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prevent mitered return from opening?

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Forum topic by jtm posted 162 days ago 1123 views 1 time favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jtm

117 posts in 242 days


162 days ago

Hi all,

I’m putting mitered returns on my stair treads, and just want to check whether or not glue is sufficient to prevent the miters from opening due to changes in humidity.

Here is an example of what I plan on making:

Thanks in advance


28 replies so far

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

416 posts in 1688 days


#1 posted 162 days ago

As long as the tread is an average size and has the proper moisture content(6-8%) it shouldn’t be a problem with any of the domestic hardwoods. I’ve done thousands of them that way…no issues.

If your using Bamboo(pictured above), I can’t say specifically. We’ve built 3 or 4 stairs out of Bamboo in the past, but none had mitered returns.
If anything though, it seemed much more stable than wood.

-- "The trouble with people idiot-proofing things, is the resulting evolution of the idiot."

View basswood's profile

basswood

255 posts in 226 days


#2 posted 162 days ago

Compared to the size of most miters in a home (door and window casing, crown etc.) those are rather small miters. This fact alone bodes well for them staying tight.

Good moisture meters are rather inexpensive these days and checking to see that your stock is nice and dry is good advice:

http://www.amazon.com/Sonin-50270-Digital-Moisture-Meter/dp/B005GHLGGE/ref=pd_sbs_hi_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=0C0RQBTDCCBZDX26J5WT

-- http://www.basswoodmodular.com/Tri-Horse-Builder-Plans-p/thbp.htm

View Rick's profile

Rick

6455 posts in 1638 days


#3 posted 160 days ago

You might want to try a couple of these. (Below)

I just did an Outdoor Table for a Friend and used them even though the corners are held together with 2, 2-1/2” Deck Screws and Plugged.

Only problem is I have No Idea what they are called or where you can get them …LOL… I’ve had a bunch of them sitting in a Plastic Drawer in My “Hardware Pull Out Drawer Case” for Years now.

Personally? I think they Work & Hold Very Well!

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View reedwood's profile

reedwood

858 posts in 1281 days


#4 posted 160 days ago

Hey Tony, do you route the joint like this?
I have a jig that 45s the joint….if even needed. Not sure I like this look.
I imagine it would be a faster one step process with a flush bit VS cleaning up a 45.
Maybe if it didn’t sweep so much and just had a rounded inside corner?

JTM – curious, what will the hand rails be made from? do they make bamboo hand rails? will you be staining it? have you considered having just end grain and no return?

Rick – I’d be real surprised if you could hammer that into bamboo or any hardwood for that matter. You’d probably be better off with a biscuit or M&T or glue and nail or screw and cap.

I like your avatar….you’re like the Grizzly Adams of LJ.

-- mark

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Rick

6455 posts in 1638 days


#5 posted 160 days ago

Rick – I’d be real surprised if you could hammer that into bamboo or any hardwood for that matter.

Be Surprised then. These things are VERY Hard. I’ve used them in Oak & Walnut so far.

”Glue And Nail”? ”Just end grain and NO Return?” ”Maybe if it didn’t sweep so much and just had a rounded inside corner?”

HUH???

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

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Tony_S

416 posts in 1688 days


#6 posted 159 days ago

Mark
I agree 100% with you on the large radius, it looks like shit. A 3/8” diameter leaves a barely noticeable round in the corner though. The only time I use a true (two piece)miter is for a convex tread(whether it’s a straight or curved stair) because the nosing is typically a bent lamination glued separately and then glued to the tread with the return.

No mechanical fasteners of any sort are needed especially the ones pictured above. A good clean joint, Tightbond and clamps is all you need…even if you could pound those in without breaking the joint they would be pretty unsightly on a staircase.

-- "The trouble with people idiot-proofing things, is the resulting evolution of the idiot."

View reedwood's profile

reedwood

858 posts in 1281 days


#7 posted 159 days ago

Are they pre-making treads like this now? always something new.

-- mark

View Rick's profile

Rick

6455 posts in 1638 days


#8 posted 159 days ago

“No mechanical fasteners of any sort are needed especially the ones pictured above. A good clean joint, Tightbond and clamps is all you need…even if you could pound those in without breaking the joint they would be pretty unsightly on a staircase.

