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wainscoting stairs question?

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Forum topic by EugdOT posted 12-12-2017 03:04 AM 1669 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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EugdOT

226 posts in 605 days


12-12-2017 03:04 AM

I am in the planning stages of wainscoting my foyer to the stairs to my upstairs. My wife and I feel its going to look best total height of 36 with the top chair rail considering we have 8 foot ceiling for most of the house. I have run into a mind block and trying to figure a simpler way. where the down stairs foyer meets the stairs is 44 inches because there is a step down that is 8 inches. the upstairs landing is going to be no more than 36 inches.

The angle of the stair skirt is 135 from the top to the bottom. I can’t figure out the height of the wainscoting on the stairs to make a good transition. I assume the angle is going to be 67 1/2 on bends and rises. I tried to simulate different heights of lines from 36 inches tall to 31 inches tall and they all don’t make a smooth transition from the bottom of the stairs to the top of the landing. also trying to figure out what would look best on the area for the step down.

I’m planning on doing the rails and stiles at 3.5 inches thick and the bottom rail at 8 1/2” and with the baseboard molding added to the it should give me a even 3.5 inches around each square.

I did wainscoting before in a half bathroom but it was square and no elevation changes. That was a nice straightforward project.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


17 replies so far

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile

TheTurtleCarpenter

1051 posts in 1116 days


#1 posted 12-12-2017 04:28 AM

Draw it out on the walls to scale in pencil, chalk a line first at the finished height and if you want to change lines or placement of intersections you can always erase it and adjust.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

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Lazyman

2160 posts in 1437 days


#2 posted 12-12-2017 05:19 AM

I’m having a hard time understanding exactly what the problem are. Perhaps putting some cardboard mockups or maybe just masking tape outlines on the wall will help you and us visualize what issues you are trying to solve. It seems like if you have a stile at the top and bottom, a line connecting the top of each would represent where the top rail would be.

One problem that I can imagine is that the rails with beveled ends will visually will have a longer edge than the 90 degree ones but perhaps that won’t matter if there is a stile at the transition (on the top and again at the bottom). Rather than have the same spacing as the landings or top/bottom, I would divide the steps evenly so that you don’t have a wider or narrower panel somewhere along the angled section.

For the step down in the last picture, I think you have 2 options. One would be to have the stile on the bottom step and have the top rail stay the desired height above the floor so it would mimic the step down . The other would be to have the stile straddle the step so half sits on the top step and half on the bottom (with the top rail again mimicking the step down) That might work better with a wider stile. Whichever you choose, you probably want to take the same approach for the stiles on the steps as well.

But then again, maybe I just don’t understand what the problems are?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View chrisirving's profile

chrisirving

121 posts in 481 days


#3 posted 12-12-2017 11:11 AM

I did the same thing earlier this year, I did a chalk line on the wall to get the angles right

Maybe a picture will help (sorry about the sideways picture)!

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jerryminer

935 posts in 1492 days


#4 posted 12-12-2017 11:44 AM

I suggest laying out the sloped section of wainscot like this:

1. Establish Point A where the top floor level meets the line at top of stair skirt.
2. Establish Point B where the line of top of skirt meets floor at bottom.
3. Plumb up from these points to top of wainscot (36”)
4. Connect these two points and make this the top of wainscot at sloped section.

Here’s an illustration:

For the small step-down, I would create a small skirt board and essentially do the same thing:

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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jerryminer

935 posts in 1492 days


#5 posted 12-12-2017 11:51 AM

p.s. Are you sure about that 135 degree angle? That’s very steep (and not legal for stairs in most places—45 degrees from horizontal. Most stairs are closer to 35 degrees (7/10 rise/run)

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View Woodtodust's profile

Woodtodust

54 posts in 1887 days


#6 posted 12-12-2017 12:59 PM

I have been thinking about the same project but have had a bit of trouble laying it out. Jerryminer, your diagram and skirt board suggestion was extremely helpful. I also like the idea of a chalk sketch to visualize the proportions.

Good question and excellent answers!

