Adding a bullnose edge?

JavachikApril 19, 2013

Still working on the stairs... Attached is a picture of the first step looking down at it. You can see how I wrapped ithe tread around the wall on the right. Since the tread sticks out farther than the wall, I thought this would make it seem more intentional and a bit more finished. It does to a certain extent, but the completely flat edge lacks the grace of a bullnose. Can a router be used to create a bullnose on that one inch (she asked because she has never used a router before)? I know the created bullnose on the right would still be end grain.

Alternative is to cut off the return I made and buy a pre-formed bullnose oak return. It's only a couple of dollars (literally 2 bucks and change), but I wonder about 2 things: attach by routering a groove in the return and a groove in the side of the tread and connect with a spline and adhesive? Won't that attached 1-inch joint be weaker than the way the tread is now contoured?

Can you tell I have no idea what I'm doing? Those enablers on the decorating forum got me going on this project...

I appreciate your help with this latest twist!

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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I am like you, no idea how to help you, but someone here will. I just wanted to tell you that I agree that a bullnose edge will finish your project.

The home we recently purchased has a large bottom stair that wraps around the wall, and it drives me nuts! I never could figure out why they did that, and now I see. Ours will stay like it is. It's carpeted, and will simply be re-carpeted.

Your edge will look great!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 9:30AM
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Is the tread installed or can you remove it? If it can be removed, I'd take it to a cabinet maker and ask him to do the bullnose rather than you renting/buying a router and the necessary bits.

You'll just have to decide if you want a full rounded look or one like the pic below.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 12:33PM
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desertdance - Mine was carpeted too and the carpet hid how the original tread jutted out. Once I made the decision to eliminate carpet (hated having to drag a vacuum up and down), that problem corner was obvious.

annz - No the tread is just dry fitted. I don't have to buy or rent a router. It actually comes with an operator, too. :) I just have to give directions.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 7:59PM
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annz - How will the riser transition to baseboard in your picture? Straight butt? I'll be wrestling with that issue after figuring out the tread,

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 6:36AM
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Just route the end like the front then sand. If you have a little patience and a belt or orbital sander you could just sand the end round

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 3:05PM
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Thanks, don92!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:13AM
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Sorry, just now checking back in. That photo is not my house, just one from the web.
Are you going to have a skirt board? If not, you may want to post on the woodworking forum for tips on butting baseboard to riser. It's pretty active over there and I've found them helpful.

Don't know if it helps but I've added a link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Transistions

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:24PM
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annz - No rake board. My problem is that if I cover the bottom riser with 3/4-inch pine like the others, the board comes out farther than the wall. I can try to miter the back of the board (more than 45 degrees, 50 or 60 degrees probably) and cut the width so it just meets the baseboard on the wall. Alternatively, if I can find decent 1/4 plywood, just use that to face the existing riser. I may wander over to woodworking with my lame problem to see if there are other approaches. "Don't do it" is not an option as I have 11 of 13 treads and risers completed...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Here's a pic showing how the top trim of my wainscoting butts to the window trim. It's cut at a 45 degree angle and I never notice it!

A simple solution for you would be to just cut an angle on the edge of the baseboard so it meshes with the riser. I'd then find a narrow strip of trim to finish the raw edge of the riser, caulk and paint.
Another option would be to use a plinth block but not sure if that works with your style.
Hopefully a finish carpenter chimes in with more ideas..........

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:07PM
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annz - Like so? Adding a sliver of baseboard and quarter round to bridge the gap, of course.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:16PM
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Well, I was visualizing the reverse, with the riser flat and the baseboard angled back, but it appears what you've done works too! : ) This current pic is a better angle and I can now see the baseboard sits out farther than I thought.

What you're doing with the lower half is the same trim as the baseboards along my walls with rounded corners.
Try the trim pieces and see what it looks like IRL......

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:14PM
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I would have left the riser square (no miter) and just mitered the baseboard and let the other end 'die' into the riser like a return.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:06AM
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annz - I want to do the reverse but I have to find someone with a miter saw because my table saw max is 45 degrees. If I can do a 50 to 60 degree miter I can snuggle the riser right up to the far side of the corner radius (trial and error). 45 or less leaves an unpleasing gap between the wall, corner, baseboard. It's wonky!.

brickeeye - That approach leaves the floor at the curved corner of the wall bare - a very small triangle with no tile (too small for a piece of tile and too big to leave bare). I need to either extend the riser past the corner (miter the riser the opposite way of the picture) or do it this way and bring the baseboard around the corner. Or see if 1/4 inch plywood could be used instead of the 3/4 inch pine riser, which pretty much will allow me to replace the original piece of baseboard and quarter round that went around that corner.

Thinking, thinking, thinking. Time away for a week may help!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Do a two section return.

two miters if you want the gap smaller.

you can even do more sections if you really want to.

Mitering the riser is not going to do much to fill in the gap.

Many of them are just filled with a sliver of wood (or caulk if you are paying someone).

Stand the materiel up on a tenoning jig.


This post was edited by brickeyee on Thu, Apr 25, 13 at 11:29

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 11:27AM
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