How to measure and build a new staircase...

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Halfaudio, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    I forget MDF is not nice to machine, Being an old git and growing up in workshops without dust extraction etc. I have become used to it, Iroko is the one to try, still makes me cough for the first day, guess that's why they call it Ichokeo.

    Here is a very quick pic to show where the margin piece and pitch board are used, you can see once the treads and risers are marked the nosing and the stair jig will sit into the margin piece area.

    This picture is to scale for your treads and risers, I have drawn the stringers at 275mm which is a standard size for stringer stuff, most joinery shops will use southern yellow pine for stringer stuff as it is very stable but a bit more expensive than Russian redwood; which is more commonly used for the treads.

    I have also attached a picture of the underside of a staircase to show the amount of material behind the tread and riser. the wall string shows how yours will look the second image is the cut string to the well side, you can see how the cut string has no wedges and the bulk of the stringer is set under the treads.

    This is not a staircase I made so sorry about the quality of work but it gives you an idea.

    I will go through all this in more depth to guide through.

    stringer setting out 1.jpg Wall string .JPG cut string .JPG
    Halfaudio likes this.
  2. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    I hope my finished job will look a little better :rolleyes:
    Does it matter from what material the wedges are made and how thick?

    Since we are back online and looks like the steps on the wall were drawn properly i will take out one plasterboard sheet and draw the two winders on it so i can start to make them treads.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  3. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    I have never used plasterboard to draw the rods onto, this should be O.K. as the dims have all been calculated; I normally would use ply or something so I can get out the belt sander when I want to alter anything.

    Once the rods are drawn, yes you can start marking out the treads, You sound like you have a grasp on this but I will do a quick run through again for anyone else that may be following along.
    Halfaudio likes this.
  4. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    It says the the tread has to be minimum 50mm where it terminates at the post
    Is this satisfying the code? I have trouble understanding from where exactly do you measure it from...?
    Sorry if i am being a pain...
    Another question, do i leave a 12.00 mm grove on the nevel post the same thickness as on stringers or a bit less than that?

  5. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    You are not the only one, this is a fairly new rule, well at least as old gits like me are concerned! I can not find any information that I would trust regarding this matter. I have just emailed building reg's to ask their opinion on this matter.

    Here is what I have sent them:



    I am trying to figure out the building reg's for winders, part k shows a set of continuous winders with a minimum distance of 50mm at the narrowest point.

    Does this follow for stairs with a newel post?

    If so at what point are the dims taken from?


    Distance "A" measured at contact points with the newel post between riser faces.

    Distance "B" measured around the newel post between riser faces.

    Distance "C" measured around the outside of the post at contact points. C + D = C

    Distance "E" none of the above.

    Many thanks for any assistance you may be able to offer.

    Dims at radius A - B .jpg dims perimeter C+D.jpg


    I await an answer with bated breath!

    Due to the fact that you are replacing an original flight, you may get away with the treads being narrower. I can change these if you would prefer? it is a simple tweek, It will mean drawing the rods again but better that than rebuilding the flight.

    The rebate for the treads and risers in the newel post will be the same 12mm.

    You're not being a pain, quite the opposite, theses questions help me understand the information that I need to incorporate in any training or demonstration articles I may write. I find the hardest part of showing others is the bit the brain does on autopilot and I forget to explain.
    Halfaudio likes this.
  6. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    Morning, lets just see what they say, but it might be couple of day's. I will try to look around for some clues on the web maybe someone knows a little more about this rule.
  7. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    No Problem, I will carry on working on the next stages to try and get ahead of you.
    Halfaudio likes this.
  8. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    @Halfaudio K got fed up waiting for building regs to reply. I have altered the dim's slightly to give 50mm around the perimeter of the newel posts. I have done this at the riser face; as this is the point at which rise and goings are calculated from and nosings are purely decorative as far as staircase building is concerned.
    In this diagram, I have stripped away the nosing and back of riser to make it clearer to see the dim's between the riser faces.
    I will dim up the corners again for you to mark them out again, hope you still have your pens at the ready!

