How to measure and build a new staircase...

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

  1. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    This is the problem with electric hedges, they need cutting! good to hear you survived.
    I will try to get out a tread marking out guide over the weekend, for my sins I am back in London Monday and Tuesday, unfortunately I have to go and do some work! I try not to make a habit of this.
  2. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    @SoManyUserNames Looks good.
    I left 10cm around the edge so you can hook up the measuring tape and make a precise measurement keeping in mind the 10 cm is not that bad once you get use to it. If i had to do it again i would do 5cm instead to gain more space.
    Should i start to make the treads?

    [​IMG] Building inspector approved it.
    SoManyUserNames and Jord86 like this.
  3. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member


    Looks good, I haven't finished the guide on marking the treads but it is fairly simple, keep the grain with the nosing and leave a couple of mm on the back of the tread for dressing in when fitting the treads and risers.
    I have to go to the workshop for a couple of hours will try and get the guide finished upon my return.
    You seem pretty on the ball and may not need it but I will get it up anyway.
    Halfaudio likes this.
  4. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    OK i will wait for it then i have a few more things to do in the meantime
    Catch you later then
  5. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    STAGE 2 Cutting the treads.
    K been thinking about this one, probably the easiest way to get the tread shape, is to use a sheet of hardboard and cut it to the sizes I have shown in the diagram. (Template outline) The outer line is 10mm oversize; so close to the size should be good enough.
    Once you have done this you can set it over the rod and get the accurate marks, trim the hardboard to the actual sizes required.
    Front edge sits over nosing.
    sides or ends, sit into rebate depth.
    Back sits over the riser line + a few mm for dressing in.

    Once this is done the template can be set over the timber for the treads and drawn round ready for cutting.
    This will allow you to use pre-machined edges for the nosing, which is the only visible edge of the tread.
    Cut the treads to size, keeping the grain in the right direction.

    If I remember correctly, I saw some panels you had in mind for getting the treads out of. By carefully placing the templates it can make cutting quite economic. (Placing Templates)

    Template outline.jpg Placing templates.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Halfaudio likes this.
  6. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    Not sure do i understand it correct, i tried to picture it but my brain refused :confused:

    Making Treads.
    1.Draw rods - Done

    2.Make the templates -
    3.Mark and glue up -
    4.Cut the material -
    5.Cut nosing -
    6.Cut rebate for riser -

    Not to jump forward but the router bit r- 1/2'' and d 1-1/2'' is still usable here ? I tried to find 13.5mm bit, but i could find it anywhere.
  7. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    The only thing I would do is reverse 5 and 6, so you still have the full thickness of the tread to run off while rebating. 1/2" bit will be perfect.
    Halfaudio likes this.
  8. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    I had to draw new rods, after checking them i realized there was a 2mm mistake.
    The boards are roughly cut, some might be even slightly bigger.
    Thanks for the cutting instructions helped me a lot...

    Just to make it clear once the correct size from the rod has been taken i should add 3mm at the back extra right?
    I honestly don't understand why is that necessary?
    Then i will take out my router and work on the 2cm rebate for risers
  9. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    The extra on the back of the tread is to allow for any adjustment when fitting the nosing into the housing, the nosing may crush a bit as it is long grain being forced against end grain in the rebate, especially on the winders where the housing may be thin at the contact point with the nosing, if the tread squashes in at all in the housing you can end up with a gap between the back of the tread and the riser.
    By leaving this extra bit on, once the tread is set into the nosing, you can mark the riser line and trim the treads to that line. In Joinery .5 of a mm is a big error, if the tread pushes too far forward and the riser does not contact fully when glueing up, you will get squeaks.

    The riser should be shouldered and set into the tread, the shoulder will stop will give you a visible check from the underside to see that the riser is fully home, with just setting the riser into a rebate you can not see inside to check the contact area between tread and riser.

    The rebate for the riser tongue "A" can be about .5 to 1mm deeper than the tongue is, this will allow room for any excess glue to spill into and prevent the excess glue from holding the riser from going fully home.

    When the tongue is a snug fit into the tread rebate it may be preferable to arris the leading edges of the tongue; so that they let into the rebate without breaking the corners off.

    Riser tongue.jpg arris edges.jpg
    Jord86 likes this.
  10. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    So many little things... No wonder why good stair makers earn good money, there are so many ways to mess up and so much to think about.

    Very detailed explanation "Master" thank you again. Until next one...
    Jord86 and SoManyUserNames like this.
  11. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    No i didn't give up, but the weather is not making things easier for me.
    Yes you were right set up is taking the most time and since it was raining most days i had to improvise.
    Picture time

    Used some dry time to set up and leave it like that..
    Extra support for the router, otherwise it is hard to keep it steady at the ends. Every wrong move makes it visible i was glad i practiced on the left over wood.

