Sawing crown molding on a table saw?

kelLOGg

Bob
Senior User
I have a neighbor who needs 16' crown molding boards sawn as shown in the pic. I am evaluating whether I will do it on the mill, table saw or not at all. Holding the board in place is the problem no matter how I do it. They will be 6" wide and they will supply the boards - I just saw it. Recommendations?
 

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kelLOGg

Bob
Senior User
I have moveable infeed and outfeed rollers. My concern is being able to push it straight thru for 16'. I have a pressure system to keep the boards against the fence but its effect can be overcome by such a long length and a mis-push.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
A couple of feather boards before and after the table saw blade will help to keep the board against the fence and prevent your "mis-push". I agree that 16' is a long one but it's doable with your infeed and outfeed rollers for support.

Only 1 board or several? The picture looks like an angle on each edge of the board (30, 45, etc). That's a weird shape for crown molding.
 

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
Not sure about this operation. Are you cutting it in the orientation you show in your picture, wider side down against the table?

If so, and I was thinking about doing this, I'd have several concerns. First, how will I keep the wedge edge against the featherboards from slipping under the featherboards as I move through the cut? Second, how will I keep the other edge wedge from working its way under the fence moving through the cut? A couple of "Board Buddies" (Google it if you don't know what those are) should help keep the board against the table.

I'd probably opt first to use my Board Buddies to keep the board down on the table. I'd cut the board with my blade tilted away from the fence so the cut was upside down from what you pictured. That way you don't have the resulting knife edge trying to wedge its way under either the fence or featherboards. I'd use a lot more than a single roller support on the infeed and out feed sides to keep that board fully supported throughout the cut.

Finally, I'd set the saw blade to barely clear the depth of the cut and use a pair of properly set up Grr-Rippers to move the board through the cut and not even try to "push" the board from an off-table position.

Finally, since my shop is 24'x24' I don't have 16 feet of clearance on each side of my tablesaw so I'd decline this "favor" making all my opinions purely theoretical even though I do have and use all those things I mentioned.
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
Velly interesting; First if cut on table saw the FACE MUST BE UP, otherwise you will have what ever chip out on the face. Second what tilt is your saw?At least that eliminates the thin edge from slipping under fence.only way i can think of on table saw, VERY GOOD magnetic finger boards, in front of blade tight to fence, make a L shaped jig hold in place with more magnetic fingers right after blade to keep tight to fence till board clears the fence. Board Buddies on top of board before and after blade, if you have more than one pair i would use buddies the entire length of the fence. I wood consider 2 cuts per angle, a rough cut leave maybe a heavy 1/8 then a finish cut. if you have more than one pc then just run em all at first setup then run all on finish cut. Same for both angles/sides. ONLY use a very sharp RIP blade, i wood suggest buy a NEW Freud Red blade either box store, I know depot has them only about 25 dollars.IF you have a good saw with 2 or 3 hp then get full thickness blade 1/8 not thin, thin will deflect, but two cuts balances it out more for the thin.
Also do NOT let the customer select material, go with them and YOU select which ones to work with
 
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Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
Table saw is the way to do it. it would be best if done with 2 people. All the suggestions made correct, infeed /outfeed rollers, feather sticks something to keep it flush against the table, but with 2 people working in tandem you can get the beginning and ending of the cut to stay straight ...... or cut it from an 18' piece so when you get to the end of the cut those minor deviations can be chopped off leaving a net perfect 16' stock.
 

tarheelz

Dave
Corporate Member
Step 1. Crosscut to 8' Lengths.
Step 2. Carry on with suggestions noted above.

Once installed, you'll never see the cut. Be safe.
 

jlwest

Jeff
Corporate Member
I have done this on my right tilt saw by moving the fence to the left of the blade. 16 Ft is long but with two people it is possible with a straight board. Just keep downward pressure on the board
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
A moulder is THE way to do it.. like a williams and hussey. On a tablesaw, you will have to do it face up since your second pass will be a knife edge against the fence and will definitely not be straight and it will cause problems with the consistency of the finished profile on the second pass. Burning will also be an issue. I just love it when people think they can save money by having somoene else "simply" cut some boards for them..... There is a reason crown moulding costs as much as it does and a majority of that cost is due to setup.
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
I would use a molder, but then I have one of those.

On a tablesaw, I would get/make a guide board out of a 1x6x16+ foot, jointed (straighline ripped) and ripped parallel. Screw it to the second face of each oak board.

Now you have two 'permanent' reference edges you can run against your saw's fence (or shaper or..).

If you are not getting straightline ripped oak stock, make an oversized guide board to rip a straight edge.

If you get straightline, watch out for/have a plan for warped stock.

-Mark
 
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Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
To help keep the board flush to the table to, you can use a vertical feather board clamped to the fence with a spacer to locate it in front of the blade but about in the board center width-wise. The board should be face down so that the main board is above the blade during the cut. (You do not want the board trapped between the table and the blade. That not only begs kick-back disaster, but also usually results in more un-recoverable damage to the wood should the board get out of alignment during the cut). I would leave about 1/4" of non-beveled edge instead of going to a knife edge. This will allow you to clean up any irregularities in the cut by hand planing, sanding, scraping, etc, while maintaining a straight edge, as well as will register more solidly against the fence when cutting the second side. I don't ever recall seeing crown molding that was knife-edged.
 

kelLOGg

Bob
Senior User
The job is done and the neighbor was satisfied. He had 28 6" wide primed pine feather-edged boards and it took us about 1.5 hours total. He wanted them cut to 4.375" wide and a random sample showed them to be within 1/16" which wasn't so bad given the limited capabilities in my shop. I put the fence to the left of my left-leaning blade and beveled the first edge. I have a spring loaded tensioner to keep the board next to the fence and it worked well although the increased friction it creates requires more force to push the board but I am used to that. We were leery about the 2nd edge because (as many pointed out) the knife edge was right at the junction of the fence and table top but we encountered no jam or kickback. In retrospect, it would have given us more confidence to temporarily glue a 4" wide 1/4" thick smooth board between the fence and blade to raise the knife edge 1/4" so it would contact the fence only. I don't know how I would have glued it temporarily, though. All in all it was a successful effort that my neighbor appreciated very much. Thanks for all your comments even though I couldn't implement some of them. I would still like feedback on how we did it. Thanks.
 

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Touchwood

Don
Corporate Member
Its pretty simple with a radial arm saw. Just position it at the right angle against the back fence
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
It worked fine in the end despite all of the concerns about what can/will go wrong. 28 boards @16' is a bunch to cut.

I'm curious about your spring tensioner on your table saw. I've never heard of such an attachment. It functions like a feather board I guess. Is it shown in pic #2?
 

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