Hi. This is Wayne Drake author of
"Crown Molding & Trim: Install It Like A PRO!"
If you are having difficulty cutting a corner and cannot find the answer in the FAQ section below, I will be glad to help.
Please follow this Tech Support Format - I will need:
The "Crown Molding & Trim. Install It Like A PRO", book is used as a reference for tech support. You will need a copy of my book.
Please email your information as attachments to Wayne@CompoundMiter.com
Questions About Crown Molding.
8. How do I install crown molding around a bullnose (radius) corner?
Questions About the Miter Excel Program.
After reviewing all of these questions, if you still need help, please email
Which size True Angle® tool do I need to install crown molding?
The 7" & 18" True Angle® tool is the minimum recommended for crown molding and trim. The 18" tool is the minimum length tool for measuring your corner angles and the 7" tool will be used for measuring your crown spring angle and corners that the 18" tool is to long to fit.
The 24" heavy duty True Angle® tool is the best for installing crown molding and trim. The absolute best set of tools is the Contractor Value Pack which includes the 7" (free), 12", 18" & HD 24".
Use the longest tool that will fit the corner.
Why cant I just use the 7" tool to measure all of my angles?
When drywall is installed, a metal cap is placed on all outside corners. Then, sheetrock mud is applied to smooth the corner. If you measure an outside corner with a 7" tool, because of the corner cap and the mud, you will not get an accurate measurement of the corner angle, instead you will measure the mud cap angle. Crown molding or trim must be cut to fit the wall to wall corner angle. Try this: Place a three-foot straight edge, horizontal, starting on any outside (drywall) corner in your house. Now look at the straight edge and the wall about 6 to 8 " from the corner. You will see a gap approximately 1/8" to 1/4" wide between the wall and the straight edge. If you use a 7" tool to measure all of your corners, you will not have the true angle of the walls (it will be about 2 to 3 degrees greater than the true corner angle for outside or inside corners). The 23" or 24" tool will provide the best accuracy for outside corners. The 7" and 12" tools are ideally suited for close corners where the larger tools will not fit. The Standard Value Pack (set of 4 tools - 7" (free), 12", 18" & 23") or the Contractor Value Pack (set of 4 tools - 7", 12", 18" & 24" heavy duty (best tool) will provide the tools you need for your crown molding projects). Use the longest tool that will fit the corner.
Can I use the Miter Excel Program if I do not have Excel 97 or higher on my computer (PC format only)?
Yes.. There is a free download called "Open Office". It will run the miter excel program if you do not have Microsoft excel 97 or higher. To get more information or the download go to "Open Office" . There is also a download for a Mac computer available.
Why am I unable to go from page to page in the excel program?
If you are unable to view the sheet tabs at the bottom that allow you to select which page you are viewing, then you probably have the sheet tabs turned off. To turn them on, open up the program and click on "Tools" on the menu bar at the top. Then select "Options" and click on the "View" tab. Click on the box next to "Tab". This will put a check mark in the box. Then click on OK. You should now see the sheet tabs at the bottom of the page and be able to go from page to page. You may also need to change the view/zoom settings. To do this, click on "View" and then "Zoom". (Do not use "full screen". The tabs will not be visible.) Set the "Zoom" magnification to your liking.
Any tips for working by yourself while installing crown molding?
Working by yourself is usually harder with crown molding. It really helps to have someone assist you in taking the measurements for your long walls and to help hold the crown molding in place while you nail.
A simple way if you must work alone is, after you have placed all of your alignment marks (second paragraph page 32 in the book) on the wall, drive a small finishing nail (2" long) several places along the wall right on your alignment mark about half way in. You can then use these nails to support your measuring tape to make your wall measurements. You can also, after you have cut your crown to the correct length, place your crown up on these nails and start nailing in the center and work you way each direction. All of the nail holes will be filled in when you caulk the bottom of the crown.
When trying to mark your crown with the exact wall length it is very difficult to hold the measuring tape. Use of a hand clamp will prove invaluable. This is an inside to outside corner piece that is exactly 4" long.
Laser meters work great for making measurements by yourself but they also start at about $300+ and go up from there for the accuracy that you need for crown or trim. These are not reliable for wall that are not at or close to 90 degrees. We do not recommend them.