The “Ones Pictured Above” are on the UNDERSIDE of the Table Joint. No one can see them. That’s where I was suggesting they be put on the Tread. Would that not be Possible? Would they still be seen?

Personally I don’t give a Rats Butt how he does it. I was just offering a suggestion. Of course you being the High ZEN Mucky Muck of Stairs & Tread Technology, I would think that he would take your Advice over mine.

Nice Blogs though ”.I just thought since I tend to get a bit ‘opinionated’ on certain subjects….here and there…(translates into ‘piss people off’ sometimes)

Happy Now MR. Tony??

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View jtm's profile

jtm

117 posts in 242 days


#9 posted 159 days ago

Thanks for the responses.

The treads are cherry.

And these miters have turned into a royal pain in the ass.

View jtm's profile

jtm

117 posts in 242 days


#10 posted 159 days ago

So I made a jig to cut the miter on the tread.

I had to make it upright to account for the radius of the blade. Otherwise, I would have over-cut into the bottom side of the tread.

Then I use the SCMS to crosscut up to the mitered 45. After that, I finish the cut by hand.

The problem is, when I complete the cut by hand, I can’t keep the cut perfectly smooth and square like my table saw.

Here are some pics:

I glued one up and there is a tiny gap at the joint. It’s not the end of the world, but I’d like to make the rest better if possible. I’m open to suggestions.

Also, I’m thinking about using pocket screws to hold the return in place. It’ll also make clamping these returns much easier during glue-up. Any reason not to do so?

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Tony_S

416 posts in 1688 days


#11 posted 159 days ago

The simplest way for you to execute this would be to do as Mark suggested above and make a jig and use a flush trim bit(3/8”Dia. works well).
Mark your return lines on the tread and cut the excess out on a bandsaw about 1/16 away from your pencil line leaving a little bit more material in the crotch of the miter. Clamp the jig to the top of the tread, turn it over and trim the joint clean with the router.
The heel of the miter on the return will need a small round to fit the tread. You can do that with a jig or by hand.
To glue, I would use a hand clamp as you’ve done above and two pipe clamps across the tread.
The other option would be to miter the front nosing separately and then glue it on.

The screws really aren’t necessary for what you’re trying to achieve, but if your more comfortable with that, give it a try.
My main concern with the screws would be 1. It shouldn’t be necessary 2.The time it would take to do it accurately. 3. Hitting a screw when you’re bullnosing the edge or 4. having a screw hole show even if you did remove the screw before profiling.
Not a whole lot of room for error there.
You never know though….if you can get the screws positioned perfectly you may not even need the clamps.

The high zen mucky muck of stair and tread technology.

PS.
Mark, yes pre-made stock treads with returns are readily available but only in limited dimensions and materials.
Quality is often an issue as well.

-- "The trouble with people idiot-proofing things, is the resulting evolution of the idiot."

View Rick's profile

Rick

6455 posts in 1638 days


#12 posted 159 days ago

EDIT: Removed.

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View jtm's profile

jtm

117 posts in 242 days


#13 posted 159 days ago

I don’t have a 3/8” pattern bit, but I do have a guide bearing set.

And I don’t have a bandsaw or jigsaw either. (Although I’m in the market for one – can’t decide on the Laguna 1412, Rikon 10-325, or a 17” Grizzly, but that’s for another day)

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jtm

117 posts in 242 days


#14 posted 159 days ago

Well this sucks…

What the hell good are those guide bearing kits if they obscure 80% of the available cutting area on the router bit?!?

I have a 1/2” pattern bit. I’ll use that, and while I hate the look of full radiused miters (like the pic in the first post), I can live with the slight radius caused by the 1/2” bit.

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Tony_S

416 posts in 1688 days


#15 posted 159 days ago

Sounds like the easiest way for you to get through this would be mitering the nosing and return separately from the tread, then gluing them on. It’s a bit slower than the method I described previously, but will be a lot quicker than what your struggling with now.

The end results will be better as well.

-- "The trouble with people idiot-proofing things, is the resulting evolution of the idiot."

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