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newbie here. I'm about to tackle rebuilding the 180 degree curved, plywood/carpeted stairs in my home with solid 3/4" oak treads and painted hardboard risers. My question has to do with cutting the arc into the outside edge of the treads - specifically which method to use - router, circular saw or sabre saw. This will be a cross-cut using a trammel and the cut edge will butt against the wall and will not be visible. Eager to know your thoughts and the thoughts behinds them (like "he's insane"...). Thanks!


By 180 degrees I mean if I'm standing on the first step and facing north, by the time I climb up the 14 steps, I'll be facing south. Regardless, the question was the best method to cut a soft arc in oak using a trammel.

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    You really need to include some photos or a lot more detail. "180 degree curved" does not describe your situation clearly enough to give any kind of meaningful advice. – SaSSafraS1232 Jun 27 '17 at 22:33
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    Agree with @SaSSafraS1232 here, pictures very much needed here for proper input. But on cutting curves in general, you wouldn't use a circular saw normally! They are very much geared to cutting straight. Curves would tend to suggest jigsaws or sabre saws (can be the same thing) if not doing the cuts with a suitable handsaw. Final dressing or smoothing of the cut face can be left to the router. – Graphus Jun 28 '17 at 7:20
  • If I had only one of the three tools that you mentioned, I would not hesitate to use it. Having all three, I would use the one that I feel most comfortable using. Sabre saw is probably fastest (single cut does the job), router and circular saw will take multiple passes, but will leave cleaner edges. Router is not a go-to tool for me. I love cutting outside curves with a circular saw. – Ast Pace Oct 26 '18 at 6:36

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