Cut help for cove on steps along the wall - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-20-2014, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Cut help for cove on steps along the wall

Hi there all, forgive me if I term things incorrectly. I am not an avid woodworker at all. Just a guy with a miter saw...apparently biting off more then I can chew.

So I'm re-doing my basement, and the steps had to be half-way re-sheet rocked. Well someone previously painstakingly cut molding up and down every single step to hide the gap from wall stairs.

I now need to re-do this. I though a nice inner curved molding (cove?) would look nice (its 90* on the back with a shallow C shape to the face).

Initially I thought it would be 2 45* angles as the step landing and the the risers is a perfect 90* (in appearance anyway). Cut some small pieces on opposite 45's...and not even close.

So then I though...maybe its like crown molding put the blade to 33.9 (i think...my saw has a nice cheat sheet...and I tried so many angles...) and set the table to the little mark...and no go.

Long story short...either I messed the crown molding angle and that is what I need...or I just need help figuring out how to angle cut to make the L shape.

P.S. I only focused on the inside corner, where the tread meets the riser.

Thank you for any help! I went though 8' of molding trying blade and table angles. I found someone saying 22.5 for table, and then a 22.5 blade cut...but then I couldn't reverse the piece...as my blade only tilts to the left.
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-21-2014, 01:32 AM
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Are you talking about a standard cove molding? I just did these stairs and made the cove and cap moldings. There isn't any angles involved with the cove the back is 90 degrees. I made mine with a wider piece of material, cut the shape, cove bit with the cove molding, then cut the molding off the larger piece. I use a stock feeder and did it this way for good contact area with the feeder. I would do the same if hand feeding but would use feather boards.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-21-2014, 06:45 AM
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Sounds like your riser and step are not 90 degrees to each other. You need to find out what the angle is and then divide by 2 to get what angle you should set your miter saw at.

I would take a small scrap piece of 1x........say a 1x5x5 and cut it into a square block and set it in the corner and see if the corner is square. You could also take a small square if you had one but most squares other than a try square won't fit. You could take the 5x5 block you have cut and use it to check each step to see if they are all off the same amount. You can also take the 5x5 block and scribe it to fit then use it to figure out your angle.

A cope joint might make things a whole lot easier for you. Cut your vertical piece square and then cut the horizontal piece that sets on the step with a coped end to match up to the vertical. A cope joint will allow for deviations from 90 degrees and still fit tight.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-21-2014, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Hammer1 - I am talking about the step itself making "L"s up and down every single step.

Big Dave - I will have to post a photo when I get back home. I cut about 20 different angles with the cove and two pieces never match up to make a corner.

It sounds like the cove should act like normal molding with the cuts. I will take your advice and try using something else and see if 2 45's even make a joint.

Thank you both for the the reply.

P.S. Big Dave (and probably most of you on here) the looks awesome. I can't even get my mdf base boards to line up nice...due to a wavy floor.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-21-2014, 07:07 PM
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I think I get what you are trying to do. Your treads and risers don't fit to the wall or skirt boards, if you have them. You want to hide the gap by running a cove molding both, up the riser and along the top of the tread.

The relationship of the riser to the tread may not be 90 degrees. Each corner could be slightly different throughout the stair. On the stairs I pictured, although conventional, each end of every riser and tread had to be fit individually as I went. I use a test riser and tread with the ends cut 90. If 90 doesn't fit I adjust the miter saw as needed. Since I do it all the time, I have a good idea how many lines or half lines I need to off set from 90 on the saw to make it fit. You will have to do the same with the cove.

Have a couple of test pieces. Make 45 cuts on the ends, then hold them in place. If the cuts are open on one end, you need to take a little off the ends that touch. It's trial and error. You have to remember the saw setting that works. The other side or the next tread could be slightly different. Use the test pieces again, modify the saw setting accordingly.
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-21-2014, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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So I am having no luck...attaching pics of what I am trying and all my little test pieces.
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-21-2014, 08:24 PM
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Take the short piece that is on the tread and put it in the miter saw and cut a piece right out of the center. Rotate your miter saw to the left at 45 and make a cut. Save the piece to the left and then rotate the saw to the right to 45 degrees and make a cut on the other piece just the way it lays. In other words you just cut a little pointed piece right out of the middle of the short piece that is on the treads. You should be able to take the two pieces and they should make what you want or darn close.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-21-2014, 08:52 PM
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I feel for you Shane! Top picture, the piece on the riser has been oriented correctly on your saw, the one on the tread has not. Look at the molding closely to see if there is a top and a bottom, one side might be wider than the other, the wider side might have a thinner area at the bottom of the cove. Put a mark on the tops so you don't get confused. If both sides are equal, just pick one edge as the top. The top goes against the wall when installed but the tops go down on the saw's table when cutting, you swing the saw to the left for the piece on the riser, swing it to the right for the tread piece. Always keep the top on the saw table. The edge that fits against the wall should be square to the wall. You can see that in the top picture on the riser piece, the tread piece in the top picture is 45 to the wall, not square. Forget about coping, you have to figure out how to be consistent with the molding position.

You have another thing to deal with, the tread nosing/overhang. Don't know if you plan for the cove to be continuous. Any reason why you don't go with wall to wall carpet on those stairs? You wouldn't need any moldings.
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-21-2014, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Seriously considering carpet...now. Just seemed like oh its just inside and outside corner 45s like baseboard and chair rails. I have done 30+ of those cuts since re-doing all the floors and walls on my main floor. I'll try marking the top. It seems like it has a top and bottom. Wonder if 1\2 round will work easier...think I have 1/4 in my shed might try it.

As per bull nose the previous carpenter cut it for his moldings like a slot...of course box store sizes are too small or big..

Problem is i love how the white trim adds a clean pop to the steps...for 1 week at least :)

I will try those cuts tomorrow.

Thanks again!
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