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Old 09-25-2009, 10:54 PM   #1
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A couple of questions about stairs.


I am about to install some stairs in my house and have a couple of questions. One part of the stairs will be open to my LR and the others will be close on both sides (One goes down to a garage the other up to a hallway). Here are my questions:

1. What is a material to use for skirt boards. The book that I'm using as a guide suggests to use finger jointed 1x10 or 1x12. My problem is that I cant find anyone who carries it. FYI they will be painted.

2. I plan on using Bona Mega floor polyurethane on the treads. Will it be ok to use this on the Handrails and Newel posts also?

3. What is the best way to apply the Poly? My main concern is the Newel post because of all of the nocks and crannies caused by the trim and raised panel. I have a small paint sprayer that came with my air compressor. Would it be ok to spray it on?

Thanks for any advise you can give.

Jeremy

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Old 09-26-2009, 07:38 AM   #2
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A couple of questions about stairs.


For the skirts I suggest poplar.It works well and takes paint nicely.You may need to get it from a hardwood supplier.
If you have a router you may wish to shape the exposed edge before installing.

Spraying is always the first choice with fussy parts. Thinning the poly will probably be needed.
Call the technical help number on the can.They will have the best answer for your spraying questions.

---------------------MIKE

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Old 09-26-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
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A couple of questions about stairs.


Use a 1 x 12 or 1 x 16 for the finish stringer (skirt board), you can find pre-primed 16' 1 x12's (usually made of eastern pine) at the super home depots. If not available there they can order them or you can purchase them from a local mill or building supply outlet.

When finishing treads & risers I typically use what ever I used on the floor to finish the railings and balustrade. This ensures the finishes match. Make sure you "sand" or rub with steel wool between coats. I would not recommend spraying.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:33 AM   #4
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A couple of questions about stairs.


Thanks for the replies. Does the skirt board have to be finger jointed or can you use just a standard 1x12 or 1x16? I was assuming that the reason for using the finger jointed board was to reduce any bowing. Will a standard 1x12 or 1x16 bow after installation? I ask this because my temp. treads that were on the stairs were 2x12's and almost everyone of them had bowed (and they and been glued and nailed down).

Also I noticed that Minwax sell poly in a spray can. Would that work well on the newel's and HR? Is it ok to use Bona on the treads and Minwax on the newels and HR (will it match)?
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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A couple of questions about stairs.


If you have 2 x 12 treads bowing then you need to add another stringer. You should have one stringer per foot of width (this is code for my locality but may not be other places, either way it is considered good practice). The skirt board will not bow if properly fastened. It is primarily serving the same purpose as base moulding and carries no load. The purpose is to protect the wall from accidental damage resulting from feet making contact against the wall. Finger jointing is used to make longer lengths out of shorter pieces. I personally do not believe it strengthens the board as I have seen manufactured finger joints in trim boards give way under the weight of only the board at the joint. This may have more to do with improper or inadiquit glue and/or glueing technique(s) or a simple lack of a sufficient amount of glue.

For finishing unless you want to invest in a HVLP (high volume low pressure) system and spend a good deal of time practicing I would avoid spraying to finish. You will be better off to take your time and finish with a brush. If you are planning on doing more advanced wood working projects such as cabinetry and furniture then by all means invest in a HVLP system, it will make finishing much faster. If not it is probably a waste of time and money for one project.

As far as using different top coats as I said I use the same on both to ensure a match. That said, it may or may not match. You can test on scrap wood to determine if they will match or not or if they are close enough that it doesn't matter to you.
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:07 PM   #6
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A couple of questions about stairs.


ARIoo1 has given you some sound advice. One word about stair stringers,All pine is not the same-hemlock or fir is the proper choice for stringers(and steps) it's about the strongest of the pines.

Good luck--MIKE

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