About Us Contact Us Products Blog Video Blog  RSS Feeder
Newsletters Tips & Techniques Featured Woodworker Just for Kids Tool Reviews Resources
Visit our online Gift store on CafePress!

Newsletter Signup

First Name:
Primary Email:

Support This Site


If you find our website and videos helpful, please click the button above to make a donation to help offset our costs.


May 23, 2008

Building a Bookcase Part III: Installing Molding



In this episode of the Woodworkers Resource Video Podcast we're continuing the topic of building bookcases.  This time we look at cutting and installing crown molding on our bookcase. 

We will show you how to use simple off the shelf crown molding you can find at most "BIg Box" hardware stores to really dress up your bookcase.

Ever had problems getting tight joints when installing crown molding?  I'll show you a simple way to get perfect looking miters every time!

If you would like to be notified when new episodes come out, sign up for our newsletter at:


And as always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments section below and I'll respond just as fast as I can.

Thanks for Watching!

Craig Stevens 

Comments (13)

George Mainville:

I may have signed up at the wrong time, but I did not receive part one of making bookcases. I am new to woodworking and I plan on retiring in two long years. If it is possible, I would appreciate part one. I really enjoy your video's and I, wish to thank you for your input. I'm a 63 year newbe. Thanks for your help. I desperatly need it. Keep up the good work.

yours truly
George E. Mainville

(WR) Craig Stevens:


You may have signed up after Part I came out. You can find it on our website here:


You can find all our past videos on our Video Blog page. Go to our website and on our homepage in the left hand column click on the "Video Blog" button. There you can always find any videos that you may have missed.

Our website can be found here:


Thanks for watching!

I'll bet these next two years will fly by and when you do retire, you'll be able to build anything you like!

Craig Stevens

Scott Hilton:

I just want to say that I enjoy your video's. I myself am a novis woodworker but hope to become better in time. I have learned from the information you have put out, and I look forward to future broadcast.

(WR) Craig Stevens:


Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate it. It's nice to hear that you learned some things from the video. Norm I am not, but I enjoy teaching others something that I enjoy so much myself.

If I can ever be of any help, just let me know.

Craig Stevens


I understand the value of leaving the piece long and sneaking up on it, and I think I know how to do it. I, too, like doing it that way, not minding a couple extra nibbles with the miter saw to get the length just right.

I don't understand "finessing" the angle, and you didn't show that part in the video. I presume, since you have one piece installed, you are actually changing the angle on the miter saw away from 45 degrees by a bit, recutting the next piece, and continuing to alter the angle until the next piece looks ok. Is that right? Do you go back to 45 degrees for the next corner?

It seems to me that there are some angle mistakes that can't really be fixed, for instance, if your secondary fence board isn't holding the molding correctly against the table and back fence. Is that a concern?

Francois Fournier:

Hi Craig,

I cannot view the video in the new format. Things worked when the videos were in Quick Time, but now I can't see them at all. I have a PC. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance,



Hi Craig........really good and needed. Like you say, many ways to approach woodworking but until the internet woodworker see's the different approaches they will never know. I turned-on my nephew who has always had an interest in woodworking and recently bought a home onto your bookcase build.

OH........like your little tool box behind your mitre box saw....I have the same one, to hold my good rasps and rifflers. Actually a neet little project.


(WR) Craig Stevens:


Yes, by finessing the cut, I mean changing the angle of the cut at the miter saw to get the fit I need. Sorry, I didn't show that in the video, (it hard to find the happy medium between showing all I would like to in the videos and making them short enough so I don't put everyone to sleep!)

As you work your way around the case, the first cut on the side piece of molding gets cut at 45 degrees. The next cut on the long front piece is cut at 45 degrees and then the fit is checked. If there's a gap, the piece is cut again at the miter saw with an adjusted angle depending on how the piece fit. When a tight fit is achieved, the length of the front piece is cut at 45 degrees. Install the front piece, and then cut the last side piece at 45 degrees. If this shows a gap, cut the side piece again changing the angle at the miter saw until you have a tight fit.

Your statement is kinda right. If your secondary fence that you set up to cut crown moves in between cuts, or you don't get the crown push tightly against the fence and table, it can be tough to get the corners to meet. It all depends on how much the angle is off. But, any time you're dealing with a compound cut, such as with crown molding, it doesn't take much variance to make the cut unusable. (The biggest reason I always buy about 20% more crown molding than I "think" I'll need :) )


(WR) Craig Stevens:


You may not have a Flash player on your system. You can download a free one at the link below. Mark sure you specify if your using a PC or Mac before download.


Let me know if this fixes the problem.

Craig Stevens

(WR) Craig Stevens:


Thanks for your comment, and for turning your nephew on to the videos. I hope he gets something from them.

The tool box that you saw behind the miter box is my son's. We built it together a couple of years ago. It's actually the one we built for our book, Woodshop 101 for Kids. I have another one that we also built that I keep handy to throw needed tools in to do repair work around the house. I used to use a tool belt but they just get in the way when you're shoulder deep under a cabinet trying to stop a leak!


Bob Jones:


Thanks for the timely series. My wife has been wanting one of these for a long time. I appreciate your taking time to show us how you do this.

One question though... What is your construction technique for making the top? Was it something you discussed in an earlier video and I just missed it?


(WR) Craig Stevens:


Thanks for the comment. I haven't talked about the top in the videos because there are so many different ways you can use it in your own design. Here's what I did on our bookcases:

I actually used a piece of MDF and simply routed an ogee profile on the edges. With the crown we used, I made the top large enough to stick out past the crown 3/4" in the front and both sides. Again, you may want to play with this depending on what profile you route on the top's edge.

For the last part of our bookcase series, I plan on going through and showing several bookcases I've built that are in my home and one of these I didn't even use a top with the crown molding.

This is such a personal choice which is one of the best reasons to build your own furniture, you can make it your own and not like every cookie cutter piece you find in stores.

I hope this helps!

Craig Stevens




Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)