of the crown molding you are using. The most common are 45 degrees and 38 degrees. An easy way to check is to take your picture frame and use it as a wall and ceiling and place your molding on the picture.

If the measurement from the corner along the ceiling and the wall are the same, then you have a spring angle of 45 degrees. If the measurements are different, it’s not 45 degrees and 99% of the time it’s a 38 degree spring angle. While 45 and 38 are the most common, of those two 38 is the most common and is most likely the spring angle of the trim you are using. Always make test cuts when cutting crown molding to be sure.

For 90 degree corners with 45 degree crown molding, set the saw bevel to 30 degrees left and the miter angle (left or right) to 35.3 degrees. For 90 degree corners with 52/38 degree crown molding, set the saw bevel left at 33.9 degrees and the miter angle (left or right) at 31.6 degrees. These settings may already be dialed in for you on your compound miter saw.

The best place to get your crown molding is, believe it or not, not at your local home center, but at your local sawmill. I found that the price per foot of molding at the home center compared to the sawmill can be double. At first I couldn’t believe this, but it’s true, compare for yourself. Besides the cost, the quality of the stock is in most cases better at the sawmill.

When choosing your trim pieces, thoroughly inspect each piece for cracks, stains, or excessive warping. A straight piece will be much easier to install. The only advantages of buying in the home center are that they will allow you to buy on the spot. At the sawmill you will need to buy pre-cut lengths like 8′, 12′ or 16′. Home centers also have more convenient hours and are open on weekends.

Lumber yards are usually open at 5:00 pm Monday through Friday and 12:00 pm on Saturdays. Most lumberyards will have small samples of molding that you can get for free. Wherever you decide to buy your trim, make sure that if you need more of the same, you shop at the location as before. Even trim that looks identical to the naked eye will have slight differences and corners and joints will not line up.