Saturday, February 2, 2008

More Molding Madness

When last we met, I had managed to get two good pieces of cove crown molding cut to proper length for the front of the base & upper cabinets. The problems mitering and applying this molding weren't over yet. Not by a long shot.

After getting the front pieces cut to length, I started working on the side pieces. I mitered one side piece on my table saw using my Osborne EB-3 set to 22.5° & with the blade at 90°. I then put this piece next to the front piece. Instead of going back along the side of the cabinet, it turned 45° in the same plane as the front of the cabinet. I realized I had placed the piece flat on the table instead of holding it in the position it would be in on the cabinet.

So I mitered it again. The side pieces were extra long, so I wasn't worried about running out of material. This one looked good. Then I did the other side piece.

Next, I beveled a piece at 45° to form some blocks to attach to the back of the molding. These blocks would help keep the molding at the right angle & would allow me to drive brads into the cabinet through them. This last bit would allow me to keep from driving brads through the actual molding face.

I cut some blocks from this beveled piece & glued them to the back of the molding. I drove one or two 5/8" brads through the blocks into the back of the molding to help hold the blocks in place. One of the brads ended up protruding through the front of the piece of molding, so I decided to put that aside & replace it later.

I glued the front piece to the base cabinet, driving 3/4" long 18 gauge brads at an angle through the glue blocks at an angle into the carcase. I found that the bottom edge of the molding on one end wasn't in contact with the face of the cabinet. This is because the top rail of the face frame isn't flush with the stiles but stands proud of it by less than 1/32". I've been meaning to sand the face flush & never got to it, and right now it was too late. So I grabbed a clamp & that fixed that.

But because the molding was no longer lying flat, the miter angle changed. I found this out after I attached one of the side pieces & found that it didn't wrap around the corner correctly. In fact, it didn't follow the top edge of the cabinet but angled down. I wasn't very happy about this. I ended up cutting off this piece of molding because I knew I could do better.

So now begins several days -- yes, several days -- of trying various different combinations of angles. I'd try a few cuts, get frustrated, and walk away. Mind you, it wasn't 8 hours a day of trying this. Usually just 30 minutes of so after work & dinner at the end of the day. After all, I'm not in a hurry to finish this.

And yes, during this interval, I also planed & sanded the part of the face frame rail that is still visible flush with the face frame stiles.

I figured that since the piece was angling down, I needed to use a compound cut. After a couple of days of trying this & not getting good results, I set the bevel back to zero and just played with the miter angle. And that's when I found that a miter angle of about 23° did the trick.

The photo above shows the joint and the mitered piece after I finally got everything right. And the photo below shows the completed base cabinet crown molding.

Earlier in the week, I stopped at the Tool Nut on my way home from work & I picked up a Bostitch 23 gauge pin nailer. I went with this nailer because:

  • This nailer allows you to adjust the counter sink depth at the tool. The Porter Cable nailer requires you to adjust the regulator on the compressor.
  • The Bostitch can shoot pins 1/2" to 1 3/16" long; the PC shoots pins 1/2" to 1" long.
  • They didn't have the Porter Cable nailer in stock.

When I got the nailer home, I used it to pin the molding you see in the pictures above. There was a problem, though. It turns out that Bostitch had shipped a number of these nailers with a plunger that was too short. As a result, the tool will not counter sink the pins. But turning up the pressure on the regulator, I was able to get the pins just flush with the surface.

After posting about this on WoodNet, I called Bostitch customer service and was told that a new plunger assembly is on its way to me. I should get it on Monday or Tuesday. Once I have it, I will replace the assembly & I'll be able to use this nailer again.

Now that I finally got this molding finished, it was time to put a cap on top of the crown. This was a lot easier -- the cap is just a piece of 3/4" stock about 1 3/8" wide, mitered around the corners. Getting these miters right was a no brainer after dealing with the crown molding. The photo below shows the top of the base cabinet with the cap just clamped to the base molding, but not yet glued.

When it came time to attach the cap rail, what I did was apply glue to the crown molding & the glue blocks. I then used the spring clamps to hold the rail in place. I took my 18 gauge brad nailer and drove a brad at an angle through the back edge of the cap and into the glue blocks. This keeps the brads from showing, since the upper cabinet will be right behind them.

The photo above shows the finished base cabinet. That's a shadow on the lower right hand side. All I have left to do on this base cabinet is some more finish sanding.

That's enough for now. We're almost up to date. All that's left is to update you on the moldings on the upper cabinet.


neil said...

Hey Tony......that last picture has got to make you feel good. Looks super!!!!

Fell like I'm in the shop with you....Neil

Tony V said...


Yeah, it sure does! That base cabinet came out great better than I'd hoped.

I'm working on the molding for the upper cabinet now, and it's the same story all over again. Almost. But I've got that one under control.

I'm still waiting for the replacement part of the Bostitch pin nailer. If it's not here by Tuesday, I'm gonna bring it back ito where I bought it & exchange it. This is getting ridiculous.

Actually, I'd love to have someone with your experience in the shop with me. Hopefully, some of what you know would rub off!