I have 52/38 crown molding. Which of these numbers is the crown spring angle?Neither angle can be used as your crown spring angle. Why? When you purchase a 2x4 at the lumber yard it actually measures about 1-½” x 3-½”. The 2x4 dimension is called a nominal dimension and does not represent the true size of the lumber. The same applies to crown molding. When you purchase 52/38, 50/40, 45/45, 30/60 or any other crown molding the first thing you must do is measure your crown spring angle using your 7" True Angle® tool (see page 34). You should also know that crown molding is often undercut a few degrees and that you can install either edge of your crown molding as the bottom against the wall. This means their are two spring angles for the same piece of crown depending on which edge you install as the bottom. So, you decide which edge is the bottom and then measure the crown spring angle using your 7” True Angle® tool as shown on page 34. Once you obtain your crown spring angle you measure the corner angle with your 24” HD True Angle® tool and cut your crown molding to fit perfect each and every time. (The above information applies to cutting your crown laying flat, face up.)
How do I determine my crown slope angle?
The crown spring angle is measured as shown on page 34. The crown spring angle is used to determine the crown slope angle and is shown on page 38. There are three crown slope angles, one for each direction that you can make a turn with your crown molding, horizontal, vertical or ceiling turns (ceiling turns are used for outside wall corners in a room with a sloped ceiling. p46 & p47).
Horizontal Crown Slope Angle = 90° - Crown Spring Angle
Vertical Crown Slope Angle = Crown Spring Angle.
Ceiling Crown Slope Angle = See page 38, 46 & 47.
In all of the charts and tables (for cutting your crown laying flat) you will see crown slope angle and corner angle. You measure your corner angle with the 24" HD True Angle® tool and measure your crown spring angle using your 7" True Angle® tool. Knowing your crown spring angle you can determine the crown slope angle depending on how you want to make the turn (horizontal, vertical or ceiling turns). For a complete set of downloadable tables that contain over 12,000 saw settings see bottom of page 50.
How do I install crown molding on a sloped ceiling & Why do I need the small wedge shaped piece of crown molding?
Remember: When installing crown, always measure your crown spring angle using your 7" True Angle® tool (see page 34). Never assume that 52/38 is a true angle reading. This description is a nominal value just like buying a 2x4 (does not measure 2" x 4"). The crown slope angle is calculated using the crown spring angle (see page 38). See FAQ #2.
TIP: It is very helpful to glue the small wedge piece to the horizontal crown and then use the wedge piece to measure the length of the adjacent crown molding going up the slope. To glue the joints, use fast setting glue (i.e., 5-minute epoxy from your local hardware store). (Please be careful while cutting the small wedge transition piece. It is much safer cutting small pieces of crown molding laying flat instead of propped up. Also you can not cut crown molding propped up for turns in the plane of the ceiling.
How do I transition from a horizontal run around an outside corner and then turn upward?
You will treat this very much like making an inside corner turn and then turning upward (see page 42).
For the first joint (left to right), the corner angle is 225° and the horizontal crown slope angle is 90° - crown spring angle = 52° (horizontal turn). Input these into the Miter Program or use the Crown Molding Table in the book. The Miter angle = 14.3° and the Blade tilt = 17.6°. Use your crown molding templates to determine the correct setup for your saw.
Therefore, the corner angle for the second joint is 180° + ceiling slope = 180° + 20° = 200°. The vertical crown slope angle is 38° (vertical turn, page 38).
For the second joint, the corner angle is 200 deg and crown angle is 38 deg (vertical turn). Input these into the Excel Program or use the Crown Molding Table in our book. The Miter angle = 7.9° and the Blade tilt = 6.1°.
Please be very careful while cutting small pieces of crown molding. You are working very close to the blade. It is best to cut your crown laying flat.
Why is the Compound Miter Excel Program Password protected?
We have password protection on all of the pages of the program. This is necessary because it is very easy to accidentally delete all or part of an equation. If that happens, the program would probably cease to function.
You do not need the password to use the excel program. The cells where you input data are not password protected. You do not need the password to use the program on your PC. You must, however, have Microsoft Excel 97 or higher.
If you plan to also install the program on a palm computer, then you will need to remove password protection before installing it. If that is the case, then make a backup of your program and then remove the password from each page to install it on your palm PC. The password is < sos >.
