Hanging the Crown

Sometimes good fortune is upon me. Yesterday was one of those days. In addition to my eldest daughter's baptism (another post forthcoming), I was able to spend most of the day hanging crown molding in our newly completed basement family room. The basement has been done for about 6 months now, but I decided to finally make good on my "trim" plans since I'm off work and otherwise bored enough to go work anyway. When we planned and built the room, we wanted to set it up for watching movies properly. I ran several thousand feet of cables through the walls. Overkill? No way. I prefer the term "thoughtful." I can't begin to count the hours I spent down there just staring at walls in the middle of construction, pondering just how things should be setup. True meditation. I setup the speaker wiring with three different runs since I just could not determine which way I wanted to face the room. The solution was simply to run wires all over the place and then my indecision could be postponed to a future time. People now like to laugh when they come look in our utility room and see many dozens of computer, phone, and cable wires coming out. But there's nothing funny about it. Probably 3-4 times a year there is some sort of furniture shuffle at our house that necessitates an all-too-easy replug of components in the utility room. Presto! The TV, phone, and computers all work at their new locations. It's one of those things no one thinks is cool. Simply too geeky. But if any of those wires ever stops working or is in an undesirable, unmovable location, then I'm sure to hear about it. Hence the reason for putting 8 cat-5 cable runs in my office alone. Like I even need to justify the genius! They're all perfectly labeled and organized.

Anyway, I wander. Part of the original plan on the basement family room was to put up some crown molding about 3 inches below the actual ceiling and then to fill that molding with rope lights (whose outlet was thoughtfully placed on a switch during construction), so that we could have some exquisitely cool ambient movie lighting. Yesterday we finally put up that molding and IT LOOKS SO COOL! Even better, Jolayne's brother and father are in town for Amy's baptism this weekend, so I had extra hands to help. We wound up using the full cadre of power tools to get the job done, which must be something like getting to use all your really good cookware; it just feels good:
Dallin: "You know, this job would be sooo much easier if we just had a 5/8" coupler to fuse the cross wiring on the flux capacitor."

Chris: "It's a good thing that was on sale at Harbor Freight last year. I had no need for it then, but using excellent foresight, I purchased it anyway, and I just so happen to have the very coupler needed right now!"
Jo's brother had done this before and help spare us from making erroneous cuts that often plague crown-molding work. It took us much of the day to get the trim all painted and hung, but hands down the hardest part was the rope light. You see, we intend to someday add a rock surround to the fireplace, and so we had a quandary of determining how do deal with that section of wall and not mess up future rock work. (This is the part where all you crown-hanging junkies enthusiastically nod your heads in agreement.) Ultimately, we decided to drill holes through the fireplace wall (it's just dead space behind), behind the molding, and send the rope lights behind the whole thing. Nice idea Dallin! But dang, hard work. We had to do some serious fishing and stringing. Even had to go back to Lowes to get fishing sticks since the fish tape wasn't fishy enough for the job. Nevertheless, after a couple hours of fishing, we finally got the lights strung all the way around the room twice (many thanks to a neighbor who gave me a 100 ft length of rope light!) When we got it all hung and turned on, it was a very fulfilling experience. Looks so good. And probably added a fair amount to the basement's value, which is always a good thing. Still have to fill in holes and add the caulking, but I'm very happy.

Now we just need money for a big screen and receiver! Please make your checks out to the Chris-needs-a-projector foundation. 100% of all donations will be used to fund this valiant effort!


Becky said…
ok, I need more then a 1/4 inch picture of the molding. If it deserves an entire blog post, then it needs a few more pictures ;)
Sounds like a sweet sweet hookup.
kevandcan said…
A word of caution, some rope lights go out after just a year ( I know from experience) while others last a LONG time. Be sure to buy/install the quality rope lights.
Ryan said…
Nice job. Good to see you using those tools for something besides making sawdust! Once you've done crown, the rest is a breeze.

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