    New NP dims..jpg

    Will get the new dim's up shortly.
    Halfaudio likes this.
  9. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    I had a feeling, it will be a few days or never..
    Can you explain in a few simple words for me and others what do you need to change to achieve that? Do you have to reduce the width of staircase or do you change the winders 3 steps some how? I am ready to go again.
    Edit. Found a guy who shows it a bit as well.
    SoManyUserNames likes this.
  10. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    I'll have a go.

    As we have the treads already marked out, I simply worked from the corner of the newel post "A" that sits between the winders, and measured 25mm each way away from that corner, so 50mm between marks,
    I then measured a farther 50mm along each face to give the next riser points.
    I kept the same markings on the stringers and drew the new riser lines between these points.
    Do the same again at the other set of winders.
    Divide the space between the two sets of winders for the number of treads required. in this case 4.
    Adjust the straight treads at the top of the flight so the same going as those between risers.

    I will rattle out a quick video for this in the next couple of days.

    This has changed the pitch but the flight now has a going of 251mm rather than 267mm The rise has remained the same, new pitch 39.0º so still within the legal pitch.

    That looks like a pretty good video, I have not watched it all the way through yet but will do later, He looks like he may have helped me with some of the explanations.

    Adjusted winders and goings.jpg
    Halfaudio likes this.
  11. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    The new rod for winders 9 - 11 also in pdf for printing.

    All dim's on stringer face.

    newel for winders 9 - 11.jpg Winders 9 10 11.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Halfaudio likes this.
  12. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    The new rod for winders 2 - 4

    Sorry, just noticed I've changed the dimension postion to the end of the stringers rather than from the faces of the adjacent stringer.

    Winders 2 - 4.jpg newel for winders 2 - 4.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Halfaudio likes this.
  13. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    Thanks for the detailed explanation i sort of understood the idea how to change it.
    I am afraid to ask, i feel like you could just give up un me here..
    The white line is the nosing, this would most likely be a fail in building inspector eyes as a trip hazard.. + at least 15.00 for the extra after nosing...

    The question now is, can we reduce the width of first (flight up)? and leave the 960.00 at the first floor (from the top winder going up) I am not sure how this works with the k code. I read that this is allowed if, staircase has landing in the middle but winders are a different story...

    Edit: Or would removing first nosing would be a better option? Not sure how good that would look...
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
  14. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    Just to confirm, this is the width for goings 5 - 8? so in effect, move the whole staircase tighter to the back wall.

    The width can change through the flight, the rise and going must remain the same.

    I have no problem with this, I would much rather you get the changes made at this stage rather than live with it annoying you every time you look at it from here to eternity.

    Change width.jpg
    Halfaudio likes this.
  15. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    Yes that's correct. Because the bottom winder is sticking out too much now. I could live with 930.00 being the maximum, including the nosing and then it would be enough for the first nosing and a little bit to finish it of so it doesn't stick out too much.

    Whould you say that sounds reasonable? Just to make sure now this is the last change (hopefully) and all the previous rods we can discard of starting from this line. We are slightly confusing our readers otherwise as well.
  16. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    Makes sense to me, I will adjust the width and get these back up as soon as possible, probably later this evening.
    Yes discard all previous rods. These are all different thought processes that you go through whenever drawing up stairs, just a lot easier with cad than pen and big sheets of board.
    Halfaudio likes this.
  17. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    K took me a bit longer than expected,
    I have moved the back stringer closer to the newel stringer by 30mm,
    I then divided the chord length that runs over the winders and between the riser lines at start and finish of those chords by 3.
    I then rotated the riser lines either side of the kited treads, using the contact point with the newels as the pivot point and rotating from there until the riser was at the correct division point on the chord.

    Hope that makes sense,

    And here are all the drawings for both sets of winders.

    We are now on REV 1b with the production drawings. I know you will but check these all over and make sure you are happy with them,

    Once happy let me know or let me know of any alterations.

    Attached Files:

    Halfaudio likes this.
  18. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    Looks good at first look i will have a better look tomorrow morning had a busy day burning wood using japanese method..
  19. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    Sounds like torture!
  20. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    Apologies for not coming back earlier.
    After checking everything i can finally say we are good to go.
    Tomorrow i shall draw it on my plasterboard! Thank you for editing it.

    Off topic/
    Learned my lesson with electric hedge cutter, landed in my face when it got stuck and i tried to pull it out, left a nice mark on my face, mm away from the eye. I guess i will need to find my safety glasses...

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