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Finish routing of 2-1/8" thick Alternating Tread stairs - Maple

1661 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  timsch
I am building an open staircase using 2-1/8" thick alternating treads made from maple. Rough example

I have a certain amount of experience woodworking and routing, but am no fine woodworker, and want to make sure I put my best foot forward. I'm planning on rough cutting the shape of these treads using a scroll saw or jigsaw, leaving around 1/8" of the curved face left to be removed with a router. I have a dewalt router kit (basically this) and a set of Freud bits (1/2" shank). Given the thickness of wood, I'm assuming I'll need to get another bit (at least). I also likely have access to a friends CNC router, which I don't have the specs on at the moment, but he doesn't go cheap.

I've never routed anything other than Pine, AFIAK. Any tips on routing Maple this thick?

Would you try to make a final pass of the full 2-1/8" with a long bit or route it from each side, finishing with sanding?

Is the 2-1/4 hp router enough power. 1/2" shank rigid enough? Any recommendations for finish router bits? What life can I expect from one, assuming I'm using it only for the finishing pass?
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Welcome to the forum.
G'day @timsch , and welcome to the forum.

Are you going to make a template to fine trim the treads?
I would do the whole thing with a long bit, the 2 1/4 hp would be fine. I would also use a template with a flush trim bit,
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As far as the maple goes, you'll need to keep the bit moving to prevent burning. A spiral flush trim would leave a smoother finish than a straight bit.
If your not use to this procedure you migh want to try a different method...
I do a lot of 8/4 tables that wont fit on the CNC. It it catches it will fly or bend the router bit.

Be very careful..
Sorry to not have responded. After receiving the 1st email notification for the 1st response and then no other notification, I assumed no responses.

If the CNC option doesn't work out, I'm thinking that a template would be the way to go. I'll buy whichever flush trim bit is most recommended. I have a collet for 1/4" shank, but would think with the 2-1/8" thickness, 1/2 would be recommended.

What would you make the template out of?

What other method do you have in mind, RW?
If you're going to route the full thickness, consider taking several shallow passes so you can keep the router moving as Bits&Bits described.
Thanks, A.C. I will keep that in mind.
make a template than band saw close to size. flush router the rest.
That's what I had in mind. I have a scroll saw and a jigsaw and planned on getting within 1/8" of the final edge.

What material do y'all usually make templates out of? I need it only for 14 pieces, so wear shouldn't be an issue. I'd guess wood, but maybe there's something better.
i get plastic from local glass shop. about 3/8 thick. they have a lot of cut off that they
give me free or i buy them coffee
plastic would be nice. I'll see what I can find.
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