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Forum topic by ttocsmi posted 09-07-2016 10:55 AM 462 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ttocsmi

26 posts in 854 days


09-07-2016 10:55 AM

I’m looking for a good book on building interior stairs. Any recommendations?

Since my stairs will made from fir, poplar, & (perhaps) oak, and there will be glue, screws, nails, & perhaps some miter joints – I’m calling it a woodworking project. As opposed to carpentry. That’s why I’m asking on this forum. And also because I don’t read any carpentry forums.

I’ve got most of the details figured out in my head, except two: the top of the stairs will be against a cinder block wall, with a concrete slab floor adjoining that. What’s a good way to secure the stairs to the wall? And how to attach the topmost riser panel?

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

-- Knight of Sufferlandria 2015


20 replies so far

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Snipes

94 posts in 1710 days


#1 posted 09-07-2016 01:54 PM

Tony s is the man you want to talk to.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2241 days


#2 posted 09-07-2016 02:02 PM

You really want to put this on paper. If you are replacing the entire case, a structural engineer needs to look at it first. There is nothing worse than building a staircase built and have it flex when 2 or 3 people are on it.

-- David in Damascus, MD

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Snipes

94 posts in 1710 days


#3 posted 09-07-2016 02:20 PM

fasten your stringers to 3\4” ply (green treated if going to block) and red heads and glue to block. Glue top riser. Don’t forget to subtract for plywood.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

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ttocsmi

26 posts in 854 days


#4 posted 09-07-2016 02:27 PM

fasten your stringers to 3/4” ply (green treated if going to block) and red heads and glue to block. Glue top riser. Don t forget to subtract for plywood.

any reason to use redheads/wedges vs masonry screws? it seems like you’d need to be very careful selecting the right length redhead due to the void inside the cinder blocks.

thoughts on sub-treads vs attaching hardwood treads directly to stringers?

also: the stairs will be half height (6 risers) & built with 3 2×12 stringers.

-- Knight of Sufferlandria 2015

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Snipes

94 posts in 1710 days


#5 posted 09-07-2016 02:41 PM

Strength, screws be fine also, just make sure there heavy duty. Sounds like you know what your doing. what’s the width? I would probably use solid, but i think both would be fine. just have to shorten your bottom riser accordingly, right?

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View mike02130's profile

mike02130

95 posts in 137 days


#6 posted 09-07-2016 02:53 PM

Snipes gave you good information. My question is why do you question him? I’m a finish carpenter and stair builder. I’ve never heard of a sub tread?

I’m assuming the poplar is for the risers and oak/fir for the treads? Do yourself a favor and dado the risers and rabbet the treads. Gives it strength and makes it easier. Use construction adhesive for the treads and have shim material.

What about Newell’s, balusters and handrail and skirt boards?

You can call it what you want but it is a carpentry project. You are dealing with level and plumb and most likely out of square conditions.

No engineer and forget the book, it’ll give you too many options.

To answer your question questioning Snipe’s advice, it’s about shear strength.

-- If the tool was invented after the Depression, I don't need it.

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pintodeluxe

4858 posts in 2278 days


#7 posted 09-07-2016 03:01 PM

Build the stairs straight, or with 90 degree turns. I trimmed a staircase that had two 45 degree landings, and it was a real pain as everything becomes a compound angle.

Another thing I would recommend… build the stairs with the trim in mind. Start thinking about your finish millwork from day one.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ttocsmi's profile

ttocsmi

26 posts in 854 days


#8 posted 09-07-2016 03:12 PM

thanks for all the feedback.

looks like 1/4” Confast screws should suffice.

i’ve seen stairs built with sub-risers/sub-treads, no sub- material, bottom-dadoed treads, back-rabbeted treads, dadoed/wedged/glued stringers, glue blocks, and hardwood overlays. there are as many ways of building stairs as there are of building a table.

painted poplar risers & skirts, oak treads, fir stringers. single open return.

haven’t gotten to the newel or railing yet. newel will be cut into or sit atop the bottom step.

I just need to find the time to do all the math…

-- Knight of Sufferlandria 2015

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josephf

125 posts in 1561 days


#9 posted 09-08-2016 03:14 AM

The part that gets me is newel post and railing placement .getting all the details right ahead of time for a good railing flow . I will add something i have been doing .generally if at all possible i have been using pocket screws ,as much as i can .
your stringers -you said fir .figure your talking 2×12 ,i gang them together and run a planer over the top edge so that i have a sharp edge when i am marking for cuts and also so the surface of all 3[or how many] is exact . i love getting to use LVL ,straight ,wider ,sharp edge and great surface for pencil lines . the concrete blocks your attaching to probable will be better as you sujested with screws .wonder if you should put a little construction on the mating surface .should make it permanent .

View jwmalone's profile

jwmalone

769 posts in 167 days


#10 posted 09-08-2016 03:27 AM

With all due respect, they don’t call them master carpenters for nothing. Seen a few master carpenters build spiral and other stair cases in multi million dollar homes in the best neighborhoods in the south east. Point I’m making is don’t cheat yourself out of some valuable knowledge.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

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ttocsmi

26 posts in 854 days


#11 posted 09-08-2016 11:56 AM

your stringers -you said fir .figure your talking 2×12 ,i gang them together and run a planer over the top edge so that i have a sharp edge when i am marking for cuts and also so the surface of all 3[or how many] is exact .

ahh, that’s a good idea. although, my planer is only 12” – how do I get the stringer to fit? :P

mine will not be a master carpentry job – by any means – no matter how much my wife blurs her eyes when looking at it. as long as it looks nice & doesn’t creak, i’ll be good.

I think the existing stairs are the originals from 1971. depending on how this project turns out (ie the overall PITA value), I may also rebuild the 1/2 stairs from the main floor to the upper level.

-- Knight of Sufferlandria 2015

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mike02130

95 posts in 137 days


#12 posted 09-08-2016 12:57 PM

I think josephf is referring to a hand held power planer?

-- If the tool was invented after the Depression, I don't need it.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7173 posts in 2263 days


#13 posted 09-08-2016 02:08 PM



Tony s is the man you want to talk to.

- Snipes

Tony doesn’t build stairs. Tony builds STAIRS!

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

1139 posts in 177 days


#14 posted 09-08-2016 02:16 PM

NO I DONT …..... LMAO

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View josephf's profile

josephf

125 posts in 1561 days


#15 posted 09-08-2016 02:17 PM

yes -hand held planer .top edge of all stringers at one time clamp or screw them together and plane top edge .

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