Cutting a groove under stair tread overhang


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Old 09-01-20, 09:23 AM
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Cutting a groove under stair tread overhang

I have a maple hardwood floor, with a 1.25” overhang (nose), starting a staircase going down into basement. I would like to cut a groove under the “overhang” for the purpose of a LED strip light channel inlay. It needs to be about 5/8” wide an 3/16” deep and 36” long. What would be easiest tool to accomplish this? (I can’t use a router like I did for the replacement treads that weren’t installed yet.). Thanks!!
 
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Old 09-01-20, 09:44 AM
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The first step would be to remove the stair tread. Then you can use a router, circular saw or table saw with dado blade. Trying to cut one step while in place will be a headache at best and I can't imagine doing a whole flight. If you've just gotta do it then I'd consider a Dremel tool for the open area. You may need to hammer and chisel to cut the groove at the ends near the wall which brings up "making" a special, really short chisel and hammer to use in the approx. 6" vertical space.
 
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Old 09-01-20, 09:50 AM
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If these are already installed I cant imagine any kind of power tool that would allow this to be done, better start looking for some type of surface mount lights!
 
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Old 09-01-20, 10:30 AM
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I have done all the treads already with a router, except the very top, which is NOT a “separate tread” but part of the maple floor. This is the one I would like to groove “in situ”.
 
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Old 09-01-20, 04:52 PM
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I think a Dremel rotary tool with a right angle head attachment and a carving bit might be the best bet. I might try making a simple guide to help hold the tool at the right cutting depth and then something clamped around the Dremel to slide along the face of the step so the groove is the right distance back from the edge.



 
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Old 09-01-20, 05:30 PM
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I'd use a palm router with a piloted rabbet bit... and maybe an edge guide. The size of the bearing will adjust the depth of the cut. If you make your first pass so that the rabbet is the right distance from the front edge, you can then adjust the router base so that the but protrudes farther, and still use the bearing to make a second pass to make it as wide as you need it to be. This assumes you have enough room between the notch and the riser for the bearing.

And if you can find a 5/8" rabbeting bit you could do it in one pass in combination with the right size bearing.

Without Pilot Dane's attachment, about the only other thing you could do near the wall is use a chisel or an oscillating tool to try to clean out the parts of the rabbet that the router can't reach... that last inch or two.
 
 

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