# Thread: Stairway Wainscoting

1. Junior Member
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Jun 2011
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## Stairway Wainscoting

I seem to have encountered an issue and exhausted myself to death thinking about it.

I want to add frame style wainscoting to my stairway. I read on this site about using a T-Bevel square to find the angle of the stairs, based off the baseboard, and using a level to find the vertical (plumb) angle. which aso gives me the outside angle of the frame.

now that i have that angle, how do i figure out what angle the cuts need to be for the inside angle to match up. I do not have a protractor.

the outides will be plumb vertically while the top and bottom will be at the same angle as the stairs going up. I just can't seem to figure out what angle the cuts will be to mate the vertical side of the frame to the top or bottom side of the frame.

can anyone help?
Last edited by Matt45365; 06-02-2011 at 02:56 PM.

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## Re: Stairway Wainscoting

Measure the angle that the staircase deviates from horizontal. Often it's around 38*-44*. If you set your miter box to this angle, it will give you the top/bottom cut of a vertical trim to intersect the stair angle. That's the way miter boxes are set up. Same angle if you are using a speed square. For the end cuts of the raking members, you use the complement of that angle; the first angle subtracted from 90; if 44*, the compliment is 46*; if 38*, it would be 52*.
Casey

3. ## Re: Stairway Wainscoting

when i trim a house with this type of detail on the stairwell, the first thing i do is determine the proportions and heights of the frames. from there i snap chalklines which are parallel to the nosings both for the bottom of the frame, the top and the chair rail hight. this way every runs dead straigt.. the next step is to figure out the width of the frames then mark plumb lines on the wall. once this is done you can figure out the angles of the cuts

i use a starrett mitre finderas opposite to a sliding t bevel. both do the same thing but the mitre finder gives you the exact angle to cut on'

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## Re: Stairway Wainscoting

Originally Posted by Sombreuil_mongrel
For the end cuts of the raking members, you use the complement of that angle; the first angle subtracted from 90; if 44*, the compliment is 46*; if 38*, it would be 52*.
Casey
what if my miter saw only goes to 50*? guess i would be a little SOL there ...

5. ## Re: Stairway Wainscoting

you can make a pitch block up which gets pinned to the saw fence which compounds the saws maximum angle which also acts as a fence for your peice to rest against.. be wary and very careful doing this sort of thing its a tricky cut and the saw can pull the piece into the blade

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## Re: Stairway Wainscoting

so, the miter saw gives me the opposite angle i want, to make the angle i need. i think..

i cant attach a picture because the site wont let me.

I found that at a 25* cut angle. on the bottom of the vertical side of the frame, and on the right side of the bottom side of frame, that make the angle i need. the way i figure it, 25* from 90 is 65, so double that and the angle i am making is 130*

its an obtuse angle, i am assuming somewhere around 130* from there i can figure out that the other angle i need to make at the top of the vertical frame is a 60* angle, which would mean i have to make a 60* angle on the other corner, i need 2 60* cuts to form a 60* corner 60 out of 90 is 30, 30 and 30 would = 60

its pretty confusing to explain i think, but everything is backward.

but again, my miter saw only makes cuts up to 50* so i'm screwed...lol i can't make a 60* cute to make the other angle i need.

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## Re: Stairway Wainscoting

i will have to look that up because i have no idea what you are talking about haha.

and after reading what i just wrote, i dont see how anyone can understand what i meant about all the angles.

i should have bought a miter saw that could go further i guess, but from what i read on this site, i thought i wouldn't need to go any further.

the tutorial about making stairway frame wainscoting said i could make all the cuts i needed at one angle somehow which didn't make much sense.

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## Re: Stairway Wainscoting

ok so basically i use a 2x4 or something, cut it at 30*, then pin it to the fence, turn my miter saw to 45* and make my cut.. i think

from what ive read, this seems to be the general idea.

you use the inverse angle of what you need to make the angle you want. which in my case would be 60*, so maybe i turn my saw to 30.

who knows but i will test it out, i have nothing but time and patience lol
Last edited by Matt45365; 06-03-2011 at 02:18 PM.

9. Junior Member
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## Re: Stairway Wainscoting

okay, thank you for the suggestion of the pitch block, I made it up at 30*, moved my miter out to 45* right, no good, brought it back left to 0* getting warmer.

I found the correct angle to form my acute corner was 6.5* left of center, while using the pitch block.

its one very severe corner, but everything measures out now and it looks right. so i have my angles and i know the cuts that need to be made now.

many thanks for the help!

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## Re: Stairway Wainscoting

I bought my Bosch saw because it goes to 52* left miter and 62* right. Otherwise it's a PITA, but the range is sick (for a 13 year old saw!)
Casey

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