Why am I having trouble downloading the excel program?
If you have followed the instructions very carefully from our download page and are unable to download the program, then you may have your internet security settings set too high. This is especially true with AOL users.
AOL users who are having trouble downloading the file and who simply get a blank page, likely need to change their security settings. This can happen when the AOL internet security is set too high . Set security to medium and try again. Select the Preferences keyword, then the Security tab, and then select Medium or Low. This is still safe and will not harm your computer.
For other users, click on " Tools ", then " Internet Options ", and then the Security tab . Follow the instructions to reduce the security level for the download.
After I have downloaded the excel program, why will it not open?
The excel program is not a stand-alone application. You must have Microsoft Excel 97 or higher already on your computer in order to open the excel program. There is also a free download called "Open Office" that will run the miter excel program if you do not have Microsoft Excel 97 or higher. For more information or to get the free download go to "Open Office". There is also a download for a Mac computer available.
Can I run the Excel program on my MAC computer?
The Miter Excel Program was written on a PC using Microsoft Excel 97. If you are unable to run the miter excel program on your Mac, then use the free download of Open Office that will run the miter excel program if you do not have Microsoft Excel 97 or higher. For more information or to get the free download go to "Open Office". There is a download for a Mac computer available.
How do I cope crown molding?
Coping crown is the method used that involves hand cutting and fitting each crown molding joint. Coping crown is very time consuming. It involves running the first piece of crown (cut square and installed) all the way into the inside corner and holding the second piece in place butted up next to the first. Use a pair of dividers (a circle compass will work fine), opened wide enough, and draw a matching contour on the second piece of crown. The compass must be held in a horizontal position with the sharp point up next to the first crown piece and the pencil point resting on the second piece of crown. Then, move the compass up and down while holding it in the horizontal position. This will result in transferring the contour of the first crown surface contour to the second piece. Next, take a coping saw and cut on the line with the saw angles about 5 degrees. Most people will just use a jigsaw and, after the crown is installed, rely on plenty of caulking to make the job look good. Please note that coping will only work for corners that are inside corners (usually 90 +/- 10 degrees). If you have an outside corner (greater than 180 degrees, such as when a hallway makes a turn), you will have to cut a compound miter or either block the corner and butt both pieces of crown into it. Our book will provide you with the information to easily cut and install your crown molding even if you choose to cut your crown using a simple miter box. Stay away from coping. It is just simply too much trouble.
How do I install crown molding around a bullnose (radius) corner?
Our book has an entire chapter devoted to bullnose corners with easy-to-understand instructions.
What if your bullnose corner is not a 270° corner. No problem. The table on page 55 in our book will provide the exact corner angle you need to cut your crown for the number of small pieces used.
"Crown Molding & Trim: Install It Like A PRO!" has all of the bullnose corner information displayed in table format so there is no math required (Chapter 6).
TIP: Cut the small piece first then position it temporarily centered on the bullnose corner and then use the small piece to measure the lengths of the adjacent crown molding pieces.
It is very useful to glue/epoxy the small pieces together (use fast setting). Due to the small sizes, you will not be able to use nails. It is recommended that nails in the long sections of the crown not be any closer to the joint than 3" and any nails within 12" of the end should be pre-drilled or you can use a finishing nail gun. Please be careful while cutting the small wedge transition piece. It is safer to cut small pieces of crown laying flat not propped up.
Can I install crown on an inside bullnose corner?
What if I have bullnose outside corners on a sloped ceiling?
You will treat these just like you would for bullnose corners on horizontal ceilings. For example, you plan your approach for bullnose outside corners on sloped ceilings just like you would for square outside corners on a sloped ceiling (turn the crown molding in the ceiling plane). In the 2nd photo on page 46, notice the spring angle for crown piece #1 is 38 degrees (correct and sits firm on the wall) and the spring angle for crown piece #2 is 58 degrees (leans outward 20 degrees from normal). (Remember, a turn in the ceiling plane will change the crown spring angle by the amount the ceiling slopes and will correct itself when you return in the original direction). In this case (2nd photo page 46), if corner B was a bullnose outside corner you would cut the crown with a crown slope angle of 32 degrees. The corner angle will depend on how many transition pieces you use (i.e. one piece for a 270 degree outside corner will have a corner angle of 225 degrees, see above). You can now determine the miter and blade tilt from the Compound Miter Chart (Chapter 5, pages 51 and 52) or the extra tables mentioned on the bottom of page 50. You can also use the Miter Program.
