Routing for Perfect Tread Returns, Images 20-31

Pattern-Rout the Edge: Next, I cut out the return with a jigsaw, cutting to the outside of the routed 1/8-inch-wide channel.

Pattern-Rout the Edge: This leaves a smooth edge for the bearing on my pattern bit to follow.

Pattern-Rout the Edge: I clean up the jigsaw cut with the router.

Pattern-Rout the Edge: Removing the excess beneath the original 1/8-inch channel.

Pattern-Rout the Edge: At this point I go ahead and cut out the outside edge of the return, carefully following the line with the jigsaw, then fine-tuning the edge with a belt sander.

Pattern-Rout the Edge: I want this edge to be as smooth, flat, and perpendicular as possible, since it will guide the 1/2-inch-radius round over bit I use to bullnose the edge of the return. For now I set the return aside to work on the tread.

Repeat for Treads: I follow the same sequence for the tread as for the return, first routing a groove with the 1/8-inch bit.

Repeat for Treads: Cutting away the waste.

Repeat for Treads: A smooth arc remains for the top-bearing pattern bit to follow.

Repeat for Treads: I flush-trim the excess.

Repeat for Treads: Testing the fit: Though made with a single template, the joint is better than that on some of the factory treads I’ve seen. Some minor sanding is all it needs.

Repeat for Treads: In preparation for glue-up, I cut three biscuit slots toward the back of the tread where the curve is flatter.

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