# How to make transition strips to join two floors together?

I have started installing 3/4 inch hardwood on a large scale for customers, I can't get the exact transition strips from the flooring suppliers. I thought of making my own since I have a workshop, though not much knowledge since I am quite new to woodworking.
Say I want to join a 3/4" high hardwood floor to a 1/4" high floor of some other material. I would make a strip from oak thats 3/4" on one side and 1/4" on the other. What tools would make this, I would like various opinions. Also what is the angle the ramp should have? From knowing the angle I could determine the width of the transition strip.
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I have limited experience with this. Your givens are 3/4 and 1/4. The actual angle will be determined by the width of the board you use. Average transitions strip is 2-3.5". Since a table saw is the most accurate method I can think of to rip an angle like that, I would say the width of your strip is determined by the maximum depth of cut of your table saw can achieve at the given angle. Unless you find some one better at the math you are just going to have to rip some scrap boards to figure this out. Off the top of my head I would guess a 2" wide board ripped on edge at about 25-35 degrees will get you in the ballpark.
I will point out that in most installation I have seen it is quite common for 3/4" quarter round to be used as the transition strip as a 3/4" step up or down is not an issue.
Colbyt
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I've done this many times. The best method I've found is to rip a shim the length of the transition strip with the correct angle on the table saw and attach it to the bottom of the transition strip I intend on using with two sided tape. Then send it through the planer until it's the right thickness. The planer will duplicate the shim angle on your finished transition. -dave

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The angle would be a function of the ramp's height and width. The ramp's height is the difference between the thickness of the 2 boards. You'd need a scientific calculator or a scientific calculator program running in your PC. The angle would be given by the arcTangent function of the result of dividing the ramp's height by its width.
Angle = aTan ( height / width )
In the specific case of boards 3/4" and 1/4" thick, the formula becomes:
Angle = aTan ( 1 / [ 2 x width ] )
Here is an example: if the width of the ramp is 2.5" and the boards are 3/4" and 1/4" thick:
Angle = aTan ( 1 / [2 x 2.5] ) Angle = aTan ( 1 / 5 ) Angle = aTan ( 0.2 ) Angle = 11.3 degrees
Go here http://www.calculator.org/jcalc98.html and you will see an online calculator, for the above example type number "2" in the calculator, then the multi[multiplication symbol "X" and then the width of the ramp "2.5" , press the equal sign "=", followed by the inverse function key "1/X" (just bellow the orange "SHIFT" key, you should see "0.2" as a result, that value is the Tangent function value of the angle, to find the angle just press the "SHIFT" orange key and then press the "atan" key, the result should be 11.30993247402
Guillermo
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(snip)
3/4"
(snip)
Note that this would give a strip that is sloped along the entire face, leaving a slightly sharp angle at the high end. You might want to leave 1/2" or so that is still flat, so you can sand a smooth tranisition from sloped to flat and reduce the chance of splintering.
You didn't mention in your post, but if this is for rental or public space (anything other than private residence) in the US, you might be limited to a max angle of about 26 deg to meet accessibility guidelines. It doesn't sound like that should be a problem, but it would limit your min width to 1" width of slope.
-MJ
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wrote:

Agreed on calculation of course. It depends on knowing the width to begin with.
Re cutting: Radial arm saw, angled for horizontal cutting, as if cutting door panels. Or use a table saw if you can set that up safely for the same purpose. Cut from a larger piece of wood, then straight-cut off the beveled part for use.
Bill.
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Made mine on a shaper. Router'd do for small runs. Low side has taper with rounded lead, high merely rounded. Taper courtesy of a panel-raising cutter. High side has the 1/2" rabbet, and the whole nailed to a 1/4" dividing strip.
Changed three bucks worth of oak into over a hundred worth of transition strips in about an hour and a half.

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ississauga wrote:

They make a lot of different transition pieces for hardwood flooring. Even the laminate flooring companies make transition pieces. Have you investigated these sources?
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Reading this thread, it scares me this guy is installing a large hardwood floor for a customer and doesn't know how to make a reducer.
No, you don't need a degree in trigonometry, or a radial arm saw. Sisnce you don't have enough knowledge to know that you can buy a 3/4" clamshell reducer for about \$4 that can be notched or ripped 1/4", do you even own a table saw? Unbeleivable.....
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On 25 Sep 2004 19:19:18 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (ississauga) wrote:

I was out in the shop and working with the planer anyway, so I decided to make a sample transition strip and take some pix.
I've put them up on ABPW with a brief explanation.
Regards, Tom.
"People funny. Life a funny thing." Sonny Liston
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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If you would like to be smart you could make the transition be several pieces so that the angle is small but you don't have to use an excessively wide strip. No what I mean? That would be sweet.
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