I wish to replace some missing beading in a stairwell. I've only a limited amount of equipment and experience, but I figured I could get a mitre saw and some matching wooden edging and the right stain, and it would be a simple job to match the existing beading.

When I went to buy some edging, I couldn't find anything that matched a piece that I pried up from the floor.

OP's original image.

The top piece is from the existing stairwell. It is sitting on the closest match I could find.

The guy at my local timber place said the existing beading had been cut to shape.

How do I cut the bottom piece to match the cross-section of the top piece? Do I need a table saw? The longest piece will be about 1200mm long.

(This job just became much more difficult! Have I given up too quickly on finding a match?)

5 Answers 5


The piece you have may have started life as the piece you just purchased and was ripped down to its current width.

The best tool for this is a table saw. It would be very difficult to do it any other way. many home improvement stores will cut down wood to custom lengths and widths. They may be able to cut it down for you in the store if you do not have access to a table saw somewhere else.

  • I'm pretty sure HD and Lowes have big warning signs that their panel saws are NOT to be used for ripping.
    – Doresoom
    May 5, 2015 at 16:35
  • 1
    I went to a bigger timber yard, and they did exactly this for me. They even found a piece that was twice as wide, so when it was cut in two I could use both halves. May 6, 2015 at 8:45

Rip it using a table saw. Set the width from the fence to the blade using your current piece. This will get you the width you need. When you rip it, be careful to only move the piece forward into the cut. You'll have a tendency to move it sideways slightly due to the length. If you have someone to support it coming out the other side, this would work best, but they too need not move the piece sideways. If you do, it will leave saw gouges in the cut side which will be a pain in the butt to fix if they go too deep. Small imperfections should not be an issue because the cut side will (usually) be on hidden side.


For short lengths, (a few metres) I'd make a line with a pencil, clamp the molding to the edge of a table, use a cheap rip-cut saw (<£10) to cut outside the line then use a hand plane(~£20 2nd hand) to flatten the cut edge to the line.

If you don't fancy a proper plane, buy a cheap yellow plastic Stanley surform (the longer one). It'll be fine for edges that don't really show.

This can be surprisingly quick and effective so long as you aren't doing this for each room in the house.


I really like @RedGrittyBrick's suggestion -- a simple way to get through the project without needed more elaborate tools. Another method that I've resorted to in a pinch, that DOES work, would be to use the existing piece as a guide and make a patient series of longways scores with a utility knife. Because of going with the grain, you can actually get well into the piece pretty easily. At a certain point, you could snap off the rest and if the grain is straight, be done. Any additional cleanup/fitting can be done with the utility knife.


Depending upon your 'bravery' you could keep an eye open on your travels for a working carpenter and ask him to rip it down for you (in exchange for the price of a drink), otherwise I agree that for a short length you'd manage with a saw and a plane/or some sandpaper on a block. The secret is holding it very firmly. Sawing along the grain is more laborious than across it.

If you are pinning it in place you can pin the trim to a larger piece of wood (overhanging to the cut line) to hold it whilst sawing and then use the same pin holes to pin the trim in place.

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