Tips for Making Stair Molding Tips for Making Stair Molding
If there is one thing that can drive a budding carpenter mad it is getting a stair molding right. The molding that is generally found around a staircase is a beautiful enhancement that can genuinely turn the staircase from a simple, functional passage in a home to a genuine work of carpentry art. This doesn't necessarily have to make you crazy if you put a little thought and planning into the project beforehand. There are a number of factors that can go into ensuring that you obtain the perfect balance in the design of the staircase, but getting the molding right is perhaps one of the most important.
Finding the Right Trim
Finding the right molding for your project can be difficult. Study some wood working or carpentry magazines to get ideas for designs that might be suitable for your project. If you are looking for an historically accurate molding, visit buildings or historic homes that are from the era that you are trying to achieve. Study the staircases in person, whenever possible. Bring a notepad and sketch the molding patterns, the cuts, the shaping. Many home improvement stores offer a wide variety and selection of pre-tooled molding, that is essentially ready for priming, painting, and installation. This pre-fab molding also comes in a almost any length that you might need. Examine how they are put together. All of these things will help you to achieve the look that you are striving for.
Finding Those Angles
One of the most difficult aspects of installing molding in a stair case is finding the right angles at which to cut the molding. The first rule when it comes to finding those angles is to throw out your compass, forget the preset measurements on your miter saw, and use trial and error. Use pieces of scrap trim to find the angles that you need, draw them onto the scrap with a pencil and a straight edge, cut them, and do a dry fit. You will find your angle a lot quicker this way than you will trying to guess the exact degree of the angle.
Securing trim is always a little bit of a dilemma, as fasteners such as nails can damage or even split or crack the carefully handled molding or trim. The answer may be construction adhesive. Equated to as the "super glue" of the construction and remodeling world, adhesive is a great alternative or addition to traditional fasteners. With traditional fasteners, you frequently create even more work as you have to fill nail holes, sand, and finish while the molding is already on the wall, not to mention running the risk of cracking the molding. If you use a construction adhesive you may be able to avoid not only extra work, but will save your back from doing this extra work at odd angles.