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Old 08-11-2010, 12:05 AM   #16
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Trimming a staircase


Those pictures shed some additional light on things.

Does it matter where the rounded end of the baluster goes if both the top and bottom go into square collars...and does the round end even need to exist? It looks like the collars hold them in place.

It looks another option I have is to make the bottom rails wider than the newel and lay them on top of the hardwood flooring, similar to the pictures above. How wide are those? Looks to be about 10" if the newel is 7" at the bottom.

Thanks

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Old 08-11-2010, 11:10 AM   #17
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Trimming a staircase


rtrcon, this is exactly what i was talking about. It looks like you had to cut the top to center the baskets, Which is fine, and then you must use the special pitch shoes under rail. looks great. I just wanted to give Richo the heads up.
Richo, you might not want to keep rake rail higher than 36". It just feels too high. I never go more than 34".
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Does it matter where the rounded end of the baluster goes if both the top and bottom go into square collars...and does the round end even need to exist? It looks like the collars hold them in place.
You can cut both ends, just more work.. If I use the round end I drill a 5/8" hole in the top rail and an 11/16" in the tread or bottom rail.
Quote:
It looks another option I have is to make the bottom rails wider than the newel and lay them on top of the hardwood flooring, similar to the pictures above. How wide are those? Looks to be about 10" if the newel is 7" at the bottom.
If I remember they were 5-1/2" to 6" at the bottom, you can have the posts wider if you like. In your case, the post at the top of the stairs that 90's back to the wall, you need to be careful on layout that a corner of your post isnt sticking out past your bullnose.
Quote:
rtrcon, this is exactly what i was talking about. It looks like you had to cut the top to center the baskets, Which is fine, and then you must use the special pitch shoes under rail. looks great.
Thanks.. To bad I never got paid for it..
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:27 AM   #19
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Trimming a staircase


What I might do for the nosing is use a piece of the actual hardwood flooring, add 1/4" of thickness to the bottom edge and bullnose it so it can be sanded and finished with the rest of the floor without trying to make a perfect flush transition to a different piece of wood.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
What I might do for the nosing is use a piece of the actual hardwood flooring, add 1/4" of thickness to the bottom edge and bullnose it so it can be sanded and finished with the rest of the floor without trying to make a perfect flush transition to a different piece of wood.
They sell this already made. Sometimes referred to as landing tread. The stuff I get comes in 5-1/4" and 4-1/4. It does not need to be as wide as your posts. I usually fit it in between large post and then the flooring just gets notched around it.
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:21 AM   #21
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Well, the flooring I'm getting is Asian walnut and I doubt that is an available species in nosing. It's probably more economical to make my own since I have the necessary tools to do it.

OK here come more questions. I was at the house today with my newel posts trying to get an idea where to start when the time comes. I am going to have to rebuild the bottom section of the lower newel but I have no idea how high to make the post. It seems that I would need to have the gooseneck and rake rail installed to the upper post to determine that. Is that how it's generally done?

I am also trying to figure out where to install the newels at the top of the steps. Where should they be positioned? How far forward? In this photo they are spaced 37" apart.




Another question is about the subfloor at the top of the steps. The stringers have a 9" tread depth but the subfloor overhangs about 1 1/2" so at the top step there is only 7 1/2" and then the nosing will extend beyond that. Should I cut the subfloor off so it's flush?



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Old 08-13-2010, 10:24 AM   #22
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Quote:
OK here come more questions. I was at the house today with my newel posts trying to get an idea where to start when the time comes. I am going to have to rebuild the bottom section of the lower newel but I have no idea how high to make the post. It seems that I would need to have the gooseneck and rake rail installed to the upper post to determine that. Is that how it's generally done?
Trying to type this is harder than thinking about it.. I stand the bottom post where it goes(uncut), I use a level to measure up from the toe of the first tread 36"(top of rail), figure out where you want the rail to hit your post, cut off the bottom of the post.. With the post installed you can put a clamp on the post you just installed, to hold your rail up while you go to the top of the stairs with your level(with a 36" mark on it) and mark your upper post. Remember its always measured off the toe of the tread to the top of the rail, thats why I use a level to plumb off the toe. That doesnt even make sence to me Yep, cut the subfloor back flush with the risor.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:51 AM   #23
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I guess I will have to wait until the treads are in to move forward. Once the painting is done I can remove the temporary treads and put in the actual ones.

Because the lower newel needs to be rebuilt on the bottom to be taller and fit around the knee wall, and I can't rebuild it until I know how tall it needs to be I think I will have to cut a piece of plywood resembling the post and clamp it to the knee wall where the post will go, then work with the rail from there to find the top of the rake rail.