What if I have baseboards/trim that I want to install around a bullnose corner?
You will use the bullnose chapter for trim very much like crown molding. If you want one trim piece then look at table 1 page 55..... measure your actual bullnose corner and then find the actual corner angle for one piece...... i.e. ..... 270 degree corner with one piece gives a trim corner angle of 225 degree..... you will then use the miter table on page 23 and with a corner angle of 225 deg -- you can see that the miter setting is 22.5 deg. You will now use table 2 on page 56 to determine the back width of the trim piece.....and there you have it :-)
What size nail do I need to install crown molding and should I use a nail gun?
All of this and much more information can be found in my book.
Smaller Crown Molding (3")
Larger Crown Molding (4" and up)
Do I need a Nail Gun
What is the best way to make a lap joint? (i.e., wall is too long for a full length of crown)
When you have a wall that is too long for one piece of crown, then select two or more lengths of crown that will cover the full length of the wall with enough excess to account for the joint cuts and the corner cuts (the larger the molding the more extra length you will need). Make the lap joint with the saw blade tilted at 45 degrees and the miter set to 30 degrees. For each joint you do, use the same setting for the blade tilt. In other words, cut both sides of the joint without moving the saw adjustments. Cut the first cut for the joint on one side of the blade and cut the second piece on the other side of the blade. Doing it this way will assure that when the two pieces come together on the wall that they will be straight.
Always cut the lap joints first and then proceed with installing the crown. The first piece you install will not have to be measured, just installed. The second (or last) piece will have to be measured to length, then the corner joint cut and installed.
When nailing the joint, pre-drill the crown close to the joint about two inches either side. It is also recommended that you use glue in this and all joints. Set the nails and fill with putty. This will then hold the joint nicely and prevent it from separating in the future.
When making the final corner joint cut, start with the length at least 1" too long. That is the safest way to do it, especially if you are a beginner. It takes very little time to cut just a little more versus starting over because the crown is now 1/4" to short.
Can I install crown molding if I have only a miter saw, not a compound miter saw?Yes, you can still install crown using a miter saw. The crown must be held at the correct angle at which the crown is to be installed in order to make the cut.
The first thing to do is to measure the corner angle using the True Angle® tool (sold on our web site). Not all corners are square, measure each corner.
Once you have your corner angle then position the crown molding propped up with the bottom of the crown in full contact with the fence for horizontal turns or the bottom of the crown in full contact with the saw table if making a vertical turn. See page 24 for illustrations of crown molding positions for the type of cut you want. The miter setting can be obtained from the miter table on page 23.
You should always use your set of crown molding templates to check the saw setup before you cut.
More examples. (taken from miter table page 23)
To be able to measure all the corners of your house, you will need the True Angle tool. The best tool set is our Contractor Value Pack. Use the longer tools for the long corners and the shorter tools for corners that the larger tools will not fit. (Review question #1) Click here to go to True Angle® tool page.
Tip : You will need to check the square and accuracy of your miter saw before you begin. The 5x8 Try Square is ideal to use for squaring your saw before you begin. More info. Exact Angle® squares.
Which miter/compound miter saw should I buy?
That is like asking which car should to buy. That depends a lot on what you want to do.
Miter Saw or Compound Miter saw. When using a miter saw (blade will not tilt) to cut crown molding you will have to prop the crown up against the fence in order to make the cut. We prefer laying the crown flat and using a compound miter saw. With a compound miter saw, it is easier to hold the crown since it is flat on the saw table, especially for some of the small pieces of crown molding that are often needed. To make a compound miter cut you will have to set a miter angle and a blade tilt angle. All of these settings are in my book. You will still get excellent results regardless of which type of saw you use. Our book covers how to use both a miter saw or a compound miter saw for any cut you need.
