How to cut wood flooring butting hardwood trim?

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Old 02-26-17, 06:30 AM
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How to cut wood flooring butting hardwood trim?

Hello,

I have a curved area trimmed with hardwood at the top of my spiral staircase. The floor adjacent to it is now carpeted. I want to replace the carpeting with wood flooring.

Is there an easy way to transfer the curve outline of that trim to the wood flooring for accurate cutting so the gap between the flooring and the trim is tight?

If so, please describe.

Thank you,

quickcurrent
 
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Old 02-26-17, 06:36 AM
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Cut it out a piece of cardboard to match the radius and then transfer it to the wood. You may also be able to buy curved shoe molding that will fit.
 
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Old 02-26-17, 07:01 AM
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What is the wood trim that the carpet abuts e.g baseboard, the baseplate for the stair newel post/ballusters? Can you post a picture? Depending on what it is undercutting it and slipping the new flooring under it may be a good option or as marksr said your best bet would be to cut the profile on the new floor boards. Picture would be most helpful.
 
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Old 02-26-17, 07:07 AM
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Assuming you can lay each piece on the floor, you can scribe each piece to match the curve by using a block of wood and a pencil. Hold the block of wood flat against the curve and follow it with your pencil as you move it around the trim. A compass also works but you must hold the compass square to the work at all times, which is where the square block of wood may help.
 
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Old 03-03-17, 09:54 AM
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Thanks all.

I'm not sure that your suggestions will work. I've thought of all that.

I'll try to capture in a photo, but here is the description - the trim is the solid oak base plate of the newel posts/ballusters as suggested by JIMMIEM. That trim runs across the top of the stairs and around the curve of the staircase. The wood flooring will be flush horizontally (same thickness) with that trim at the top of the stairs and the planking needs to remain flush all around the curve. There is no way to trace the trim around with a pencil as it is attached to the sub floor plywood and one can only work from the top. When a piece of wood is placed over top of the trim, it will hide (cover up) the trim. I can cut the wood along a line to make a tight butt joint, but not so much if the line is not accurate to begin with!

I thought that perhaps there was some easy trick or device to do this. I am sure lots of people have come across this situation before. Looks like I may have to do some fancy geometric calculations and drawings to come up with an arc that matches the trim either using cardboard or hardboard.

Cardboard may work without fancy geometry, but it will have to be cut freehand by trial and error as there is no way to scribe the edge of the trim with a pencil other than at the ends unless it was done with some transparent material.
 
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Old 03-03-17, 10:56 AM
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Here is a photo of the subject area, in case that helps anyone better see the issue.

Name:  DSC09137.jpg
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Is there something that can be used to cast an inverse of the curve that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? That would be the easiest and most accurate way to get the exact curvature of that trim?

Thanks for any suggestions.
 
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Old 03-03-17, 11:37 AM
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There are commercial solutions such as this:

Flexible Curves - Lee Valley Tools

But it looks like it may be a fair curve. You could measure the radius using two tape measures from two points on the curve.....find the point where the two tapes overlap at the same number. That's your radius. Then you can duplicate the curve using a trammel (scrap of wood with a nail for pivot and a hole for a pencil at the right distance.

If the curve isn't fair, another option I have used is to make a rough template out of poster board (only has to get close to the edge) and hot-glue craft sticks (popsicle sticks) to the rough template so they touch the trim all along the edge. This doesn't give you a smooth outline, but a series of points on the curve that are easily joined by eye to get a very good template after tracing onto another piece of poster board.
 
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Old 03-03-17, 01:13 PM
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I'd use a profile tool and simply take one board at a time, work from the stair case and use a profile transfer tool.

Make any minor revisions with sander and take your time.

Need to work out a layout so the wood is as perpendicular to the staircase as possible so you are not trimming the side of a board.

OTC 4784 Brake Rotor / drum - Measuring, Precision
 
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Old 03-03-17, 08:12 PM
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Thanks, CarbideTipped and Marq1, excellent ideas.

I like the profile tool idea, was looking at one at Home Depot today, the flexible curves also sound good, but haven't seen those yet, and there is no Lee Valley Tools very close to me. I always thought there must be some tool I could use, just wasn't aware of them.
 
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Old 03-04-17, 06:03 AM
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How about cutting the approximate profile on a large sheet.....getting it within 1/2" will be ok. Then take a flat washer and a pencil and with the pencil in the hole in the washer and the washer against the trim scribe the profile onto the large sheet. Cut to the profile line on the sheet and fine tune with file or sandpaper. Lay the floor boards on this template as they would lay on the subfloor and use a router with a flush trim or profile bit depending on whether you have profile on bottom or top.
 
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Old 03-04-17, 06:08 AM
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Large washer....maybe a fender washer.
 
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Old 03-04-17, 11:47 AM
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When a piece of wood is placed over top of the trim, it will hide (cover up) the trim.
You are thinking about this all wrong. First, you can't lay anything over the trim, the ballusters are in the way. 2ndly, your flooring is in short pieces and will be stairstepped no doubt. As Marq said in post #8, you will be dealing with it a piece at a time. You will need to template each individual piece. You can do that by using some scraps of thin plywood (rather than wasting your flooring), slide one side against the flooring that is already installed, the other side against the curved trim. Then, as I mentioned previously, simply take a compass or better yet, a short piece of 1x4... stand the short piece of 1x4 up vertically, with the 3/4" wide side against the curved trim on one side, put your pencil on the other 3/4" side of the 1x4, and slide them both around the trim together. That's called "scribing" and you will have a perfect fit once you transfer that template onto your piece and cut it the right length.
 
 

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