Thanks for the tip!
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:28 AM   #24
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I guess I will have to wait until the treads are in to move forward. Once the painting is done I can remove the temporary treads and put in the actual ones.
You can mock up a temp tread and risor to get your measurements.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:46 AM   #25
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Here is what I do.
My rake rails are always set to 34" but you can go higher if you wish. I feel 36 is too high.
1st take your post and find the center of the top square. Next you need to find the length of the pitch cut of the rail. This will be the long pitch cut that actually hits the post. You should make a pitch block. Take a scrap piece of wood and draw your rise and run(measured face of riser to face of riser)and connect the lines so you have a right triangle. Draw the size of your rail (probably 2-3/8") parallel with the long line of the triangle.see picture.
once these lines are on your post you must locate nosing.this will vary as you move the post onto your knee wall. If the nosing is, say 2" in front of the back of the post, then draw that 2" line up to the top of your post.that line will intersect with your pitch line. Now you can measure down 34" from that intersecting point and draw square line around post. This is the top of your tread.
Attached Files
File Type: skp pitch block.skp (9.8 KB, 79 views)
File Type: skp post layout.skp (12.2 KB, 70 views)
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:05 PM   #26
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Well, I went to a bunch of new homes featured in a local "parade of homes" and I observed many of the stairways and I'm feeling more confident.

I know what I have to do with most of the parts now but I have a few more questions to help clarify things.

1. When laying the treads and riser caps, do the treads go down first and then the riser caps on top of them, or vice versa. My guess is treads first but I did see one rough stairway where the riser caps were put in first and the treads butted up to them.

2. For the rake rail gooseneck transition, what I need is a short horizontal piece of railing, a short vertical piece of railing, the gooseneck and then the long railing. Am I correct?


So then are the angles of the pre-made gooseneck always cut to the slope of a standard stair rail or do I have to play around with the angle and miter it to match what I have?

How are these pieces normally fastened to each other for strength? I understand that hanger bolts are used for rail to post but is there specialized hardware for this?

There is another issue with this stairway that I'm wondering how to handle:



To the right of the staircase is a "shoulder" from the foundation. My guess would be to cut the skirt board flush with this, cap it with a piece of wood, and then continue a short skirt board to the very top. Is this what would commonly be done? But then there is another problem... this "shoulder" goes all the way around the landing:



When you cap it with a piece of wood, you want an overhang with a piece of molding below it to dress it up and make it eye pleasing. Is this overhang going to be technically subtracted from the total width of the landing when the inspector comes to look at it?

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:56 AM   #27
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Q-1 I put down treads first, riser on top. I was tought if the riser is behind the tread it could sqweak.
Q-2 The 3 top parts of your drawing should come as 1 piece, they come long and you cut it to fit. Should also come with the hardware to bolt it to the rail.
Quote:
There is another issue with this stairway that I'm wondering how to handle:
Im with you cap it and run a nice apron under it. You do need to keep in mind your total width, unless its noticebly tight the inspector wont even measure it.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:56 PM   #28
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I always put risers in 1st, for a number of reasons. If you put in treads 1st, then risers, and you do not have a tight fit, the space (if any) will be seen at eye level as you walk up stairs. If you put risers in then butt the treads to it, any space will be less visible. Reason 2: in most cases you can drive a screw through back of riser into tread. Reason 3: put risers in first and when you butt tread into it you can easily use shims between the rough frame and back of riser to make a tight fit after tread is nailed down.
As for the goose-necks, the miter part is put together already. You must cut the easement to pitch first. I do so by attaching it with a rail bolt to a short section of rail. Find your angle and make cut. You should definitely make a pitch block 1st. Rail parts ususlly come with the hardware needed to make connections and a diagram of hole placement...follow them as precisely as you can
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:23 PM   #29
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Well, I made up a "template" of sorts with some scrap plywood acting as the posts and rail. I attached 2 pieces of plywood where the posts will go, clamped a long piece of wood between the 2 posts as the rail and then measured 34" up from the tip of the top and bottom treads to get the rake rail position on the posts.

I would guess this would serve as a pitch block since the angles on these pieces should be an exact representation of how it's going to be?

My one concern is this: If I buy a gooseneck to drop the rake rail lower at the top post, is it going to end up less than 34"? You can see from the template where the rake rail would hit the top post without a gooseneck.



Thanks!
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:52 AM   #30
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you are not drop your 34" rake height...it stays the same. the gooseneck makes up the difference in the post to match the square on your post...when you set your post on the subfloor( the balcony one) what is the measurement to the middle to the square on the post?

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