A crown holder positions the molding for precise installation.

It is also an ideal layout tool.

It’s simple to make a crown holder from a scrap of plywood.

When working without a helper, the author uses a crown hook.

The jig is easy to make from a scrap of sheet metal: Drill a keyhole,

and bend the metal.

Install the hook with a loosely driven screw placed so that it won’t interfere with the crown.

Using a corner mockup to lay out outside corners,

saves time when cutting the joints.

The author works around the room from left to right, with copes on the left ends and butt cuts on the right. The process starts with a temporary starter piece carefully positioned and tacked into place in the corner of the last wall.

The coped end of the first piece of crown is snugged against the starter piece.

The author fastens only the right half of that piece so that it can be flexed away from the wall when the last piece slips in.

Outside corners are gently tacked so the miter can be adjusted if needed.

The author glues and spring-clamps the joint to ensure it never opens up.

When working solo, the author uses his crown hook to support one end of the molding.

He starts fastening at the coped end.

Then he moves to the center of the wall, using the crown holder for accurate placement.

The end of the piece shown in the previous slide is aligned with the layout marks on the wall.

This ensures that the coped end of the next piece fits snugly, with no need for fine- tuning the joint.

When the author reaches the last wall, he removes the temporary starter piece.

Then, he flexes the first piece away from the wall with his right hand while supporting the last piece in his left hand.

He slips the last piece in behind the coped end of the first piece and nails it off.

Finally, the still-unattached coped end of the first piece is snugged into place,

and nailed off.

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