Stair bullnose prep issue - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 Old 09-07-2017, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 8
View kolhagen29's Photo Album My Photos
Stair bullnose prep issue

Hi All,

I have looked everywhere to try and get an answer on this issue and I'm hoping you can help.

I am changing from carpet to hardwood stairs. After peeling back the carpet, I saw that the stairs are made of 2x plywood and the ends of the old bullnose are notched/cut out into the stringers on the sides. In addition, my new treads will leave ~1/4" of the old stair visible underneath if I don't cut the old stair nose back to flush with the riser. If I cut the old nose back, it will leave a very unsightly gap where the old stair used to be notched into the stringer and the new tread won't cover this. I don't want to opt to artificially move the riser forward before installing the new riser (thereby avoiding having to cut the old stair nose) because it will shorten the step area of the new tread. I'd really like to avoid using a stringer veneer to cover the sides as well if I can help it. The best I've come up with is to try and horizontally cut the bottom ~.5" off the old stair thereby allowing the new nose to cover the full face of the old step but this still leaves a slight gap at the bottom of where the old stair is notched into the stringer. Will using wood filler or some other compound work for filling in a large gap where the old stairs were cut into the stringer? I'm hoping I've explained this well enough and that someone can give me some pointers. Thanks for your help!

kolhagen29 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 Old 09-07-2017, 05:34 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 4,232
View Toolman50's Photo Album My Photos
If I'm following you correctly, it sounds like your new stair tread is slightly narrower than your old tread.
If this is the case, you can buy a couple of extra treads to cut a narrow board to glue to each tread to give you the width and coverage you need before setting the new wood in place. Put the narrow piece at the back and you should be fine.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
Toolman50 is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 09-07-2017, 09:04 PM
The Nut in the Cellar
Jim Frye's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Northwest Ohio
Posts: 1,033
View Jim Frye's Photo Album My Photos
I did this a few years ago at our old home. The original stairs were fully carpeted except where the tread ends were exposed on one side. These treads had bull nose let into the ends and they over hung the side of the stairway where the balusters were. Anyway, after removing the carpeting and pad, I discovered the treads that were fully covered weren't oak like the exposed ones were and the exposed ones weren't stained where the carpet covering was. I completely removed the treads that weren't oak and replaced them with new oak treads from either HD or Lowes (can''t recall which). The new treads had to be ripped to the proper width and crosscut to fit. IIRC, the new treads were 4 ft. long and several inches wider than what was originally fitted. The landings of the original work were plywood with a built up bullnose. I removed it and made new landings from red oak fitted to one of the store bought treads which gave me a matching bull nose. I left the original pine risers in place and "veneered" them with some 1/4" red oak plywood. Everything was then sanded, stained, and varnished to match the original finish on the rest of the stairway I also replaced the original wrought iron railing and balusters with red oak pieces. Here's a picture of the finished project.

Jim Frye
I've gone out to find myself. If I return before I get back, have me wait for me.
"Sawdust is Man Glitter"
Jim Frye is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 7 Old 09-08-2017, 10:02 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 679
View gj13us's Photo Album My Photos
Trying to follow your description--are you laying the new treads on top of the existing treads?
gj13us is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 09-08-2017, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 8
View kolhagen29's Photo Album My Photos
Yes. If I'm facing the stair the left and right side is cut into the stringers. The new tread will lay on top of the old treads but the already attached bullnose doesn't come down far enough to cover the old tread all the way.
kolhagen29 is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 09-09-2017, 08:25 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 299
View JIMMIEM's Photo Album My Photos
What are the skirt boards made of? Are they painted or stained? You can use a wood filler or epoxy to fill the notch. You can cut the plywood bullnose off flush with the skirt oscillating multi tool would be a good tool to use for this. Leaving the plywood in the notch would work if the skirt is painted.....not too good if stained. You could also make a bullnose shape plug....if you use the same type of wood and finish as the skirt board.
JIMMIEM is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 09-09-2017, 08:53 PM
where's my table saw?
woodnthings's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 26,237
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
how about some photos here?

Originally Posted by kolhagen29 View Post
Yes. If I'm facing the stair the left and right side is cut into the stringers. The new tread will lay on top of the old treads but the already attached bullnose doesn't come down far enough to cover the old tread all the way.

We are all trying to picture what you are saying and now there's another issue above. How far is not enough... 1/4" ... 1/2"

You can rout it off or saw it off, but you'll have to finish it with hand tools or a multi function tool.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is online now  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Planer issue help... JustinBrandon Power Tools & Machinery 31 08-30-2017 02:55 PM
Stripping Stair Rail gthec Wood Finishing 4 05-03-2017 02:11 PM
Sliding Miter Saw Relief Cut Issue davidc88 Power Tools & Machinery 6 11-04-2016 02:42 PM
The dreaded G0715P aligment issue. Cygnus A Power Tools & Machinery 7 05-13-2016 06:43 PM
Starrett Stair Gauges are not True The Wood Viking General Woodworking Discussion 19 02-22-2016 01:32 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome