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.
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.
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
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
If you want to run the calculator in your own PC, download the FREE program
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.
Agreed on calculation of course. It depends on knowing the width to
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.
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"
Changed three bucks worth of oak into over a hundred worth of transition
strips in about an hour and a half.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org (ississauga)
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.
"People funny. Life a funny thing." Sonny Liston
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
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