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Old 03-02-2009, 12:14 AM   #1
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Finishing basement stairway


Hello,

I'm looking to finish a basement stairway with carpeting and wood trim and from what I see of finished stairways, often times there is a wood trim piece at the treads parallel to the hand rail....see photo...

Do most builders leave a gap for this piece of wood on either side of the treads/risers so it doesn't need to be cut around each step or is it usually cut to fit afterward?

I have my share of woodworking experience and a well equipped shop but it sounds like it's a lot of jigsaw work and a bit of a pain to cut out, especially since the treads overhang the risers on the stairway I'm looking to work on.

Can anyone offer any suggestions? Thanks.

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Old 03-02-2009, 05:01 AM   #2
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not jigsaw (sabre saw) but jig/router work. the treads are inlaid into the routed openings.

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Old 03-02-2009, 05:10 AM   #3
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if those stairs shown are the ones you want to trim , Then whats wrong with the skirt board in the Picture?.I 'm assuming your referring to the skirt board! Right?
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:17 AM   #4
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mornin' bob! C\_/ <---coffee?

i think that's a photo he found online? he's wanting to build new. (but that was my first thought too! until i re-read it)

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Old 03-02-2009, 05:33 AM   #5
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Morning Mouse,What a way to start the day! He should of posted the pic along with his stairs to see what he;s up against. This way we could all jump in with ideas. BOB
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:44 AM   #6
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Finishing basement stairway


well....."finish" could mean a lot of things...
i agree though, a pic of what he's up against would be helpful.

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Old 03-02-2009, 07:42 AM   #7
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Yes, most builders try to go easy on the trim guy by setting the stringers away from the walls with a piece of lumber called a "spacing ledger", so the kickboard (skirt) will slide down alongside. But sometimes they don't... then it is saw & router time.

If you are not all that familiar with building stairs, one of the guys over on Contractor Talk forum has put together a pretty comprehensive tutorial about how to build basic stairways.

He has said we can share it any way we choose, so I will send you the PDF if you PM me. (or at least, I'll get the site address to you)
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:07 AM   #8
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I will send you the PDF if you PM me. (or at least, I'll get the site address to you)
whatta pal, whatta pal!

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Old 03-02-2009, 08:12 AM   #9
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whatta pal, whatta pal!

DM
Hey, Max did all the work on this, not me. And it is his generosity that is providing it freely to others.
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:33 AM   #10
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You are correct, that is a picture I found online. The skirt board is what I'm referring to. I don't have an actual picture of the stairway. It's at my girlfriend's house 30 miles away but I can easily describe it.

Much like the photo in my first post, the stairs have finished drywall on either side and it's just MDF treads/risers. The treads overhang the risers by about an inch if I were to guess.

I though that a jigsaw was just another name for a sabre saw

I suppose if I make a pattern that perfectly matches one tread/riser and then use it to cut out the skirt board, that would do the trick. I could rough it out with a saw and then use a router to clean it up.

Do most trim guys try to use one solid board for the skirt? I was thinking of veneered plywood with an applied edge to save on material cost but it would require a joint somewhere in the middle of the stair case.

Willie, does the documentation you have talk about all the steps of finishing off a stairway?
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:00 PM   #11
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I thought that a jigsaw was just another name for a sabre saw
TECHnically no, although most people call a sabre a jigsaw (including manufacturers), not many call a true jigsaw (which some also call a scroll saw) a sabre!
and some manufaturers also market reciprocating saws (sawzalls) as sabre saws. go figure..... it's a fuzzy line anyone can cross.....

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Old 03-02-2009, 12:10 PM   #12
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Finishing basement stairway


When I say "jigsaw" I'm referring to the photo on the left. I don't have that exact one but what I have is similar. I would never call a scroll saw a jigsaw
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:44 PM   #13
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Finishing basement stairway


I'm actually building a staircase & I'm going to space the riser out from the wall. Then I can just slide the trim piece down - no trimming or messing around
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:52 PM   #14
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If the treads overhang the risers, pull them up and put the skirt board in. Cut the treads to size and replace. Or buy actual bullnose tread material and put in new treads. The MDF is temporary until a finished product is installed.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
TECHnically no, although most people call a sabre a jigsaw (including manufacturers), not many call a true jigsaw (which some also call a scroll saw) a sabre!
and some manufaturers also market reciprocating saws (sawzalls) as sabre saws. go figure..... it's a fuzzy line anyone can cross.....

DM
Pretty much interchangeable terminology. In fact one company (Japanese or Chinese, I think) calls their scroll saw a "Jogging Jigsaw".

Now I'll stir the pot with another name for them both (AND for a coping saw) that's... "Fretsaw". Just to make it more confusing, the fret saw is made in a couple of versions... one looks like a flush cutting back saw.

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