Best tool and method for mitering skirt to risers?

Discussion in 'Hardwood and Laminates Q&A' started by cej22, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. cej22

    cej22 Member

    I'm finishing my basement and one of the last projects I have to do is continuing the engineered hardwood from the main floor down the stairs. I put cork in the basement. I've decided to go with painted skirts and risers.

    What's the best tool and method for making the cuts on the outside skirt of the stairway? I'm not sure I'm using the correct term, but this is the skirt that faces the room. The skirts that run down the stairs are already in. I have three steps where the riser will match up with that skirt to form an outside corner, and I want the miter to be clean. Cutting the risers on my miter saw is easy enough, but getting perfectly vertical miter cuts on the skirt is trickier. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Floorguy

    Floorguy The Living Dead Charter Member Senior Member

    A scrap to play with. Make your angle needed, and then cut your riser at that angle.
  3. cej22

    cej22 Member

    I'm thinking my best tool for the skirt is a 4 1/2" Rockwell trim saw. What do you use?
  4. cproader

    cproader All over T's last nerve Senior Member

    :eek:.........ok I've read yer post four times now and I am still a bit cornfused.......have ya got a pic to show me....I am alittle slow sometimes.....:shifty:....:eek:......:pout:
  5. cej22

    cej22 Member

    Here's a pic of the finished stairway in the house. I'm putting the same type of "skirt" downstairs, but I'm doing painted risers and hardwood treads. It's the outside corner where the skirt meets the riser that seems tricky. Cutting the skirt seems to be the difficult part.

    Please correct me if there's another name for this piece of trim.

    Attached Files:

  6. Steve Forbo

    Steve Forbo Pro Member

    I too have read this several times and don't exactly follow what you are trying to miter.....
    What you have there is an outside STRINGER(the white part).
    I think you are saying that you only want the stair treads to be wood, and the stringer and riser to be painted.
    Is this correct?
    I need a little more info on the current state of the stairs....
    What are they right now?
    Are you just installing new stair treads?
    Will you be doing molding like in the picture you posted?
    Are you painting the risers or matching the wood to the tread?

    I have a few solutions for making them look great, but I need specifics of the existing conditions, and what you expect the details to be in the end.
  7. cej22

    cej22 Member

    Thanks for the correct term. I had thought the stringers were the structural components of the stairs, that which supports the treads and risers. In this case, the sheet of MDF I'll be using to to make the outside stringer is purely a decorative trim piece.

    Stairs are currently new construction grade with the skirts in place. The treads were bullnosed OSB treads, but I've already cut the nosing off so that the front edge of the treads is flush with the 2x risers that are in place. I'm planning to face the existing risers with 3/4" MDF which will be painted white. The outside stringer will also be painted white, so it's the miter cuts on the outside stringer where it will meet the risers that seems tricky.

    Once the risers and stringer are finished, I'm going to do my final spray job on all of the trim, and then come back and do the wood treads. My treads will be Mannington engineered 5" plank hickory and their matching step nosing. I did a staple down installation of this wood on the main floor of the house, but I'm thinking the stairs will be more solid if I glue them. I may glue AND staple, just to help the wood stay in place while the bond sets. Please advise if that's a bad idea for some reason.

    I hope this is finally clear. I don't think it's that complicated to describe, but maybe a wrong term threw you guys off.
  8. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    I think, if we look at only the stained wood, he is referring to the tread (on top) and the mitered riser that is on the face and side of the step. I think he is having trouble making an acceptable outside corner miter.


    PS....Nevermind.....his reply was not there before I started my attempt.

  9. cproader

    cproader All over T's last nerve Senior Member

    Ok, now I gotcha.....that is gonna be a real tricky cut to mitre. If yer paintin it anyway, there really is no need to mitre. Just fill and sand and yer gonna get the same result.....
  10. cej22

    cej22 Member

    That would of course be my plan B if I don't get a great joint. I'm just wondering how the pros would do this. I'm thinking I'll make all of my marks, then clamp straight edges to the piece and use my Rockwell trim saw to cut the 45 degree miter. Sound reasonable?
  11. Steve Forbo

    Steve Forbo Pro Member

    If this is going to be a decorative MDF fascia, I think it would be very easy to make the miter on the outside stringer where it meets the riser.
    You can simply use a jigsaw with a fine tooth blade. Set the jigsaw baseplate for the 45, and use a straight edge as a guide.
    If I am misunderstanding that this is where you want the miter.???...???
  12. cej22

    cej22 Member

    Yep, that's where I want the miter. Maybe my jigsaw would be better. I'll have to do a test scrap with it and see how that goes. I have a pretty decent Bosch jigsaw, but it has been giving me fits cutting straight lines lately. Maybe it will do okay with a straight edge.

  13. Steve Forbo

    Steve Forbo Pro Member

    It can be the last piece you put on.
    You can dry fit the outer stringer and tack nail it in place with 2 fine finish nails(that can be filled later).
    Make your finished marks where the riser will meet the outer stringer. Then pull the piece off, set the jig up, clamp on a straight edge, and go. Just do them one at a time and take your time.....
    I hope it works out for you.
  14. Floorguy

    Floorguy The Living Dead Charter Member Senior Member

    Wow! A picture says a 1000 words.

    I'd make a template, and pray. :blink:
  15. cej22

    cej22 Member

    Oh, it can't be that bad. I'll hopefully have time to do this next week. I'll post pics when it's finished.

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