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Old 01-08-2011, 08:42 AM   #1
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Stair Finishing questions

Hello forum, this is my first post but have been doing alot of reading on here. I am in the process of finishing my basement which includes a rec room with bar, washroom, utility room, storage room, etc.

So far I have competed the everything up to and including the drywall & paint my self. My next phase is to complete the stairs and drink ledges around the rec room.

That about sums up the progression, my question for this post is about stair finishing. I have chosen to build the stairs out of birch and have already purchased the solid treads, handrail, iron balusters, and newel posts. I have never done finish work on stairs before bit I have built rough stairs before such as those you see in my picture (see link). As you can see one side of the stairs is open to the room. I plan on doing a skirt board on the side exposed to this room and I was wondering if there was any special technique used to do the miter cut that will have to mate to each riser board. This cut I can see being a real challenge to get right for the 14 riser, I could probably pull it off for a few but for that many its not going to be easy.

Any suggestions on how this is normally done.


Last edited by Newfiestang50; 01-08-2011 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:59 PM   #2
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Looks like you have too rip the nosing off the present tread if you are putting another on top and a veneered riser. If you want to do what I think you want to do a sliding compound miter saw may be needed. They can be rented. Press the skirt up against the stringer to get the layout. Use a really sharp blade. Be careful and think a lot. You may want to have the good face down and pull the blade towards you. Make sure you get the stop point correct. Try the cuts first on a scrap learning piece. Face up, face down?


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Old 01-15-2011, 03:09 PM   #3
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Yes, there is a very easy way to do this. Take your piece you are using for a skirt board typically 1x10 material and make your floor cut and your top cut so that you can hold the piece of 1x10 right up against your rough stringer. This is probably the toughest part because of the angles. Cut big and then work your way down from there. A piece of cardboard a couple of feet long might help as a template for your top and bottom cuts. When doing this make sure that the top of you new skirt board is about 3/4" to 1" higher than the points of the rough stringer...this is important. Clamp or tack your skirt in place and make sure it can't move. If you were to trace the cut out of your rough stringer on to you new piece the layout would be on the wrong side and you would need to add 3/4" for your risers. It is tough to transfer the lines to the other side, so heres what you do. Make a jig out of 3/4" material (the thickness of you finish riser material) and about 16" long. Cut out about a 7/8" wide slot in the middle of it about 10" long. This will straddle your new skirt board. Hold your jig tight to the riser cut of your rough stringer.Now you can trace the front side of your jig along the finish face of your skirt. Because you make the jig out of 3/4" material by tracing the front of the jig you now have a perfect line for your miter. You can do the same for your tread. The miters can be tough to cut unless you have the proper equipment..keep in mind that you need a circular saw to cut the left hand miter...most standard saws will only cut right hand. If you have a compound miter saw it can cut the miters but the tread cuts are usually at about a 55 deg angle which some saws wont reach...good luck
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