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Old 08-17-2010, 09:33 AM   #31
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Trimming a staircase


After reveiwing my post and thinking back, Miller is right risers go in first. I've done more than a few jobs that had outside mitered skirts that all gets painted before treads. Not enough coffee. Also the rake wont change the goose neck makes up the difference to center the rail in the top post.

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Old 08-17-2010, 10:58 AM   #32
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Trimming a staircase


Yeah I know the rake height itself does not drop but the center of the balcony post is at 37.5" so I need to drop it with a gooseneck. If I ran the rake rail right into the post without a gooseneck it would be at 33.5", which would be acceptable except for that it hits right in the middle of where the applied molding is. The gooseneck drops the rail height one riser from what I understand so that seems like it's going to be too much, wouldn't it?

If the gooseneck meets the post at 37.5" is it not going to make the rake rail about 30" high?
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:13 PM   #33
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Trimming a staircase


This means your level rail is at 37.5" plus half the thickness of your rail, seeing that 37.5 is to the center of your square. This is the height that the top of the gooseneck has to be set at. They call them 1 rise goosenecks but it does not mean that you just add your rise. You must figure in the length of the easement, and when the easment is cut to the correct pitch and added to the end of the rake rail you must find the distance from the top of the easement to the top of your 37.5". the length of the drop will probably only be a few inches.

Here's a foolproof way to do it. Take easement out of box and attach one end to a 12" +or- piece of rail using rail bolt supplied. Do NOT glue of course. Set the rake rail at desired height. and clamp in place so it doesnt move. I make the bottom pitch cut and clamp a block to the post so it doesn't slide down. In this case you can cut the top to pitch and let it rest against post at the top. Once you get the rail at 34" (make sure its good at top and bottom) take a 6" piece of plywood about a foot long and clamp it underneath the top part of rake rail. You are creating a flat bottom to slide your easement and small rail up and down on so that it stays on the same plane as your rake rail. Slide your easement up until there is about 1-1/4" from the post to the back of the easement. Clamp it to rake rail or plywood. Mark the front joint of the easement on the rake rail. This is exactly where the rake rail needs to be cut.as for the top end of the easement, take a small torpedo level and make a level line at the tangent point. make sure that there will not be a kink here. If there is then you are not at the tangent point.Take down rake rail and cut your line and cut your line on the easement as well and dry fit the easment to the rake rail and put back into position. this time you will need to prop up the top part of the rake rail.Use torpedo level on top of easement tp make sure it's level. If not, adjust now. Once that checks out you can just measure from the top cut of the easement to the top of the balcony rail. This is the length of your drop.

Last edited by Millertyme; 08-17-2010 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:02 PM   #34
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Trimming a staircase


The gooseneck had to be ordered so when it comes in I will have to try this out.

Thanks for the tip.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:40 AM   #35
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Trimming a staircase


Well, except for a few finishing touches the staircase is complete, thanks a million for all your help!



Problem is, my work isn't done. I know this is my own foolish mistake but I relied on the information in the stair building code that was linked earlier in this thread. It specified that balusters on a balcony rail can't have more than 4" between them and 4 3/8" on a rake rail. My balconies are fine but I built my rake rail for a hair under 4 3/8" and afterward found out that Wisconsin code requires less than 4".



This will take a little work plugging and sanding the holes on the rail. For the bottom plate, rather than rebuild it I am going to adhere a 1/2" thick by 4" wide piece of wood with a routed edge to the center of the board and then redrill the new holes. This additional piece of wood will also add an extra profile to the otherwise flat board.

Despite the pitfalls I am happy with the overall result of my first and hopefully only staircase
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:09 AM   #36
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Trimming a staircase


Looks great.. Glad you got it worked out. Depending on the inspector, they might not even notice.. Sounds like you have a fix for it anyway thou.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:21 AM   #37
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Trimming a staircase


You did a great job buddy. I second what RT said above about trying to see if the inspector will not notice or will let it slide.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:24 AM   #38
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Trimming a staircase


Beautiful work!
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:13 AM   #39
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Trimming a staircase


Thanks for the compliments.

I talked to the general contractor about this and he said the inspector for this city is very picky and checks everything so it's likely he's not going to miss it. When I stand back and look at it, they do look too far apart in my opinion, and I guess I'd rather nip it in the bud while I'm prepared to redo it.

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