Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stair Trim... how do people do this?

OK, there is something we've been putting off for years, and it's about time to put the task to bed. The floor trim on the stairs.

Along the outside wall there is no trim yet (on the right side of the stairs looking up).

We know darn well that these 150 year old stairs are not even, not at 9o degree angles, and may not even be the same heights from stair to stair. So how do you trim out the stairs?

We saved several 16' long trim boards from the floor trim so that we could match, and hopefully create something seamless and unobtrusive, but right now all we have is drywall and carpeting.

I mean we can't just measure the first step, trace it out on the trim board then hope that all of the following cuts match... and we can't cut out one step then check to see if it fits before you cut the remaining steps... and I don't want to cut out each step individually and then put a small trim piece across the top.... and I just can't seem to find any sort of way to trace the step dimensions onto a single 16' foot board.

Oh, and all of the steps have bullnose edges.

So how do I make all of the individual cuts in the 16' long trimboard so that when I put it into place on non-standard, non-even, non-90* angle steps... and have it fit and not look like %@*&?

I'd really like to find a really big scoring tool, or a massive compass like my teachers used to use in school for making arcs in algebra class on the chalkboard.

But there's got to be an easier way.

I'm fishing for ideas folks.


Unknown said...

You're on the right track with the 'big chalk compass' idea: put the board up above the steps, and transfer the measurements from the steps to the board. Figure out how far it is from the nose of a given step to the equivalent position of where the board is, then cut a piece of scrap to the right length, and use that to transfer marks. Or if you've got an adjustable square, use that.

Anonymous said...

I've seen/used a heavy paper template approach... get scissors and a couple dozen sheets of stout paper. Create a template... one stair at a time, trial and error to get the perfect fit around the bullnose... and then leave them taped in place as you go. When you're done, tape them all together... pull them off as one template and overlay on your trim board. Custom cutting takes a while, but it should match top to bottom.