    Question why did i had that little lip after routing? It was barely there and i got rid of it in seconds with orbital sander. I didn't press too hard against the bearing .
    I tried not to sand any more than necessary to keep the nose neat and uniform.

    I don't have a machine that can make nice straight cuts, so i had to waste more time, but it worked. I was using level to make a nice straight cut.
    Just 10 more .. More rain tomorrow.
    I try not to leave the boards out, because the weather affects them, coming from warm house to cold and wet weather and then back again, they started to bow slightly so i take them out one at the time.

    So i collected a lot of info online and this is what i came up with maybe someone will find it useful.
    SoManyUserNames likes this.
  12. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member


    Looks good, the little lip when routing is fairly common, it is normally best to take the cutter a Gnats to deep as the little lip left is as you say, easy to lose but not deep enough and it is difficult to get the shape.
    Using a straight edge to run the skill saw off is ideal, They have all these fancy track things nowadays but I have never tried one.
    I had best get into gear on the next stage, I have had to do work the last couple of weeks so glad you have been kept busy, I have the weekend to get some more drawings out by Monday morning Then I will set you up on the stringers, hopefully, it will stay dry, pretty sure the stringers are bigger than the treads!!
    I like your drawings to show which way to run the router, one more thing to add to that, always do end grain first; as it will rip the long grain as you come clear but you can clean that up with the long grain cut.
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  13. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    @Halfaudio I copied and pasted this from a post I made a couple of days ago, it may be obvious but if you didn't know it may help you.

    If you get a new sheet of 9-12mm ply you can make your own guide rail/track for your circular saw. Rip a piece off with the fence attached at 6 inches or so, then rip another piece at roughly 3 inches off, cut both to the length which you require your rail to be, measure the distance from the edge of the blade to the edge of the saw bed then mark this on the six inch piece parallel all the way down or even a bit wider as your first pass will trim off the excess, then fix the three inch rip to the line with glue and small 3/4" screws. If you're clever you could make the track double sided to work from both sides of the saw bed so you don't have to work from one side only.
    Halfaudio likes this.
  14. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    A sudden thought, have you rebated for the risers yet? It didn't look like you had, If not it is worth at this stage making the stair jig this will allow you to adjust the riser rebate to the jig rather than the other way round, adjusting the rebate is just a case of adjusting the stop, adjusting the jig is a pain and very easy to mess up.
    I will get a guide to making the jig up for you in the morning.

    Also just looked at your router cutting direction guide, the curved drawing on the right shows you starting at the apex and working out either side, NO! don't do it. always bring the blade into the cut, as you said it will run away with you if you go with the blade the same as using a skill saw you don't want to be pulling it towards you.

    There are two situations in which you might go backwards, 1. Is once you have the material to size and you run the router the wrong way without removing any meat, This is just to polish the edge that you have just machined.

    2. You may at times just feed in a mm or two on the run off from an end grain cut before routing along the length, this can in extreme circumstance and really only once you have had plenty of practice and good control of the router prevent end grain breakout.

    If not sure just remove less material, much better of doing 10 cuts under control than one full monty.

    You will know if a router is struggling, first you will feel it juddering, secondly, you will hear the change in pitch, much as you do when routing end grain as opposed to straight grain but exaggerated.

    I use most of my senses with woodwork, feel, sound, as explained. Smell if it smells like its burning you know you have problems but certain timbers have a distinctive smell and when sawn not planned the smell may tell you what it is if that doesn't work, taste, yes some timbers it is easier to tell the species by touching it with your tongue.

    Maybe I have been playing with wood for too long!!
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  15. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Ah, a timber pervert! Welcome! :D o_O
    SoManyUserNames likes this.
  16. SoManyUserNames

    SoManyUserNames Active Member

    Sshh! the wife doesn't know!!
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  17. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    I had no issues at all, when i was using the router, i actually really enjoyed routing (first time) The router works really smooth and i found the right speed and how hard to push rather quickly. :rolleyes:
    No i haven't done the risers rebate just yet.

    I wasn't sure if i was going to admit it, but what the heck, i screw up... I made a critical error i didn't look at the rods, but just took 251.00 and forgot to add nosing so 50£ lost i could save them, just glue the extra at the back, but i had one spare board so i will use that. Straight 4x treads.
    I really hoped that i wont miss anything but i still did.. :(
  18. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Get used to it mate, I'm a carpenter for a living and I still drop a bolloc on a regular basis, it's how you get out of the pickle that is where the skill comes in, that and methodical planning so you hopefully don't mess up in the first place, but rest assured, you still will, you're human after all.
    Halfaudio likes this.
  19. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    I got to pay more attention.. I have no experience in carpentry just couple skirting boards and a green house.:D So, needles to say, this is a big one for me..
  20. Halfaudio

    Halfaudio Active Member

    Should i do the jig before the rebate for the risers? If so, maybe you will have the time tomorrow to make the jig guide?
    The treads are practically done.

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