Like many carpenters, I always thought there was no good way to install crown molding on a cathedral or vaulted ceiling. For years, I would just shake my head whenever anyone suggested it. "Nah," I'd say knowingly, "that never looks good." Most of the time I got away with that, but occasionally customers insisted, and it was always a struggle. But I kept my eyes and ears open for a better method, and in the last few years I've discovered several, each of which has advantages and disadvantages.

No matter which of these methods I use, the back of the crown molding installed on the horizontal runs must first be ripped with a new shoulder or foot bevel to follow the sloped ceiling or the wall. Sometimes both angles must be modified (see "Ripping a New Bevel Angle," below). If you fudge the inside corner using just one size of...

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