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Old 02-24-2011, 10:21 PM   #1
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trouble with stair stringers


I have a question:

How do you route out a hole in a stair stringer that is a 4x12 so you can sink the hand rail post into the top?

Got router, got router bit....but..how do I correct for the angle of the stringer? want to route down 2 inches or so

any help?

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Old 02-24-2011, 10:45 PM   #2
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trouble with stair stringers


Chulett,
How big a hole are you talking? Are you using a newel post with a pin on the bottom? How about a drill guide with spade bit or make a right triangle guide using your rise and run for the a and b sides, then flip it over on top of your stringer to get a plumb line to follow.
Mike Hawkins

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Old 02-24-2011, 11:01 PM   #3
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trouble with stair stringers


hand rail posts are 4x4s so I want to make a 2x2 tongue. routed hole would then be 2x2.

I like your idea! house is timber frame and trying to replicate the look for the stairs.

Yes the newel post at bottom will be pinned. stairs are so much fun! what do you think bout an 8 inch rise for the treads?

Treads are made from 4x10 doug fir...the whole stair is doug fir...here are some photos of the landing we built.

Let me know!
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:24 PM   #4
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trouble with stair stringers


treads will be routed into the stringers..see photo to imagine what Im trying to build
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:47 PM   #5
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trouble with stair stringers


another idea!

can I just use wood drill and drill up on the 12 inch stringer about 8 inches then use long wood screws..after pilot hole made to attach the posts that way? I would then put in wood dowel and flush it

This make sense?
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:02 AM   #6
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trouble with stair stringers


Quote:
Originally Posted by chulett View Post
another idea!

can I just use wood drill and drill up on the 12 inch stringer about 8 inches then use long wood screws..after pilot hole made to attach the posts that way? I would then put in wood dowel and flush it

This make sense?
No. I would cut the tenon on the bottom of the newel. Then I'd locate it's exact position on the stringer and mark the position for the mortise on the stringer. Drill your mortise out and clean it out with a chisel. Drill for dowels (slightly out of position, so it draws the joint tight) from the inside of the stringer so you dont see the end grain of the dowel from the outside, or drill right through, stop the dowel short and fill the remaining hole with a plug.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:08 PM   #7
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trouble with stair stringers


Chulett,
I see what you are trying to do now. Nice house btw. A lot of routers are available with adjustable tilt bases. That would be an easy way to route your mortises. They also make collet extensions if your bit isn't long enough. I would route the mortise in a few steps and not try to hog it all out on one pass. So a plunge router with a tilt base would be worth a try.
Your 8" rise should be ok. I wouldn't go any higher. 8" is right at the top end of what a good riser should be. I usually shoot for 7 1/2" if I have a choice.

Mike Hawkins
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:26 PM   #8
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trouble with stair stringers


your riser height should be determined by the total height of the stair divided by how many steps you need. As the other poster said, 8" risers would be the highest. I'd just hate to see you have 13 steps that are 8" and the last one be 6" or something like that. The total height may mean that all your risers may be 7"....or some other number....but it should end up being between 7 to 8" per riser

That's a beautiful staircase you're trying to replicate....it would be nice if you could post your finished photos when you're done. I would love to see how that turns out
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:21 PM   #9
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trouble with stair stringers


I will post photos as we go along..this weekend we are going to get some 2x12 pine and "practice" routing out the stringers and treads etc..dont wanna mess up on the doug fir!

Thanks for the tips on the posts..will do the tendon way!

tread height for the stringers going to the landing will be 8 inches..the tread height for the stringers going from the landing up to the loft figured out to be 7 7/8s

Is a difference of 1/8 gonna matter? We are still in the planning "scratching our heads" phase! So question is is that a big difference? Should all the riser heights be the same on the entire stair?
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:38 PM   #10
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trouble with stair stringers


you are allowed a rise change if there is a platform. A change that small will be fine. You will not even notice it.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:47 PM   #11
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trouble with stair stringers


GOOD! Thank you! Ok..I live in small town with a lowes, wal mart and ace hardware stores...I cant find a tilt base plunge router! I have a fixed base plunge router, but I need to route out the stringers for the tendon on the post!

Any suggestions as to how I can "McGiver" it? I guess Im getting old referencing a tv show from the 80s!

Any ideas? I can always buy one off the internet and wait!
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:09 PM   #12
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trouble with stair stringers


Why not cut your tenon on the bottom of the post to match the angle of the stringer, then you can rout the mortise with a standard base.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:24 PM   #13
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trouble with stair stringers


i would drill an 1-1/2" hole through a block of wood. say a 4x4 block about 6" high. drill it straight with a drill press if possible. Go all the way through. Then cut the bottom of the block to the pitch of your stringer...You now have a block to drill your string with. I use a 1-1/2" auger bit to drill the hole.I screw my drill guide block to a piece of plywood so you can hold it down on your stringer and have something to clamp to. Drill hole in stringer.
Then drill same size hole on bottom of newel and fit 1-1/2" dowel (closet pole) into hole to fasten both together.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:30 PM   #14
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trouble with stair stringers


If you make the stringers thinner than the post, you could have had the post straddle the stringer. This would make a strong connection.
You could also cut make a plumb cut on the stringer and make a 1/2 lap on the post and fasten the post right through the face and into the stringer.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Millertyme View Post
If you make the stringers thinner than the post, you could have had the post straddle the stringer. This would make a strong connection.
You could also cut make a plumb cut on the stringer and make a 1/2 lap on the post and fasten the post right through the face and into the stringer.
I was thinking along these lines too, but the stringer doesn't need to be thinner. Just notch out maybe 3/4" on each side of the stringer and slip the post over the stringer and dowel it. You'd need to make sure the post is straight grained where you notch it out

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