Single Bevel or Dual Bevel? With a single bevel compound miter saw you will need to position the top of the crown next to the fence for half of the cuts and the bottom of the crown next to the fence for the rest of the cuts. This will require switching the crown end to end for some cuts. Plan your cuts so the top of the crown is next to the fence for the last cut. This will allow you to see the wall length mark on the bottom of the crown easier. With a dual bevel compound miter saw, you can make all of your cuts with the top of the crown molding next to the fence. How does this help? The bottom of the crown is where you will place you wall length measurement and it will be a little easier to see the mark when cutting the crown. Either type saw will allow you to cut your crown properly. A dual bevel saw is a little more convenient but usually cost more $$. The choice is yours.
What size do I need? That will depend on what size crown molding or trim you want to cut. A 10" saw will cut up to 5" nominal crown (4-5/8" wide). If you want to install larger crown molding then you will need to go to a larger saw. A 12" saw will cut 6" crown in most applications. If you intend to cut even larger crown molding or trim, you will need to invest in the more expensive sliding compound miter saws. A sliding compound miter saw operates just like a radial arm saw and will usually cut even the largest of the crown moldings or trim.
What brand name should I purchase? Any name brand miter or compound miter saw will work great. Chapter 2 of our book explains how to check the square and accuracy for your saw and how to set it. You should check the square of your saw any time you start a project. The less expensive name brand saws are not built for daily use (also know as duty cycle). If you want to install crown in your entire house and all of your friends' houses then, unless you have a lot of friends, the less expensive light-duty cycle saw will work great and provide you with all the service you need. If you want to do crown molding and trim on a daily basis (such as a professional carpenter, you will want to invest in the more expensive saws that are built for a high duty cycle or a lot of use. I would stay away from off-brand saws. Usually with an off-brand saw, if you do need any service or parts you will be out of luck
Which saw blade do I need? Some of the less expensive saws come with a steel blade. You will not get very far with a steel blade before you have to stop and sharpen it. We recommend that you purchase a carbide tipped blade and replace the steel blade. Even one of the least expensive carbide tipped blades that you can find will provide better service than a steel blade.
Below is a link to a web site that gives you a good comparison of the saws that are in the market. One saw that is not mentioned here is the Craftsman saw sold by Sears which is also a good saw. To compare saws: http://www.powertools.info/compare
There are gaps in my crown molding (moulding) joint. What did I do wrong?
If your crown molding has any gaps, then the crown was not cut correctly. Any one of the following can through your cut off. Look through these and see if you can find the problem area.
The scale/scales on my saw is/are in 1° increments. The tables are in tenths of a degree. How do I set my saw to these settings and how do I obtain settings for corner angles like 92.5°?
We have set up the tables to the nearest 1/10° so that you can see a change in the miter and blade tilt settings for each degree of corner angle change. For example, a corner angle of 93° and a crown slope angle of 52° require that you set your miter at 30.3° and blade tilt at 32.8°. If you measured the corner angle to be 94 degrees, then you would set the miter at 29.9° and blade tilt at 32.5°. If we rounded all values in the crown molding table to the nearest degree, the table would show that the settings for a corner angle of 93° and 94° would both be set at a miter = 30° and blade tilt = 33°. This is just not correct. So how do you set your saw? If the miter setting is 32.8°, then set the saw about 80% of the way between 32° and 33°. You will also do the same for the blade tilt. If you measure the corner angle where you will be installing the crown or trim to be 92.5, then you can estimate the miter and blade tilt setting by looking in the table at the 92° and 93° corner angle and then estimate the miter and blade tilt settings to be half way between the table values. By setting the values to the best estimate, you will be as close as necessary to have the perfect cut each and every time.
I get a small space in the joint that runs the full width of the crown on my inside corners. How can I prevent this?
How do I cut the wedge (transition) piece for a cathedral/vaulted ceiling?
Reference the second photo on page 42 in our book. The second photo shows the typical turn for a cathedral/vaulted ceiling. Joint A is the horizontal turn (note: both surfaces of joint A are cut with the same miter and blade tilt settings and are mirror images of each other). Joint B is a vertical turn (both surfaces of joint B are cut with the same miter and blade tilt settings)...... You will cut the length of the wedge piece (#2) so that it always forms a point at the top of the piece of crown molding and the tops of crown piece #1 and crown piece #3 will actually touch. For more information on cutting the wedge, click here and download a detailed adobe PDF file.
