Should I cut treads before putting on poly? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-11-2012, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Should I cut treads before putting on poly?

I have a new set of uncut oak stair treads. I've already stained and allowed them to completely dry for a week. My question is this; should I cut them to length/size before putting on the poly? My concern is whether or not a saw blade would chip or flake the poly if put on first and then cut. I've been over every video and internet help topic possible but no one seems to have ever remarked on this step in the process of putting in new stair treads. I suppose this question/concern would apply to any other project similar in fashion. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thx.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-11-2012, 01:41 PM
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I think most people would cut to final length before staining or finishing.

As you state, it is too easy for chips or tearout.

Since you have already stained, then you need to think about how to minimize the chips or tearout.

One way is to apply blue masking tape on the "good" side, which is the top or front it a riser. The blue tape will come off clean.

Then place the taped side so that the blade will be cutting "up".

So if using mitre saw, have the tape side down.
If using table saw, have the tape side up and the blade high.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-11-2012, 02:54 PM
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Scoring the cut line with a stanely knife also helps. Just a note.
Lee
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-11-2012, 05:55 PM
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I prefer to cut treads and install them before any staining or finishing is done. I have installed prefinished treads also. Normally I cover the end of the tread with a couple of wide pieces of masking tape to protect the finish from the base of the saw. Then I score the cut line with a utility knife like Icutone 2 suggested before I make the cut. If you have a good sharp blade it shouldn't chip.
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