-- Bill...Richmond Hill, GA--"83% of all statistics are made up."

View EugdOT's profile

EugdOT

226 posts in 605 days


#7 posted 12-12-2017 01:24 PM

I’m definitely doing a chack line when I get home. Thanks jerryminer for the illustration. It makes more sense. I put the angle dial on it. Maybe I reversed it will take another measure later today. Thanks for all your feedback. What do you guys suggest about the step down do it in two parts and have them die in the transitions or do a 45 degree miter and put baseboard at the same angle

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EugdOT

226 posts in 605 days


#8 posted 12-12-2017 03:02 PM

Thanks again Jerryminer I just noticed the diagram for the step down. Makes it a lot better if it’s all 36 inches. Much better transitions than having it die on either level. Will do some chalk lines and keep with updates. Thanks again everyone

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EugdOT

226 posts in 605 days


#9 posted 12-12-2017 09:53 PM



p.s. Are you sure about that 135 degree angle? That s very steep (and not legal for stairs in most places—45 degrees from horizontal. Most stairs are closer to 35 degrees (7/10 rise/run)

- jerryminer

I took another measurement this time with the angle gauge on the other side its 47 degrees on top stairs and 45 degrees on the bottom of the stairs. on the stairs skirt. its a total of 12 stairs with the landing its 13 steps.
thanks again for the feed back.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4426 posts in 3792 days


#10 posted 12-12-2017 10:18 PM



Draw it out on the walls to scale in pencil, chalk a line first at the finished height and if you want to change lines or placement of intersections you can always erase it and adjust.

- TheTurtleCarpenter

+1

Turn the wall into your ‘instruction/storyboard’ Then you can take measurements directly off your full size plan.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View EugdOT's profile

EugdOT

226 posts in 605 days


#11 posted 12-12-2017 10:46 PM

That’s the plan for tonight once the kids go to sleep
Thanks again for all of your knowledge and support

View Rick's profile

Rick

9905 posts in 3083 days


#12 posted 12-13-2017 04:30 AM

I just couldn’t resist. Hope you don’t mind.

Regards: Rick

-- Your Assertiveness Training Is Beginning To Interfere With My Anger Management!

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EugdOT

226 posts in 605 days


#13 posted 03-11-2018 11:36 PM

just wanted to give a update to the wainscoting project stared off just a simple batton and board project and now raised panel wainscoting with bolection molding. I still have some work downstairs before finishing the molding upstairs, I have a question on this one how I do I cut the angle on the triangles on the side of the stairs.

the triangle angles are 42.2 on the bottom, 47.7 pm top and a 90 degree the I divided the miters and they are not even close to closing? I rounded up and down on them but the bolection molding just is off?

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

935 posts in 1492 days


#14 posted 03-12-2018 02:19 AM



the triangle angles are 42.2 on the bottom, 47.7 pm top and a 90 degree – EugdOT

Your numbers are a wee bit off. The angles of a triangle always add to 180. I’ll assume that the 42.2 and the 90 are correct, and there is a slight error in the 47.7 degree angle (it’s .1 degree—- it doesn’t really matter much)

Your miter angles are 23.9 at the top and 21.1 at the bottom—- but remember, the miter gauge on your miter saw or table saw read 90 degrees OFF from the actual angle (don’t ask me why, but a 90 degree cut reads as zero, an 80 degree cut reads as 10 degrees, and so on)

So the setting on the miter gauge needs to be 66.1 at the top (90-23.9) and 68.9 at the bottom (90-21.1).

Your saw probably does not swing far enough for these cuts. You can make a simple acute angle jig for the chop saw (or table saw) like this:

You should clamp the workpiece before cutting, as the saw will tend to “pull” the workpiece during the cut—so figure out a clamping strategy.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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EugdOT

226 posts in 605 days


#15 posted 03-12-2018 02:58 AM

I used a digital angle finder/protractor to get the numbers

That a great picture makes sense. Is that jig a 45 angle tor the jig or is it smaller angel? Or is it the same dimensions as the triangle ?

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