How do I install chair rail or baseboard around a bullnose (radius) corner?
This is accomplished very much like installing crown around a bullnose corner (see Chapter 6). Look at the illustration on the bottom of page 54... imagine that is chair rail or baseboards..... for a 270º outside corner (see table #1 page 55) using one small piece of trim (chair rail or baseboards) you get a corner angle of 225º. Since the trim lays flat on your wall, you will cut this using the Miter Table on pages 23 and 24. For a 225º corner, you will set you saw on 22.5º. The width of the back side of the trim can be determined from Table 2 on page 56.
For and inside 93º corner, why does the Miter Table (page 23) show a miter saw setting of 43.5º instead of the "divide the corner by 2" method or 93º/2 = 46.5°.
Our book explains everything that you asked (see pages 90 through 96). Here is why: The old saying "divide the corner angle by 2" only applies when using a saw with a face angle miter scale. In other words, the face angle miter scale starts at 90º and goes to about 45º in either direction. The most common miter scale is called the "complement of the face angle scale" (some saws have both) where the scale starts at 0º and goes to 45º in both directions. All of the charts and tables in the book are based on the "complement of the face angle scale" where the miter scale starts at 0º.
If your saw starts at 90º (face angle scale), then measure the corner angle and divide by 2. (93º/2 = 46.5º)
If your saw starts at 0º (complement of the face angle scale), then measure the corner angle....subtract it from 180º......and divide by 2. (180º-93º = 87º, 87º/2 = 43.5º)
Note: This method of finding the saw setting can not be used for cutting crown molding laying flat on the saw table.
How much should I charge if I install crown molding and trim as a second job?
There is just not any way that we can tell you what to charge. What is your time worth to you? Typically, during construction, crown will be installed at a rate of $1.75 per square foot of house area (3000 sq ft house ~ $5,000). Crown molding can go for as little as $1.50 per foot to as high as $10 to $15 per foot. There are many factors that play into the cost of installing crown molding. Some of these are: locality, cost of home, site-varying-conditions (such as: building out of square, excessive steps to climb, 12 foot ceilings, 10" wide crown/stacked, etc), operation over-head and many others. We would suggest that you contact some of the local builders in your area and see if they can provide you with some cost information. You might also go by your local Home Depot or Lowe's store and talk to millworks about installation cost.
I have a compound miter saw that only tilts to the right. How do I apply the instruction in your book?
We used a 10" compound miter saw that only tilts to the left. This type is the most popular of the compound miter saws. What you will need to do is make yourself a set of crown molding templates as described in the book. When making your set of templates you will........
1. Reverse the edge that is against the fence.... i.e. If the photo in the book shows the bottom is against the fence, then place the top against the fence.
2. Reverse the side of the saw blade that you place the crown...... i.e., If the photo shows the crown on the left side on the saw blade, then place the crown on the right side of the saw blade.
3. And of course reverse the direction of blade tilt. Tilt your saw blade to the right.
Note: The direction of rotation of the miter table (CW/CCW) will remain the same and will be just like the photos indicate.
All of the miter and blade tilt settings in the charts and tables will apply to your saw just as they are.
When you have your set of templates made, you will then use them to determine the correct direction to rotate your saw and placement of the crown molding for the corner cut you want.
How do I make a cut when the mark is on the bottom of the crown and next to the fence? I cannot see the mark.
Here is a tip about cutting the crown to a blind mark that you can not see. Cut one end of the crown and then place the wall length on the bottom of the crown as shown on page 31. Now take your True Angle tool (the 7" tool works best) and set it at the same miter needed to make the cut. Note: Your saw's miter scale is probably the complement of the face angle scale (same as the charts and tables in the book). The True Angle tool measures the face angle (see Chapter 13 for more details about saw scales). Therefore, you will need to set your True Angle tool to 90 minus the miter setting. For example, if you are a cutting horizontal 90° turn with 38° spring angle crown (52 crown slope angle), set your True Angle tool on 90° - 31.6° = 58.4°. Then place the True Angle tool on top of your crown and align it with the mark on the bottom of your crown. Draw a light pencil line on the top of your crown which will approximate the actual cut line.
