Monday, December 29, 2014

The crown

In an earlier blog I wrote that the carcass of the cabinet was mostly done, but there was one thing missing yet, an important one for looks, the crown moulding! Having made the moulding itself previously, I "only" needed to cut the pieces to length, adjust the miters and glue them to the case. Small job, but one of these nerve wracking operations. Bungling up the miters at this point would have set me back quite a bit.

I have an Ulmia miterbox, but it doesn't cut precisely enough to fit the mouldings straight of the saw. So I indulged for a moment and got myself a real miter jack.

It was only 15 euro (well, plus a full tank of gas because I borrowed my wifes car). It's a beast. I don't know why they thought they needed 32 cm work space in this thing, must have been some enormous crown mouldings. It is made of oak and in excellent condition. After planing the faces of the two jaws it is very precise again.

This machine allows me to plane the mitered corners with great precision and in comfort. I also could have made a 45 degree shooting board, but these miter jacks just work better.

And it all worked out. After cutting the mouldings on the Ulmia at 45 degrees I could adjust them to a nice gapless fit. Here's the dry fit of one corner.

And the other one to show that I succeeded on both sides.

For the glue up I used hide glue again. the nice thing about hide glue is that it tacks very quickly. So you can just push the parts into position and press them down with your hands for a while. Then they won't slip away anymore like normal pvac glue likes to do. For good meassure I improvised some clamps. The front moulding is glued, the two side pieces are only glued for a couple cm's at the front and has some nails in the back,because of the cross grain situation.

And after waiting for several hours until the glue dried and after sanding the corners a bit to remove any uneveness, this is how it turned out. I'm a happy man :-)


  1. Ha Kees,

    Heel mooi gedaan zeg. Weer een hoop bijgeleerd en nog belangrijker; nog meer ervaring in de vingers.
    Leuk dat je die miter jack voor zo'n schappelijk prijs hebt kunnen vinden. Ik moet bekennen dat is zo'n ding nog niet gezien heb, hoewel, het clubje swarch/benchcrafted wel met zoiets bezig is.

  2. The Ulmia makes a very good 45 degree cut, as accurate as can be, but in the vertical direction, the plumbness of the cut is not so great in the 45 degree position. I tried a few things to cure the sympton, but because I got the miter jack, I didn't fret too much about it.

    Mac, I'll answer in English ;-). When you watch marktplaats, you will see them occasionally, but ususally at a higher price. It's a brilliant piece of kit and I will do another blog to explain it more in detail. I'm sure the Benchcrafted one will be splendid, but propably a bit more then 15 euro.

  3. Dunno why I wrote in Dutch to start with :-)

    I have been looking here in France for this mitre Jack, but the few that are for sale are around 80-100 €. Quite a lot in my opinion.
    The Benchcrafted one is way to expensive, and I'd prefer to have an old one.
    What is the mitre jack called in Dutch??

  4. Verstekblok. Look for things like verstek or Ulmia on marktplaats. But I found mine when I was browsing through antique tools in a lost moment. I think Ducotools also has one for sale.


  6. Hi Kees, that's a beautiful moulding. Can you explain how you made it? If with router bits what ones accomplished it? Thank you, Tom Colligan

  7. Hi Tom, thanks! I made it with my "new" set of hollows and rounds. It was a new adventure for me too, but a lot of fun. I got all the info from the webblog from Bickford. Here is a bit about how I made these mouldings, including a link to Bickfords blog: