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Old 06-11-2013, 09:43 AM   #16
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


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Originally Posted by SquishyBall View Post
@Centerline... Great document -- Concise, clear... Yes it's a 1" overhang which makes the foot space on a tread 10.5" but it's still a 9.5" run. Would not work in new construction, but here we're confined by the existing structure so getting 10" is just not possible. Not without cutting into the landing (already only 3') or the hallway.

@Duckweather... So I understand you right, you're saying that if you cut your horizontals and verticals at 90 to each other, eventually the "tip" will shrink and the stairs will tend to lean down (and the risers - back)... so you deliberately cut each 90 to only 89 degrees or so? i.e. after barely tapering your cuts by the 1/32nd thickness of your line, the tread and riser forms about 89 degrees instead of 90, which will turn into 90 over time?

@Maintenance -- I was debating both ways... so ok, I'll just notch the center stringer then and the two outer stringers would have the block between them.
And only the "sheer" strength of a couple of nails driven into a point in the stringer to resist the pressure of the whole staircase wanting to slide downward and out. Cut the notches.

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Old 06-11-2013, 09:53 AM   #17
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


On that 90° eventually turning into 89° (or vice/versa)........ Go put a level on several old stair treads around town, and check out this for yourself.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:08 AM   #18
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


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On that 90° eventually turning into 89° (or vice/versa)........ Go put a level on several old stair treads around town, and check out this for yourself.
Not going to go touring around town with my level checking random stairs, but I will check at home.

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And only the "sheer" strength of a couple of nails driven into a point in the stringer to resist the pressure of the whole staircase wanting to slide downward and out
Well, that down and out pressure is met by the stringers resting on the landing which is framed with 2x10s and blocked where each stringer hits. The 2x4 block between them is more just to wedge them in position and keep them from tweaking over time.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:13 AM   #19
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


I assume you don't ask anyone to hold the bottom of a ladder either? Just trust that your weight won't encourage the bottom of the ladder to slide across the floor?

I say this because that drawing is not right. You should rest your full stringer on top of the lower floor... not notched with a bird's mouth like that. Full bearing on the lower floor with a notch cut out at the very end for a full width 2x4, fastened down in multiple places.

Like this:
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?-stair-const.-4.jpg  
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:11 AM   #20
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


Ok so I can get full bearing with no chance of split at that birdsmouth by sistering in another board to the landing... See original image (refresh page)... That board would reach the floor, so again the sheer pressure is not resting on the nails thru it. That work better?
-mike
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:18 AM   #21
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


Yeah, but it appears you are going to have to extend that landing at least 6" to the left (under the stairs) to get full bearing of the stringers. But, anything will help, because you are absolutely right about a possible split... all the pressure is downward when you step on that bottom tread.

The only strength in notched stringers is in that narrow 5" strip at the bottom edge. That, and that alone, will be what holds up all your stairwell. All those notched triangles are just surfaces to nail your treads and risers to.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:29 PM   #22
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


@Duckweather... So I understand you right, you're saying that if you cut your horizontals and verticals at 90 to each other, eventually the "tip" will shrink and the stairs will tend to lean down (and the risers - back)... so you deliberately cut each 90 to only 89 degrees or so? i.e. after barely tapering your cuts by the 1/32nd thickness of your line, the tread and riser forms about 89 degrees instead of 90, which will turn into 90 over time?
[/QUOTE]

Yes that was the rough idea, and it doesn't take much time. On a high end stair I actually make the cut concave with the tread tip higher and riser tip beyond vertical. I am looking for even bearing without a space between tread and stringer tips if you had to hold the riser up to level. I know it is a bit more than average. you can just let some construction adhesive fill the gap. But the carpenters, that taught the carpenters, that taught the carpenters, that taught me, might be disappointed. If you don't do it when you can, you may not be able to when you have to.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:21 PM   #23
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


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Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
And only the "sheer" strength of a couple of nails driven into a point in the stringer to resist the pressure of the whole staircase wanting to slide downward and out. Cut the notches.
It's still notched out over the subfloor, but now the straight long grain of the stringer is bearing load onto the subfloor and not just the foot or so before the first tread.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:29 PM   #24
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


You can attach a 2x4 to either side of a center stringer and the inside of the outside stringers. I've never had a problem with the strength of a staircase. Seems my stringers are usually attached to a wall.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:28 AM   #25
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


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Originally Posted by SquishyBall View Post



Hi,
I finally have the cross section of our stairwell mapped out so I can precisely plan some stair stringers. Anyone out there have tips on cutting or installing before I go and screw up a few 2x12's?

I was thinking of testing the length and snugness on a 2x4 instead of burning a 2x12... any other suggestions?


.
It looks like you have it figured out, but if you are not confident, you can use scrap plywood ripped to your 11 1/4 or what ever the stringer width is and use that as a template once you get it tuned in. But you probably dont have much scrap 10foot ply laying around. Just a tip for inexperienced stringer cutters.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:07 PM   #26
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


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It looks like you have it figured out, but if you are not confident, you can use scrap plywood ripped to your 11 1/4 or what ever the stringer width is and use that as a template once you get it tuned in. But you probably dont have much scrap 10foot ply laying around. Just a tip for inexperienced stringer cutters.
Well, if it was my money paying for the 2x12's, I would not let this man have a saw in his hands yet. Personally, it still doesn't sound to me like he understands that no part of any stringer bottom is to hang down past the level of the lower floor.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:22 AM   #27
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


It's a good thing you don't control the saws then. :-D

No really... I appreciate the advice, but sometimes I think you like to be cynical w/o reading what's been posted...

Did you not read "Ok so I can get full bearing with..." in the above post? Full bearing. No part of the stringer below the base. I said adding a board would do it. You said no you'd need 6" of wood, w/o measuring it. Widening the platform by one board was enough. But that's irrelevant. Point is, I suggested a plan, you suggested an improvement, I said ok, I'll adjust it per your recommendation, then you add cynical remarks when I'm taking your advice seriously...

Oh well...
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:30 AM   #28
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


Some pics of my first stairs! These were a pain to cut... so many little cuts. I ended up using the circular saw for the main cut, sabre saw to get the inside corners, then orbital sander to take the wood precisely down to my lines. I started w the 2x4 (which will not go to waste since I need a 2x4 spacer between the insider stringer and the wall) and used that to double check the length. Interestingly enough, the mathematically calculated length made for a perfect fit! Usually diagonals don't work out that way, w the lax tolerances that are considered acceptable in construction... but I was surprised that I got a very snug fit that hit w/in about 1/16 of my target marks on the header. Woohoo! Here's the pic where the stairs go up under the floor and sit nice and tight...



Next, (for Willie) we have the base, where the entire stringer rests on solid wood, with only the front end notched out to prevent kick-out...



The pieces sit in between the upper floor and lower platform so snugly -- they are put in at a slight diagonal then shifted into place. Here's the sort of overall view... Even not nailed in, you can walk up and down them (if you can balance)... They are solid. There is nowhere for them to move, all the wood being wedged in by other wood... so eventual nailing will be more of just to hold them in place than for anything bearing.



Even tho I read you can have up to 3/8" variation from the shortest riser to the tallest riser and the shortest tread to the widest tread, I would never be happy w that... As you can see in that pic there is less than 1/16 variation, anywhere, riser tread, even on the underside...



... which will give me a nice even drywall surface eventually to fnish off the view from below.

Thank you for all the help! The most useful advice... to get the brass clips for my L... incredibly helpful... and of course, Willie's design ideas. :-)

-------------------------------
No wood was wasted in the cutting on these stairs. First try right on. Woohoo!

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Old 06-14-2013, 09:30 AM   #29
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


Can't tell, but we'll hope it's right. At least it seems he's tried to help it by putting a ledger under the dangerous bird's mouth. (Pic #2)
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:53 AM   #30
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Tips on Cutting Stringers?


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Can't tell, but we'll hope it's right. At least it seems he's tried to help it by putting a ledger under the dangerous bird's mouth. (Pic #2)
There is no ledger (?) If it was, the sheer strength of the nails would be bearing the weight of the stairs. It is on solid wood to the concrete. It is more solid than if it was built to a platform.

Remember your original recommendation?

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Full bearing on the lower floor with a notch cut out at the very end for a full width 2x4
The notch you see is 3-1/4" wide, slightly smaller than your recommendation of 3-1/2".

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