Now you are ready to make your first cut, but you should make the cut about 1/2" to 1" into the waste side of the crown. Then measure the exact distance from the cut edge of the bottom of the crown to the mark you made for the wall length. Then go to the top of the crown and measure that exact same length from the cut edge on the top of the crown and you will then have an exact mark on the top of the crown to make you final cut.
Why is "Lemonade" printed on each of the True Angle tools?
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
At one time, Richard Quint, the inventor of The Original True Angle®, and his wife, Carol, owned and operated a cabinet shop. Their employees had trouble on job sites accurately measuring corners. Without the correct angles, they couldn't build cabinets that actually fit, and consequently they lost a lot of money from cabinets that had to be thrown away. (Lots of lemons!) Those losses spurred the desire for a solution, which resulted in the development of the True Angle. (Lemonade!!!) They realized that if their people, as professionals, had problems with angles, others would have the same problems. (Who knew there were so many lemons in the world?!) So when the True Angle went into production, Richard put "lemonade" on every tool, in honor of all those who would be using the True Angle (a lemon "aid") to turn their own particular lemons into lemonade.
How do I measure the corner angle for walls that are too short for even the 7" tool.
For short walls that the 7" tool will not fit, you can use 3x5 index cards (or similar items). Fit two of the index cards against the corner and then tape them together being careful that the cards fit the corner when taped. Transfer this angle to a piece of paper and measure your corner angle with your 7" True Angle tool.
Why do your charts and tables have miter setting that exceed my saw's miter scale?
We created the charts and tables to cover the complete range of corner angles. Most saws miter scale range is +/- 45 degrees; however, there are some saws that will go as far as 50+ degrees. Future saws may go even further. There was not a clear stopping point so we provided a complete set of tables/charts that cover corner angles from 0 to 360 degrees. If the miter setting required exceeds your saw's capability, then go to Chapter 14 in the book. Chapter 14 covers how to cut miters that exceed your saws capability.
On the True Angle tool, there is a sticker that says, accurate up a certain length. What does that mean?
Constructing an accurate angle is difficult in itself. On top of that, when you try to extend the angle, you generally wind up compromising its accuracy. Extending an angle requires more thinking, including the consideration of what product to use when extending each line of the angle. If you are trying to overlap a previously constructed or drawn angle, here are some things to consider:
1. A straight edge of comparable tolerance should be used to extend the line. For example, a True Angle tool is machined to a tolerance of +/- .005". Therefore, whatever you use to extend the line should possess the same manufacturing tolerance.
2. When using the same True Angle tool to extend the lines of an angle that you previously made, the following rule applies: you should not extend the line more than 1 1/2 times the length of the tool.
Let’s look at the reasoning behind this statement. Say you use an 18" True Angle tool to construct an angle. Now you want to extend the angle. Take the same 18" True Angle tool and overlap each length of the angle (do one length at a time) by 9" and you will successfully extend the angle by 9" or for a total length of 27".
After much research regarding making angles, we have concluded that in dealing with the True Angle, no less than 50% of the tool should be used to create the overlap of the line. When you try to extend an angle, you generally wind up compromising its accuracy. For example, if your accuracy is off by only 1 degree in 12’, your measurement within the angle will be off by approximately 2 ½ ". That’s why we recommend sizing the True Angle to the job. The longer you can extend an angle on a single precision edge, the more accurate your calibration of the angle will be.
What is the tolerance of the True Angle® tools and the Exact Angle® squares?
When our tools and squares are routed, the CNC is designed to hold a tolerance of .001" in the length of the run on the table. All of our tools/squares are cut on the same machines that circuit boards for Silicon Valley are cut on. The table size is 25" wide x 50" long. Included in the process, is a gantry that has four adjustable slaves (other routers that follow the leader). In addition, the repeatability is not to exceed +/- .002". These specs. apply to both the x and y axis. QMS's tools are some of the most accurate in the world.
I find it difficult to hold the true angle tool while measuring and tighten the tension nut.
It will help to lightly tighten the tension nut prior to measuring your corner with the tool set about 10 degrees to 15 degrees larger than the corner angle you want to measure and then rotate the blades together while fitting the tool into the corner. This will also tighten the tension nut a little more. When finished measuring just hold the bottom blade of the true angle tool and rotate the top blade counterclockwise to loosen.