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I've been helping my father in law finish their basement and we've already done all the framing, drywall, electrical, plumbing, painting, etc. What's left is a little trimwork. Last week they decided they wanted wainscoating (sp?) down the stairs to the basement. Finding the angle for the stairs was easy enough and putting up the wainscoating went pretty quick. The problem came with the chair rail....

The steps go down and then wrap around a 90 degree corner (outside corner) and continue down at the same angle again. So you have two angles involved, one going down the steps and the 90 degree angle at the corner. I tried several ways of cutting this but nothing came out correctly. It's got to be possible but I can't get a visual on the math behind it. I drew a quick picture of the wall although it's a little hard to illustrate in 2D. The corner in question is in the orange circle.

What I tried is to get the angle of the slope of the wainscoating (I think it was around 40 degrees or so), set my compound miter saw to that angle and then cut a 45 degree cut on the chair rail. That didn't work out though....

Is this possible?
 

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The only way to do this is to make a slight angle change on the first wall to level out to then turn the corner. angles should be 20 on the first two pieces to a 45 for the corner and the a quick 20 to start the angle back down again. The pieces in the corner don't have to be long at all. They can be as short as you can physically make them.

Sunnyholme
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not sure I understand this completely. Are you saying I would need two short pieces of the chair rail and make them parallel with the floor to level out and meet at the corner? Those pieces would meet at the corner at a 90 degree angle so both would be 45 degrees on the corner end cut the thickness of the piece and then have the 30 degree angle at the opposite end cut lengthwise to angle up and down the stairs? We didn't try that and I'm not sure how easy it will be to fix now that the panel is up. I think I see what you're saying though and I appreciate the help. :)
 

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Maybe this might help

Angled chair rail to an outside corner


Click on the link above. As you can see in the photos, the chair rail is running parallel to the stringer and then wraps around an outside corner. In order to do this, you would have to cut a transition piece. First, cut the outside angle of your wall and save at least two feet of material, left of the blade. Now slide this piece to the right side of the blade and cut the angle of your chair rail that runs up. You will have to cut this piece so the top of the miter is very close to the short point of the outside miter that you cut previously. The result will be a small piece with one side being cut to your chair rail angle and the other side cut for the outside corner.

In your case, use two transition pieces. One for the chair running up and the other for the chair running down. Hope this helps.
 

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Although a “rosette” is a way to transition the piece I think that it draws unnecessary attention to the corner and breaks the flow of the profile. The correct way to wrap molding around a corner when transitioning from horizontal to vertical is to cut the molding to the proper angles as shown in the photos. The only way I think rosettes work as a transition piece is with radius window casings.

If you were running crown around the room with a cathedral ceiling you would not put a corbel in a corner just because the crown goes vertical. One would have to cut a triangular shaped transition piece with one end accepting the horizontal run and the other the vertical run.

Again, there are several ways to accomplish the end result. These are simply my opinions.
 

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The Best way...

[/QUOTE]
Again, there are several ways to accomplish the end result. These are simply my opinions.[/QUOTE]

It is my experience that you could give the customer the options listed above which "can work" except for the rosette idea, and one more...Sand your butt off and make the transition as artistically as possible! :Thumbs:
 

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Custom Builder
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I'll have ya not knock my rosette idea, it just so happened that the corner extruded away from the stair, like an embeded post, It really did look pretty neat, but you are right about one thing, it might have looked pretty goofy on a beare wall.

Bob
 

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Transitional changes in chair rail

Actually there are only two ways to do a multi angle transition like that. One is with a transitional piece, a short run of trim as described above. This allows you to turn the corner at a single 90 deg angle. Otherwise you are trying to meet the two pices at the corner using two different angles. If you do that the two pices of trim will NEVER line up correctly because one cut will always be longer than the other. So the other way you might ask? Get two different sized pieces of trim with slightly diferent profiles, one wider than the other. But then you need to find the right size trim for that particular stair angle........ So...... a transitional piece is the only practical way to go. Besides, this is the way it has been done in all the historical houses I have seen.
 

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I was looking at your pic JL and thought a 4x4 post out of trim could work as a transititon as well? What is your thought on that?
Glenn
 

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Since he started it in December 2004, he's probably finished by now:whistling

JGlenn, try an introduction, we'd love to meet you:jester: While your reading all of the past posts (you must have went back quite a ways to get to something tht was last posted in 2005), take a look in the upper left corner and it will give the last postig date.

Welcome
 

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Since he started it in December 2004, he's probably finished by now:whistling Unless it was his own house:laughing:GMOD
Hey! That's not funny.:rolleyes:

Interesting that the OP was a DIY'er, but had two things going for him... they asked a pro level question and they were upfront about not being a pro.

At the FHB Breaktime forum, there is a member who routinely digs up old threads from the archives... providing an interesting service.

Beyond that stuff, the original question is a good one. The situation is one trim carpenters all face sooner or later (unless you just work on single story ranch homes).

Some of the posts above state that there is only one solution or only one "best" solution. Most of the suggestions made have some merit.

1). The most elegant solution is to use two different sized moldings with the same profile, scaled so all the lines of the profile meet perfectly at the corner... but how often is that planned out ahead of time. Custom molding knives and small mill runs are $$$$.

2) The small trianglular transition piece (similar to the transition often used between horizontal and rake angle crown in a vaulted ceiling) is a simple option. IMO it can be done with crisper cuts than pictured above and can look pretty good (see vaulted crown photo below).

3) If the wainscotting is not already done, the chair rail can follow the drop of the last stair riser, then level off before turning the corner (like a gooseneck drop on a handrail--think the inverse of the skirt to base transition pic below).

4) If the stair wall is long enough before the turn (not likely), the change to horizontal can be done with out the drop, before the corner (like the skirt to landing photo).

I always draw all the lines on the walls to see how it will play out, and to help choose an option that works.

All the best,

Bass
 

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Since he started it in December 2004, he's probably finished by now:whistling Unless it was his own house:laughing:GMOD
It was the in-law's house.
Either he's done or divorced! :laughing:

Hey! That's not funny.:rolleyes:

Interesting that the OP was a DIY'er, but had two things going for him... they asked a pro level question and they were upfront about not being a pro.
..........
Bass
Back then there were a lot of DIYers here.
That was before Nathan started the other site.
There are still a couple of "legacy" players here.
Ever wonder why an airline pilot (747) still
pops up from time to time?
 

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