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stair question cutting mitered skirt boards

Dave E's picture

I was wondering how people out there cut their mitered skirt hand or power tool and which one is less likely to screw up a nice piece of 11" poplar?

Dave (post #214470, reply #1 of 6)

In the 40 some yrs of work I've only cut maybe a half dozen mitred skirts, all with power tools.  The first few were open on the right so was able to use my right tilt circular saw, finishing the bottom of the cut with a hand saw.  Did that both with a guide and freehand.  Finished out fine, there is some fuzz out as the saw cuts bottom up.

When faced with the opposing stair layout, I was forced with either getting a left tilt or upgrading my compound mitre saw to a dual tilt.  I chose the latter.  I found using the mitre saw easier and quicker and with less tear out.

hand saw?  Never tried but it did work well for many years back before they turned up in garage sales.

In either case a good eye and well supported work will help.


Sitting here over a cup of coffee watching the news, hoping I got the orientation right in the description.  Stair artists would be way better to weigh in on this.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


HI Dave, I use a circular (post #214470, reply #2 of 6)

HI Dave, I use a circular saw.  As Calvin noted, depending on which side is open, you will need a left or right bevel saw.  I have a Makita sidewinder that bevels one way, my worm drive bevels the other, and most cordless circular saws bevel the opposite way of typical sidewinders.  I would recommend a new finish blade and after scribing the cut line on the skirt board from the rough stringer, go back and strike sharp straight lines with a square to cut to.  Leave the line and set the bevel for 45.5* for tighter joints. Be careful not to overcut the skirtboard too.  It is easy to do when cutting from the back.  Scotia usually covers slight overcuts.  I finsh cuts with a Japanese style pull saw (cheap Irwin works great).  Good luck

Fine (post #214470, reply #3 of 6)

cheap Irwin .......


If it's the fine edge/rough edge combo with the removable blade, did you find out if Irwin has the replacement?


and thanks for mentioning cutting from the backside scribe line.  I've done both, from the face and added the riser dimension and from the backside.  Either way I made the cut a bit proud and pulled the riser out to mate it.  Just a bit of insurance.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Hey Cal,        Were (post #214470, reply #5 of 6)

Hey Cal,

       Were you asking if Irwin has a replacement blade?  I am not sure, but I have seen the complete saw for about $15.  It is a decent saw for the money.  I have 2.  One that gets used for its intended purpose such as flush cutting plugs, undercutting door stops, etc.  and another that gets abused - notching rigid foam, trimming small branches,  cutting PVC pipe, and flipping pancakes..  

Fine (post #214470, reply #6 of 6)

Yes, curious about a replacement even tho this saw doesn't seem to get dull.  Got this many yrs ago from Fhb at a fest .  Have used it as you have but for the pancakes.  Damn handy and long lasting.

the easy answer would be to contact Irwin I guess.

I have a different Japanese saw still in the package that came with an extra blade. Since I'm trying to call it quits I'd guess I should forget about buying and use what I have.


theres another area I need to clean out, near 40 Daybooks I kept my worktime and description in.  Don't think I need them now for a customer reference....

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Thanks for the input. I will (post #214470, reply #4 of 6)

Thanks for the input. I will run some test cuts with the circ saw and guide clamped in place and then use a pull saw for the last bit.

Have a great day.